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Using Microsoft iSCSI Initiator in Windows Server 2008 R2 and Windows 7

The way you access Microsoft iSCSI Initiator depends on your operating system.

In Windows Server 2008 R2, you can access the interface for Microsoft iSCSI Initiator by doing any of the following:

  • Click Start, click Control Panel, click Classic View, and then click iSCSI Initiator.

  • Click Start, click Administrative Tools, and then click iSCSI Initiator.

  • Click Start, in Start Search, type iSCSI, and then in Programs, click iSCSI Initiator.

  • Click Start, click Control Panel, in the search field, type iSCSI, and then in Administrative Tools, click iSCSI Initiator.

In Windows 7, you can access the interface for Microsoft iSCSI Initiator by doing either of the following:

  1. Click Start, in Start Search, type iSCSI, and then in Programs, click iSCSI Initiator.

  2. Click Start, click Control Panel, in the search field type iSCSI, and then in Administrative Tools, click iSCSI Initiator.

Every iSCSI initiator and target must have a worldwide unique name. Typically, this is an iSCSI qualified name (IQN). A single IQN applies to all iSCSI HBAs on the server, including Microsoft iSCSI Initiator. You should not configure an iSCSI HBA to have a different IQN than the IQN that is used by other iSCSI HBAs and Microsoft iSCSI Initiator; they must all share the same IQN name.

Microsoft iSCSI Initiator automatically chooses an IQN that is based on the computer name and the Domain Name System (DNS). If the names of the computer or DNS are changed, the IQN also changes. However, an administrator can specifically configure the IQN to be a fixed value instead of the IQN that is generated. If the administrator specifies a fixed IQN name, that name must be maintained as worldwide unique.

Microsoft iSCSI Initiator supports favorite (formerly called persistent) targets. By using common APIs and UI, Microsoft iSCSI Initiator can configure software and hardware initiators to always reconnect to a target when the computer is rebooted. Consequently, this requires that the devices on the target are connected to the computer at all times. The logon information that is needed to connect to the favorite targets (for example, CHAP secrets and portal) is captured when the persistent logon is performed by the administrator and saved by the software and hardware initiators in non-volatile storage. Hardware initiators can initiate reconnection early in the boot process, but the kernel-mode driver in Microsoft iSCSI Initiator initiates reconnection when the Windows TCP/IP stack and Microsoft iSCSI Initiator load.

When starting the computer by using the kernel-mode driver in Microsoft iSCSI Initiator, the disk startup sequence in Windows is different from the startup sequence when starting the computer by using an iSCSI or other HBA. Disks that are exposed by the kernel-mode driver in Microsoft iSCSI Initiator are available for applications and services later in the boot process—in some cases, they might not be available until after the service control manager initiates the automatic start services. Microsoft iSCSI Initiator includes functionality to synchronize automatic start services and the appearance of the iSCSI disk. Microsoft iSCSI Initiator can be configured with a list of disk volumes that are required to be present before the automatic start services initiate.

To install automatic start services on volumes that are created from iSCSI disks, you must do the following:

  1. Log on to all of the targets that your computer will use. Ensure that these are the only targets that you are logged on to. Be sure that they are persistent logons by using the iscsicli command PersistentLoginTarget or by clicking the appropriate item in the graphical user interface in Microsoft iSCSI Initiator.

  2. Configure all volumes on the disks by using Disk Administrator.

  3. Allow the Microsoft iSCSI Initiator service to configure the list of persistently bound volumes by using the following iscsicli commands or by clicking the appropriate button in the graphical user interface:

    • BindPersistentVolumes

    • AddPersistentVolume

    • RemovePersistentVolume

    • ClearPersistentVolumes

You can generate a report that captures the current configuration settings of Microsoft iSCSI Initiator by doing the following:

  1. Open Microsoft iSCSI Initiator, and then click the Configuration tab.

  2. Click Report.

  3. Enter the file name, and then click Save.

Following is an example of the type of information that is provided in the configuration report:

iSCSI Initiator Report
=======================


List of Discovered Targets, Sessions and devices
==================================================

Target #0
========

Target name = iqn.1992-08.com.storage1

Session Details
===============

Session #1
 ===========
Number of Connections = 1

Connection #1
==============
Target Address = 10.0.0.1
 Target Port = 3260
#0.  Disk 3
========
Address:Port 3: Bus 0: Target 3: LUN 0
Target #1
========

Target name = iqn.1992-04.com.storage2

Session Details
===============

Session #1
===========
Number of Connections = 1

Connection #1
==============
Target Address = 10.0.0.2
 Target Port = 3260
#0.  Disk 2
========
Address:Port 3: Bus 0: Target 0: LUN 0

The graphical user interface in Microsoft iSCSI Initiator is accessible on Server Core installation options of Windows Server 2008 R2. To access it, type the following at the command shell: iSCSICPL.exe

You can also use the iSCSICLI.exe tool to configure Microsoft iSCSI Initiator from the command shell on Server Core installations.

You can use the following management application with Microsoft iSCSI Initiator.

iSCSI Control Panel Configuration Utility   Microsoft iSCSI Initiator includes a Control Panel configuration utility that allows an administrator to perform common iSCSI operations through a graphical user interface. The applet can be used by the kernel-mode driver in Microsoft iSCSI Initiator and by all iSCSI HBAs.

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