Microsoft iSCSI Software Target 3.3 for Windows Server 2008 R2 available for public download


Introduction

For the last few years, I’ve been blogging about the Microsoft iSCSI Software Target and its many uses related to Windows Server Failover Clustering, Hyper-V and other server scenarios. Today, Microsoft has made this software publicly available to all users of Windows Server 2008 R2.

The Microsoft iSCSI Software Target has been available for production use as part of Windows Storage Server since early 2007. It has also been available for development and test use by MSDN and TechNet subscribers starting in May 2009. However, until now, there was no way to use the Microsoft iSCSI Software Target in production on a regular server running Windows Server 2008 R2. This new download offers exactly that.

Now available as a public download, the software is essentially the same software that ships with Windows Storage Server 2008 R2. Windows Storage Server 2008 R2 and the public download package will be refreshed (kept in sync) with any software fixes and updates. Those updates are described at http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/gg232597.aspx.

This release was preceded by intense testing by the Microsoft iSCSI Target team, especially in scenarios where the iSCSI Target is used with Hyper-V and with Windows Server Failover Clusters. We do imagine these to be amongst the most commons deployment scenarios.

Testing included running the Microsoft iSCSI Software Target in a two-node Failover Cluster and configuring 92 individual Hyper-V VMs, each running a data intensive application and storing data on a single node of that iSCSI Target cluster. The exciting part of the test was to force an unplanned failure of the iSCSI Target node being used by all the VMs and verify that we had a successful failover to the other node with all 92 VMs continuing to run the application without any interruption.

How to download and install

To download the Microsoft iSCSI Software Target 3.3 for Windows Server 2008 R2, go to http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/en/details.aspx?FamilyID=45105d7f-8c6c-4666-a305-c8189062a0d0 and download a single file called “iSCSITargetDLC.EXE”. (Note: This was just released at 10AM PST on 04/04/2011, so the download might still be replicating to your closest download server. If the link does not work, try again later). This is a self-extracting archive that will show this screen when run:

clip_image002

Select a destination folder and click “Install”. Once it finishes, you will find a few files available to you in  that folder:

Files Description
<folder>\autorun.inf
<folder>\bkgd-page-servers-dynagrid.jpg
<folder>\copyright.jpg
< folder>\Documentation
<folder>\Index.htm
<folder>\wsr2logo.bmp
Welcome page. Start with Index.htm
<folder>\Documentation\iSCSItarget_Gstart_R2.doc Getting Started Guide
<folder>\Documentation\iSCSI_33_relnotes.doc Release Notes
<folder>\x64\iscsitarget_public.msi Microsoft iSCSI Software Target installer (64-bit only)
<folder>\x64\iscsitargetClient_public.msi VSS and VDS providers for the iSCSI Target (64-bit)
<folder>\x86\iscsitargetClient_public.msi VSS and VDS providers for the iSCSI Target (32-bit)

 

If you click on the index.htm file on the main folder, you will see the welcome page with a few links to the items included:

clip_image003

To install the iSCSI Target on a computer running Windows Server 2008 R2, simply run the “iscsitarget_public.msi” MSI file from a command line or right-click it on Windows Explorer and choose “Install”.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q: Can I install the Microsoft iSCSI Software Target 3.3 on Windows Server 2008 or Windows Server 2003?
A: No. The Microsoft iSCSI Software Target 3.3 can only be installed on Windows Server 2008 R2.

Q: Can I install the Microsoft iSCSI Software Target on Windows Server 2008 R2 with Service Pack 1 (SP1)?
A: Yes. In fact, that’s what is recommended.

Q: Can I install the Microsoft iSCSI Software Target on a Core install of Windows Server 2008 R2?
A: No. The Microsoft iSCSI Software Target 3.3 is only supported in a Full install.

