2010-06-04 05:13 AM
The IMT (Interoperability Matrix Tool) on http://now.netapp.com/matrix lists some iSCSI HBA's that are officially supported.
The HBA needs to have a bootable BIOS extension.
For Management you may still need to install the Microsoft iSCSI Service from the s/w Initiator package.
Note that, when using Snapdrive you can't take Snapshots of the boot disk, and
you absolutely need to put in the IP Address of the Filer that is reachable from
a normal network interface, since you can't use the iSCSI HBA for normal network traffic,
since to the system it looks like a SCSI adapter (afaik).
There are also MB chipsets that can use the iSCSI Boot Initiator from Microsoft.
If you already have an Bootable iSCSI HBA, you need to go into the BIOS to setup the Filer's
IP Address as a target. Make sure you have a windows or windows_gpt style LUN mapped to 0
to an igroup with the iSCSI HBA's initiator iqn and you can install the operating system
from a CD/DVD, after a reboot.
2010-06-04 06:22 AM
In all opportunities I was involved so far a couple of internal drives for boot image proved to be simpler & actually cheaper solution than a couple of boot-from-SAN-enabled iSCSI HBAs.
2010-06-04 08:46 AM
Honestly? I've never seen it working. Not because it refused to work, but simply no one around me was keen enough to actually test / implement this
Having said that, you may google it & actually it turns out some people made it working, e.g.:
(iSCSI HBAs involved though)
2010-06-04 09:08 AM
For the broadcom stuff you'll need the Microsoft iSCSI Boot Initiator Software (2.0.8).
Not sure how that works for Windows 2008, though, since iSCSI is built-in.
Check out the installation instructions for that boot initiator.
Setting up the Boot LUN may be the toughest bit
Like prepping it from a different machine through the software initiator.
2010-06-05 04:32 AM
Your server vendor would be in the best position to provide information about iSCSI boot. This depends on BIOS support, versions of Broadcom firmware, supported drivers etc.
It is definitely working. Where it becomes interesting, when you need move the whole server to different system. There are solutions that offer automatic failover in case of server failure (including making proper LUN masking adjustments etc). The nice thing is, no changes are required in operating system or application, no cluster software.
Windows 2003 cannot be installed directly on iSCSI initiator; you need to install it on local disk, copy onto iSCSI LUN and make adjustments so that system boots. Some vendor installation tools automate it. Windows 2008 can be installed directly on iSCSI LUN; again it is best to ask server vendor about required driver versions, BIOS support etc.
2010-06-05 10:07 PM
Here is a couple of links that describe how to configure NIC part; Dell even describes manual steps needed to convert disk-based w2k3 install to iSCSI-based one. HTH
With best regards
Senior system engineer