Friday, April 2, 2010

Failover Clustering with StarWind iSCSI

Recently, I attended a well-known iSCSI SAN vendor seminar. The product is good and it provides all kind of storage virtualization (except deduplication), including replication, thin provisioning etc. The main selling point is the frameless architecture that is scalable and you can manage the whole lots of their SAN boxes as one virtual instance. The main drawback is pricing and it can't inter-operate with other storage solutions. Hence, there is a potential vendor lock-in.

I recalled some MVP speaker in Las Vegas introduced a software iSCSI target called "StarWind iSCSI". I decided to give it a try and set it up at my home network. The setup looks like this:

To prevent single box failure, I mirrored 2 virtual volumes across both StarWind servers (which are now iSCSI SAN boxes. Joining them to domain would make administration even easier). Creating the virtual HA volumes and exporting them as iSCSI targets is easy with StarWind with this step-by-step guide from the vendor.

Next, I setup 2-node failover cluster and both nodes are able to connect to the iSCSI targets with MPIO. I added file service to the cluster with a large musical video file that I captured in Las Vegas. I mapped a drive from the client PC on the public net and start playing it. During the play, I purposely shut down StarWind1 server (which is the source target). The video paused a few seconds before the partner (StarWind2) took over. I'm impressed.

No comments:

Post a Comment