Q: I don’t have a copy of Windows Server 2008 R2. Where can I get an evaluation copy?
A: You download an evaluation version of Windows Server 2008 R2 with Service Pack 1 from http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/evalcenter/dd459137.aspx

Q: Where is the x86 (32-bit) version of the Microsoft iSCSI Software Target 3.3?
A: The Microsoft iSCSI Software Target 3.3, is provided in only in an x64 (64-bit) version, as is Windows Server 2008 R2,

Q: What are these “iSCSITargetClient” MSI files included in the download?
A: Those are the optional VSS and VDS providers for the Microsoft iSCSI Software Target 3.3. You should install them in the same computer that runs the iSCSI Initiator if you intend to use VSS or VDS. For details on VSS, see http://blogs.technet.com/b/josebda/archive/2007/10/10/the-basics-of-the-volume-shadow-copy-service-vss.aspx. For details on VDS, see http://blogs.technet.com/b/josebda/archive/2007/10/25/the-basics-of-the-virtual-disk-services-vds.aspx

Q: Where is the Windows Storage Server 2008 R2 documentation?
A: There is some documentation inside the package. Additional documentation is available on the web at http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/gg232606.aspx

Q: Can I use the Microsoft iSCSI Software Target 3.3 as shared storage for a Windows Server Failover Cluster?
A: Yes. That is one of its most common uses.

Q: Can I install the Microsoft iSCSI Software Target 3.3 in a Hyper-V virtual machine?
A: Yes. We do it all the time.

Q: Can I use the downloaded Microsoft iSCSI Software Target 3.3 in my production environment?
A: Yes. Make sure to perform the proper evaluation and testing before deploying any software in a production environment. But you knew that already…

Q: What are the support policies for the Microsoft iSCSI Software Target 3.3 on Windows Server 2008 R2?
A: The support policies are listed at http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/gg983493.aspx

Links

I would recommend that you download and read my previous blog posts about the Microsoft iSCSI Software Target. Here are some of the most popular ones.

Please keep in mind that some of these posts mention previous versions of the Microsoft iSCSI Software Target that ran on different Windows Server versions. The overall guidance, however, still applies. 

Conclusion

I hope you are as excited as we are about this release. Download it and experiment with it. And don’t forget to post a comment about your experience or send us your feedback.

Comments (67)

  1. Anonymous says:

    Today, Microsoft has made this software publicly available to all users of Windows Server 2008 R2. The

  2. Anonymous says:

    Today, Microsoft has made the Microsoft iSCSI Software Target 3.3 publicly available to all users of

  3. Anonymous says:

    Yes, this is absolutely right. Microsoft just made available Microsoft iSCSI Software Target 3.3 for

  4. Anonymous says:

    The Microsoft iSCSI Software Target has been available for production use as part of Windows Storage

  5. Anonymous says:

    Microsoft got into the iSCSI Target business when we acquired WinTarget from String Bean software in

  6. Anonymous says:

    Voilà une bonne nouvelle pour ceux qui veulent monter rapidement, simplement et surtout à moindre coût

  7. Anonymous says:

    So this is not a normal topic for this blog. I will be back soon with some more content but things are

  8. Anonymous says:

    @Berserker: If you truly want to have an HA solution, you need to make both your iSCSI Target and your Application Server highly available. Imagine you're building an infrastructure to support 16 Hyper-V servers that you want to make highly available.

    You could, for instance, create a two-node iSCSI Target cluster with SAS HBAs using a dual-controller SAS array as shared storage (four SAS connections, two for each, directly connected) and also create a 16-node Hyper-V cluster using the iSCSI Target cluster as shared storage (32 Ethernet connections, two for each plus a 36-port Ethernet switch).

    You could also build a solution where you wire every one of the 16 Hyper-V nodes to an array, but that would require 32 fibre channel HBAs, a 36-port fibre channel switch and a dual-controller FC array.

    Does that make sense?

