Good news. Microsoft has finally release a free iSCSI Software Target and the important is support to use on production environment. Previously, Storage Server 2008 R2 is only available to Technet /MSDN Subscriber and sell by OEM vendor such as Dell or HP. As mentioned in Virtualization team blog:-http://blogs.technet.com/b/virtualization/archive/2011/04/04/free-microsoft-iscsi-target.aspx , this product is free and supported in production use.
Just my 2cents of advise when using for production use
- Need Windows Server 2008 R2 Std/Ent/DataCenter preinstalled (full installation).
- Recommend to use server hardware. If you plan to use on production environment, I strongly recommend that you use SAS (15K rpm). Try to avoid using SATA disk which is running on 7200 rpm. Trust me, I have using it on my lab environment and you would greatly need on speed and performance. If you plan to use for lab environment, then SATA disk will do.
- Additional NIC would be good. Relying on 1 Gbps of NIC is just sufficient. Configure MPIO to load balance and fault tolerance.
- Study on MS Support Policy - http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/gg983493(WS.10).aspx
- Understand the Scalability Limit of Windows Storage Server 2008 R2.- http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/gg509003(WS.10).aspx
- Convert VM to fixed disk. Not recommend to use as Dynamic Disk. You do not want to end up with fragmentation issue which will give you a performance impact.
According to MSFT test environment, they have successful test running 90 VM in a cluster. For my case, I have personally run 30 + VM on a Hyper V cluster with 10TB SATA disk for lab environment purpose. Give it a try since it is free and the most important is supported on production environment.
Free download – Click here