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Deploying ION – Setting Up an iSCSI Initiator Connection with Windows

Last Updated: Mar 13, 2018 10:58AM PDT
Deploying ION – Setting Up an iSCSI Initiator Connection with Windows


In this lab we will focus on setting up an iSCSI Initiator Connection using Windows.  The purpose behind this lab is to aid the support engineer with the proper configuration of an ION initiator by working through the proper setup and configuration of a Windows cluster with ION.  The skills gained will aid in troubleshooting a customer’s Windows storage configuration with ION.


Information needed for this lab:
•    0000-ION-VLE-LAB-Diagram.pptx
•    Windows compatible remote desktop client (RDP)
•    Log in password:  Fusionio1
•    Windows jump server:  (Hostname: ION_LAB_MANAGEMENT, Username: administrator. IP address will be provided)
•    "Top" level VMware ESXi host:   (Username: root.  IP address will be provided.  Jump server can also log in to this host.)
•    CentOS 7.0 VM: (Username: root)
•    ION VM: (Username: admin)


To get started, we will first check a few things within the lab environment to ensure the system is ready for configuration.

Step One:  Logging into the Remote Windows Desktop:

1.    Launch a remote desktop (RDP) client and login to the Windows jump server (IP address will be provided) that has access to the 10.0.0.x virtual lab network.

2.    Launch the vSphere Client on the jump-box, and login to the "top" ESXi server.
•    Power on the W2K8VM1_ION virtual machine
•    Open the virtual machine console of your assigned W2K8VM1_ION virtual machine.
•    Log in as administrator.

3.    (Or) From the desktop of the jump-box, launch the Remote Desktop Client and type in the IP address of the W2K8VM1 _ION Virtual Machine,  Log in as administrator.

4.    Power on the ION_2_4_0_HA1_ION and ION_2_4_0_HA2_ION VMs.  Verify your connection from the jump-box to the ION virtual machine by opening the PuTTY client, and SSH to an ION virtual machine at ION_2_4_0_HA1_ION.


Step One:  Create the ION Appliance Profile and Pool:

1.    Navigate to the ION Appliance console and enter profile:create max_performance

•    This will create the profile RAID0 as well as a pool

2.    Type raids –dt –-cluster at the command line, to verify RAID configuration.

 3.    Launch Internet Explorer on the Windows server and login to the ION Appliance GUI, by entering the IP address of the same ION appliance you’ve just accessed from the CLI.  When prompted for Authentication, enter admin for the username, and Fusionio1 for the password.

4.    From the ION Accelerator GUI, click on the Configuration tab, and Select Storage Pools to verify that your recently created pool (created from the command line) now exists.

5.    Next, click on the Volumes option (left hand side of the page), and select Add Volume.

6.    Accept the current defaults and click Create.  (You can change the volume name and size if desired, however, leave the “Preferred cluster node” setting at Auto.)


Step Two:  Configuring the Windows Server to Use the iSCSI Initiator

1.    From the vSphere Client Windows VM Console (or from an RDP session to the Windows Virtual Machine on the student jump-box), select the Add Features option, and select and install Multipath I/O.  Restart the server if prompted.

2.    Launch the Windows Control Panel and select the iSCSI Initiator.

3.    Click Yes to start the service, since this is the first time that this service is being accessed.

4.    On the iSCSI Initiator Properties window, there are three important tabs to note:
•    Targets Tab – lists out all storage volumes connected to the Windows server
•    Discovery Tab – inputs the addressing information to the ION system
Configuration tab – The configuration settings information for this Windows server (i.e., iqn information) to be used in the ION system

5.    Navigate to the Configuration tab.  Copy the iqn from the Initiator Name field in the window to be used for the ION Initiator configuration.

 6.    Go back to Internet Explorer, and access the ION GUI from the Windows server.  (Note that this configuration can also be done from the CLI)

7.    Select the Configuration tab, and click Add Initiator.

8.    Copy the iqn from the Windows server and add the ION Target IP Address for the Initiator.  

 9.    Repeat for each iSCSI target (Target IP Address listings can be found under the GUI Settings tab, Network section).  

*Note the iqn syntax and the required trailing target IP Address - #target_ip_address

 10.    Create an Initiator Group for the newly added Initiators.  Click on the Edit button, and verify that the Initiator Group option is set to Assign to new group.  Add a “Group name” (the one that is displayed is simply a default example) such as Win_Initiators.  Select “Other” for the OS setting, and click Save.  

11.    Click Edit on each of the remaining initiators, and add each initiator to the group by selecting the new group name for each initiator in the list.

12.    Click on the Volumes option, and click Edit under the “Active Initiators” field.

13.    Leave the Block size set to the default 512B, and select the newly created Win_Initiators group from the Initiator Group dropdown list, then click Submit.

Step Three:  Connecting the Volume to the Windows Server

1.    All volumes connected between the ION Appliance and the Windows server need to have the MPIO setting enabled.

2.    Navigate back to the Windows server iSCSI Initiator Properties Window, and select the Discovery tab, then click the Discover Portal button.

3.    Enter the first ION Target IP Address for the Initiator (IP address used in the previous section), and click OK.

4.    Repeat for each of the Target IP address (also used in the previous section), and verify that all of the ports are displayed in the list.

5.    Click on the Targets tab, and confirm that the volumes appears in the window as “Inactive.”

6.    Highlight each volume and click Connect.

7.    Since this is a temporary connection until MPIO is enabled, de-select “Add this connection to the list of Favorite Targets,” then click OK.

8.    Verify that each volume is now showing as “Connected.”

9.    Move back to the ION GUI, click the Configuration tab, select Initiators, and verify that the volume is now displayed, and that the status is Active.

10.    Navigate back to the Windows server, launch Server Manager and select Disk Management.  Notice how Windows now sees the configuration as disks of unallocated space.

11.    Open the Windows Control Panel and click and open the MPIO application.

12.    Under the default tab of “MPIO Devices,” click the Add button.

13.    Enter FUSIONIOION LUN as the vendor and product ID, then click OK.

 14.    Reboot when prompted.

15.    Navigate back to Server Manager, and into Disk Management.  See that you are again seeing a single volume.

16.    Highlight the Disk, right click, and select Properties, and select the MPIO tab, and confirm that the settings are correct.  (If not set, select “Round Robin With Subset”)

•    MPIO Policy – Round Robin With Subset
•    Verify that the two paths are Active/Optimized

17.    You have successfully finished the configuration!


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