  9. Anonymous says:

    Microsoft iSCSI Target yang selama ini hanya dapat diperoleh melalui jalur OEM dalam bentuk bundle dengan

  10. Anonymous says:

    Are one of those IT Pros whom need a SAN but don’t have the budget to pay for one? You like to deploy

  11. Anonymous says:

    One common refrain we hear from you is that you appreciate the fact we’re driving down the costs of virtualization

  12. Anonymous says:

    The iSCSI Target solution from MS is now free! We can use it to setup a environment to test fail-over

  13. Anonymous says:

    まずは下記のブログ投稿をご覧ください。 blogs.technet.com/…/free-microsoft-iscsi

  14. Anonymous says:

    @David. If you want a standalone Microsoft iSCSI Software Target, you can use local storage.You can use the standalone target to support an Application cluster like a Hyper-V cluster or a SQL Server cluster. If you want to have a fully fault tolerant solution, we suggest that you cluster the Application server and also cluster the Microsoft iSCSI Software Target, which requires shared storage (like a SAS array or an FC array). You can find details about these more complex configurations at blogs.technet.com/…/high-availability-scenarios.aspx – check configuration 7 in that post, which shows a SQL Cluster, connected to an iSCSI Target cluster, connected to some shared storage.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Guys, this is unbelievable. I even double checked post date, just to be sure this is not 01 April 🙂

    It's great what we now can use it not only in WSS, but almost everywhere!

    Thanks, MS!

  16. Anonymous says:

    Nagyon jó hír, szerintem ennyi sok év kínlódás után igen sokan lesznek akik majd értékelik. A részletek

  17. Anonymous says:

    La costruzione di un’infrastruttura di virtualizzazione richiede necessariamente l’implementazione di

  18. Anonymous says:

    FYI. Twitter is blowing up about about this, so I figured I'd post on what it does. This install file brings the functionality that is in Windows Storage Server to all Windows Server 2008 R2 boxes. The biggest win, you…

  19. Anonymous says:

    @Berserker: All your points are interesting. Let me comment on them.

    Here's how you protect agains failure at each level:
    Hyper-V servers –> Windows server failover cluster will failover VMs if a server fails
    iSCSI network between Hyper-V servers and iSCSI Targets –> Multiple network paths combined with MPIO running on Hyper-V servers
    iSCSI target servers –> Windows server failover cluster will failover the targets if a server fails
    SAS network between iSCSI Targets and SAS array –> Multiple SAS paths combined with MPIO running on the iSCSI targets
    SAS array controllers –> SAS array with dual controllers and failover capability.
    Individual spindle failure –> SAS array provides RAID capability to tolerate spindle failure

    Around an iSCSI storage hardware solutions that offers iSCSI target and HA out of the box:
    This is exactly what some of the Windows Storage Server OEMs offer. This includes a two-node cluster plus the storage that comes pre-configured.
    The end user only needs to run a small wizard to configure the solution (IP address configuration, join domain, etc).

    Around connecting the 16 Hyper-V nodes directly to the SAS array:
    This is possible using a 36 port SAS switch (assuming you can find one of those) or multiple, smaller SAS switches, but you're stretching the capabilities of the SAS infrastructure.
    Wiring four cables to the back of the SAS array is simple. Connecting 36 SAS cables to the SAS array not so much.
    For that kind of solution, as I suggested, most people would lean towards fibre channel, which is more scalable but also more expensive.
    When you use Ethernet, TCP/IP and iSCSI for the 16 nodes, you rely on more familiar and less expensive technologies.

  20. Anonymous says:

    Tak z této zprávy mám ohromnou radost… už mnoho let přednáším

  21. Anonymous says:

    Virtualization Nation, One common refrain we hear from you is that you appreciate the fact we’re

  22. Anonymous says:

    @Andy – Shortly after the release at around 10AM this morning, the link was not working for a few users, due to replication of the download to different servers. I updated the post to include this information. Please try again later and it should work.

  23. Anonymous says:

    Hola Acaba de ponerse de manera gratuita a disposición de todo aquel que lo necesite. Puede descargarse

  24. Anonymous says:

    @Bob. This post is about the free public download of the Microsoft iSCSI Software Target 3.3 for current users of Windows Server 2008 R2. It is not about a Storage Server upgrade or an evaluation of the Microsoft iSCSI Software Target. I did mention, however,  that if you are not a user of Windows Server 2008 R2, you can download an evaluation version of Windows Server 2008 R2.

