Data Backup and Recovery Discussions

iSCSI Boot on FAS3070?

I'm looking for info about how to do diskless Windows boot from a FAS3070 with GbE iSCSI. Would appreciate any tips and pointers. Thanks,   -Wei

16 REPLIES 16

Re: iSCSI Boot on FAS3070?

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.

Cheers,

O.

Re: iSCSI Boot on FAS3070?

Hi Wei,

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.

Regards,

Radek

Re: iSCSI Boot on FAS3070?

Hi O,

Thank you for the tips. I don't have an iSCSI HBA. I have a NIC (Broadcom) which is boot ROM enabled. Do you have step by step guide that I can follow?

Regards,

Wei

Re: iSCSI Boot on FAS3070?

Hi Radek,

Thanks for sharing your experiences. I'm doing this as a lab test, not real world deployment. I'm trying to see if the diskless iSCSI boot is doable. If so, how?

Regards,

Wei

Re: iSCSI Boot on FAS3070?

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.:

http://communities.vmware.com/thread/112099

(iSCSI HBAs involved though)

Cheers,

Radek

Re: iSCSI Boot on FAS3070?

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.

Ceerio,

O.

Re: iSCSI Boot on FAS3070?

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.

Re: iSCSI Boot on FAS3070?

Ha,  server vendor is counting on me to get it to work. Thanks,  -Wei

Re: iSCSI Boot on FAS3070?

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

http://i.dell.com/sites/content/business/solutions/whitepapers/en/Documents/Instructions_to_Perform_Boot_from_iSCSI_for_Dell_Storage_Arrays.pdf

http://manuals.ts.fujitsu.com/file/3522/iscsi-boot-bcm-en.pdf

---

With best regards

Andrey Borzenkov

Senior system engineer

Service operations

Re: iSCSI Boot on FAS3070?

If you want a software only solution, take a look at gPXE pages:

http://www.etherboot.org/wiki/sanboot

Works pretty well when you figured out how to make it work... Not a very "user friendly" system, but still, very effectIve.

And when you HAVE IT WORKING it, you have learnt a lot of things !

HTH

Re: iSCSI Boot on FAS3070?

Hi,

I am somewhat skeptical about the content of that page.

E.g. this:

http://www.etherboot.org/wiki/sanboot/win2k8_physical

to my eyes looks like assuming that simly transferring a boot image to an iSCSI target does the trick of iSCSI boot (last step says "iSCSI support is built in to Server 2008. If you are booting from iSCSI, you can immediately transfer the Windows Server 2008 disk image to your iSCSI target.")

Or am I missing something?

Or do they simply use gPXE (running, say, off USB stick) as a boot loader, which in turn loads the actual OS?

Regards,
Radek

Re: iSCSI Boot on FAS3070?

It's a 2 stages boot phase (like always).

1/

gPXE acts like a BIOS extension: it provides int13h redirection to iSCSI target.

It makes the OS able to load "enough" (kernel, boot drivers...).

2/

Then, you need the "disk drive driver" to continue booting. In this case, you need the iSCSI "initiator".

There are several free iSCSI initiators for Windows. microsoft has one which is in Win2008 server by default. For other OSes I think you need to install it.

There is also StarPort iSCSI initiator: http://www.rocketdivision.com/download_starport.html

When the initiator (the "disk drive driver") initalizes, it provides "disk access" (a disk drive is seen by the OS, said disk drive being a remote iSCSI target) for the OS to continue booting (the OS does not uses int13h anymore then and gPXE can theoretically be unloaded)

Note that gPXE can be loaded from various kinds of storage, including PXE boot program, floppy boot (or floppy emulation), Boot-ROM...

I have read that some versions of Linux KVM (Kernel Virtual Machine) use gPXE as their "PXE ROM".

In order to boot WIndows from iSCSI, I think you have some other explanations here:

http://www.etherboot.org/wiki/sanboot/winnt_iscsi

http://erwan.l.free.fr/iscsi/body.html

http://www.starwindsoftware.com/forums/starwind-f5/iscsi-boot-sucess-with-gpxe-t1240.html

http://www.ccboot.com/download.htm

Booting Linux off iSCSI using software only is also possible...

HTH

Re: iSCSI Boot on FAS3070?

Just a quick update; I've successfully performed iSCSI boot of an IBM x3850 X5 server from a NetApp FAS3070. The OS is Windows 2008 R2, so the iSCSI initiator comes with it. The NIC is onboard Broadcom. The server was boot ROM enabled but I didn't need to use gPXE.

Thanks to the tips and discussions on this thread. Especially to Olaf, Andrey, Mrlevivigatt.

Regards,

Wei

Re: iSCSI Boot on FAS3070?

Iwei,

you did this without an HBA and just the Broadcom NIC card?


Tom

Re: iSCSI Boot on FAS3070?

Tom,

The answer is yes! One of the major reasons we tried that was to do it HBAless; that way, we can save slots inside the server for other purposes.

Regards,

Wei

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