Home > Virtualization > Windows Server 2008: Failover Clustering with iSCSI, using Starwind

Windows Server 2008: Failover Clustering with iSCSI, using Starwind


Creating a failover cluster with iSCSI disks is simple

First,  make sure that the software that you are start using have support for persistent reservations by your iSCSI target.

Windows Server 2008 has a Cluster Validation tool that will tell you if your configuration is supported and it’s working. The validation tool is part of the Failover Cluster Management console that will be available to you when you install the Failover Clustering feature.

I am using the RocketDivision’s StarWind iSCSI Target for Microsoft Windows. The iSCSI target works fine with Microsoft’s iSCSI Initiator in Windows Server 2008 and it supports everything that is needed to create a failover cluster.

I installed the iSCSI target server on a Windows 2008 Server x64.  


1.    Start Creating the file-backed iSCSI disks  using the mkimage.exe tool (part of StarWind). You create a disk file with the following command:

mkimage -sparse c:sanimage.img 127G

2.    Now publish it so you can connect to them using iSCSI. You do this by editing the starwind.cfg file (in c:program filesrocket division softwarestarwind).

3.     In the <devices> section, add the following:
<device name="ImageFile0" file="c:sanimage.img" asyncmode="yes" clustered="yes"/>

4.    Save the file

5.    Stop / Start the StarWind service.

6.    Now you can configure the disk on Windows Server 2008

a)    Open Control Panel.

b)    Double click the iSCSI Initator icon and answer the questions that come (to start the service etc…).

c)    In iSCSI Initator properties:

·         In the Discovery tab, add the target portal (where the StarWind is installed).

·         In the Targets tab, click Refresh. You should see the iSCSI targets offered by StarWind. Click each target and click the Log on… button. Make sure you set the option to automatically restore the connection when the computer starts.

d)    click OK to close iSCSI Initiator properties

e)    In Disk Management (diskmgmt.msc) you should see an extra disk (not initialized yet)

f)     Make sure that the Failover Clustering feature is installed on each node ( server ) : from Server Manager, select Features and then click Add Features.

g)    Select the Failover Clustering feature.

h)    After installing the Failover Clustering feature, you can start Failover Cluster Management from Start / Administrative Tools.

i)      You can now create the cluster and add services and applications.

j)     Atention: if you do not initialize the disk, the cluster will be created as a Node Majority cluster and not as a Node and Disk Majority cluster. To create a Node and Disk majority cluster, on one node, initialize and format the iSCSI disk as NTFS.

Categories: Virtualization
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