  25. Anonymous says:

    @RaFi – The Microsoft iSCSI Software Target 3.3 does not install on Windows 7. You need to install on Windows Server 2008 R2. Sorry.

  26. Anonymous says:

    YES !!! Microsoft is releasing the iSCSI Target Server and that means that you now can use a Windows

  27. Anonymous says:

    You know in the past, if we wanted a Microsoft ISCSI target, officially we needed to get "storage

  28. Anonymous says:

    La costruzione di un’infrastruttura di virtualizzazione richiede necessariamente l’implementazione di

  29. Anonymous says:

    Today, Microsoft has made this software publicly available to all users of Windows Server 2008 R2. The

  30. Anonymous says:

    Windows Storage Server 2008 R2 is also now available to MSDN and TechNet subscribers for evaluation. This means subscribers can now use the Microsoft iSCSI Target 3.3 for Development, Test and all other non-production purposes. Find below the information from the MSDN/TechNet site where you download the bits.

  31. Anonymous says:

    @Peel. I talked to the iSCSI Target PM and she was unable to reproduce your issue. She tried creating a VHD on a volume mounted using a mount point and it succeeded. Let us know if you can provide more details about your specific scenario. You can use the "E-mail blog author" option on this page to send those details.

  32. Anonymous says:

    @ Berserker: You don't need two MSA2000sa. You can use a single one and have data redundancy via RAID (the MSA controllers support RAID 0, 1, 3, 5, 6, 10, 50). If you lose a disk, you data is still available. You could also use dual power supplies and dual controllers for added fault tolerance, all with a single MSA2000sa. See h18000.www1.hp.com/…/13331_na.pdf

  33. Anonymous says:

    @Berserker: You can try the HP StorageWorks X3000 G2. They come pre-installed with WSS 2008 R2. You need two of them plus a P2000MSA. Check the link below:

    http://h18000.www1.hp.com/…/13841_na.html (Look for the
    sections on pre-configured models)

  34. Anonymous says:

    To Chris: the iSCSI target 3.3 install will check to see if the server is Standard, Enterprise or DataCenter edition. It is not supported on the Home Server.

  35. Anonymous says:

    Can't believe that, miracle!

  36. Anonymous says:

    Gdy prawie 3 lata temu, na konferencji Heroes Happen Here, chciałem pokazywać dema z klastrowaniem serwerów

  37. Anonymous says:

    Gdy prawie 3 lata temu, na konferencji Heroes Happen Here, chciałem pokazywać dema z klastrowaniem serwerów

  38. Anonymous says:

    Copied from the Virtualization blog One common refrain we hear from you is that you appreciate the fact

  39. Anonymous says:

    To Alan: Yes, the VHD and CBM file is compatible between the 3.2 and 3.3. You can copy over VHD file and do import.

    The CBM file is used for tracking changes when you take a snapshot. You don't need to port that over, when you create a new snapshot, the iSCSI Target will create hte CBM file.

  40. Anonymous says:

    @Rafi – We have nothing to announce at this point about the Single Instance Storage (SIS) component in Windows Storage Server.

  41. Anonymous says:

    @ Raul

    iSCSI Target operates in two nodes: standalone or cluster. If you install iSCSI Target on a cluster node, it will start in the clustering mode.

    You have two options: find a standalone server to run iSCSI target which provide storage for the hyper-v cluster, or run everything in VMs.

  42. Anonymous says:

    iSCSI Target이라고 아시나요? 보통 장애 조치 클러스터나 Hyper-V의 Quick Migration, Live Migration 등을 테스트하시거나, 간단히 현업 환경에서

  43. Andy says:

    Can't get download link.

  44. RaFi says:

    How can I force it to install on Windows 7?

  45. Sorry, forget my last post, I see that you tested an iSCSI target failover – that is great!  Now I'm just wondering about support for 3rd party cluster disk resources to enable shared nothing iSCSI target clusters and multisite clusters.  Thanks again!

  46. RaFi says:

    How about releasing SIS component (Windows6.1-KB976833-x64-SIS.msu) for free to public?

  47. Bob says:

    I'm confused. Is it free for use or is it some part of storage server upgrade/evaluation ??

  48. Paul Weterings says:

    This is great news, and a smart decision. Other vendors such as starwind have an edge, since they have HA, block level dedup, load balanced MPIO etc. So this target is no direc competition, making sure the EU & their regulations won't bother MS making this available freely 🙂

    When you guys made the target available on technet some time ago I already suspected this would happen, and it makes sense: this will push the iSCSI target market as more IT people will be exposed to the technology; its just much more accessable this way. I remember how I had to struggle back in 2008 when installing my first Hyper-V clusters to get a target that supported persistent reservation. I'm glad to see for new enterprising Hyper-V pioneers it's going to be much easier now.

  49. fsa says:

    Nice article.Thanks for sharing.

  50. Peel says:

    Thanks, its was a fantastic decision to make it freely available!

    I found a bug. If I have volume mount points anywhere on the system I cannot create nor import VHD-s as new devices for targets. I get "the virtual disk cannot be created on the selected volume. One or more arguments are not correct." at the end of wizard. The disk I'm trying to create the VHD on does not even have volume mount point, but other volumes have. If I delete every volume mount points in the system the wizard works fine. VHD-s created and gave to iSCSI target before works fine after I recreate the volume mount points.

  51. Berserker says:

    Great news, thank you for posting!

    Questions tho, I don't get the point of making the iSCSI target a cluster. When you do that, you're only making the "target" HA correct? The shared storage that the iSCSI target cluster relies on is still a single point of failure. Which would mean you would need a HA solution for the underlying shared storage also right?

  52. Berserker says:

    Yes, that does makes sense. But the iSCSI Target cluster still seems like an additional layer that is unnecessary if you HA your underlying storage in the first place.

    So using your example, for 16 Hyper-V nodes, 2 iSCSI Target nodes, and a SAS array, you're looking at Hyper-V <-> iSCSI network <-> iSCSI Targets on two servers <-> SAS connections <-> SAS array. Even if the SAS array is dual-controller, you still have just one set of spindles holding your data.

    Wouldn't it be more efficient to get a iSCSI storage hardware solution that offers a iSCSI target and HA out of the box? That way you just have Hyper-V <-> iSCSI network <-> iSCSI target/storage. Because your underlying storage solution has HA, you have your data on two sets of spindles.

    One more thought, going back to your example with the SAS array. Couldn't you just have your Hyper-V nodes connect directly to the SAS array? I believe Hyper-V FC supports SAS and you could use a SAS switch. This would avoid having to use iSCSI altogether no?

    Again, appreciate the post/news. I use the MS iSCSI target everyday in production. Just trying to wrap my head around this iSCSI target clustering feature.

  53. Roger McGragor says:

    StarWind is still better since it's so much easier to use, comes with support (important thing for production) and it works both with Hyper-V and VMware.

  54. Berserker says:

    Thanks for all the comments, I guess we're really just talking about doing the same thing in multiple ways.

    I think I would rather opt for a dual controller, iSCSI storage device <something like the Dell MD32xx or an HP MSA> instead of a pair of servers running the iSCSI target FC then connected to a dual controller non-iSCSI storage array. Just reduces another layer of complexity and failure.

    However, if an org already has invested in a non-iSCSI storage array and wants to use iSCSI, then the iSCSI target FC might be for them.

    "Around an iSCSI storage hardware solutions that offers iSCSI target and HA out of the box:

    This is exactly what some of the Windows Storage Server OEMs offer. This includes a two-node cluster plus the storage that comes pre-configured."

    If you could give me some links to these products, I would really appreciate it. I have researched long and hard to find a product that will provide HA for a WSS appliance but it has proven very difficult. You either have to go 3rd party with something like DoubleTake Availability or have a full hardware HA solution out of the box like an HP MSA w/Remote Snap or HP P4xxx SAN <formerly Lefthand>. The latter products will give you two <or more> storage devices that replicate so even with a dual controller, single backplane device, you get the additional chassis + spindles in case one of the device's blew up. However, the cost goes up accordingly for that level of availability.

  55. Berserker says:

    Thanks for the link. But just to clarify, you still have one set of spindles for the data. You would need P2000 MSA x 2 plus replication software to have a redundant second copy of your data? Don't you need two copies of the data to be truly HA? Although a single chassis has RAID, you're still running with only one copy of the data.

  56. Raúl says:

    Thank you for your article! I'have just tried this software and i have a problem:

    I have a two-node Hyper-v cluster for testing purposes and until now i was using starwind software to create share storage in order to create CSVs for hyper-v.  The problem is that now with microsoft iscsi software target 3.3 i want to do the same thing but when i try to create a target in one of the cluster nodes, it can only be posible clustering the service, and for that i need cluster available storage and this is the thing that i'm looking for with scsi target!. So how can i install iscsi software in standalone mode, but in a member of a cluster as i did with starwind?.

  57. Chris says:

    Will this run of Vail (WHS 2)?

  58. Alan Osborne says:

    Fantastic news! Thanks to Microsoft for making this publically available and free for use!!

    One question though…

    I've got a Dell Powervault NX3000 running Windows Storage Server 2008 (64-bit) which has the MS iSCSI target v3.2.3693 running on it. Can the VHD and CBM files be ported over to a new installation of Window Server 2008 R2?

    Thanks!

  59. Alan Osborne says:

    Thanks Jane!

  60. @Raul says:

    Thank yoy Jane, I supposed that :(. It's a pity because i don't have another physical machine and instaling it in a virtual machine means that i have to point to virtual disk, so performance will be quite degraded..

  61. Berserker says:

    @Jose, did you see this? Just saw this note and was stunned to say the least.

    "When used with Microsoft iSCSI Software Target, MPIO is not supported for iSCSI initiators when the initiators are members of a failover cluster."

    Earlier you stated:

    "Here’s how you protect agains failure at each level:

    Hyper-V servers –> Windows server failover cluster will failover VMs if a server fails

    iSCSI network between Hyper-V servers and iSCSI Targets –> Multiple network paths combined with MPIO running on Hyper-V servers"

    Which I thought would be fine as well. Apparently though, MPIO is not supported when using MS iSCSI initiators from failover cluster hosts *AND* using a storage solution that uses an MS iSCSI Target.

    From here:
    technet.microsoft.com/…/gg214141(WS.10).aspx

  62. Umesh says:

    its great news!

    is it possible to install iSCSI Software Target 3.3 on a windows server 2008 R2 that is also a hyper-v host?

    I tried doing that and tried to confugre it however, iscsi initiator is not able to discover the targets.

  63. Jane says:

    @Umesh

    Is your initiator the Hyper-V host? or VMs?

  64. Lyle Epstein says:

    Jose- This is some of the best news I have heard all month. This should be great for our Small Business customers where a SAN was out of reach in pricing before.

  65. jack says:

    I have problem when i use iscsi initiator on windows server 2008.

    I add 256 iscsi targets to the initiator of the server.Then ,I see all the targets in iscsi initiator properties GUI,with the initial status inactive,so I connect them one by one,

    but I can only connected 63 targets,when I connect the 64th target,error occurs,with tip like:The target resources is not enough for the given request.

    Is there anyone konw what is it about?

  66. Berserker says:

    Looks like the issue with v3.3 of the MS iSCSI target software not supporting initiators from failover clusters was an error in the documentation. It is supported in that scenario on v3.3. See here for more details: http://www.aidanfinn.com

  67. W.Wrodarczyk says:

    Hello, I’m user of Server 2008 R2 Foundation SP1. During instalation od MS iSCSI Software Target I have got information: “Installation is not supported on this operating system” and installation was stopped. Could you explain this situation?