You can configure failover clustering to provide high availability for iSCSI storage provided by Windows Storage Server 2008. Configuring failover clustering by using Windows Storage Server 2008 is slightly different from failover clustering in Windows Server 2008, namely in the requirements to support the Microsoft iSCSI Software Target.

Membership in the local Administrators group, or equivalent, is the minimum required to complete this procedure. Review the details in "Additional considerations" in this topic.

Configuring Failover Clustering for the Microsoft iSCSI Software Target

Before you can configure the Microsoft iSCSI Software Target in a failover cluster, verify that you have the following configuration:

  • The Microsoft iSCSI Software Target 3.2 is installed on each Windows Storage Server 2008 storage appliance that will become a node in the failover cluster.

  • There are no iSCSI targets on the Windows Storage Server 2008 storage appliances before the failover cluster is created.

  • Each storage appliance that will participate in the failover cluster passes all cluster validation tests in the Failover Cluster Management console.

  • The Failover Cluster feature is installed on each storage appliance and is configured to use a shared storage backend (such as iSCSI, fiber channel, or SAS interconnect).

  • There is at least one cluster disk listed in Available Storage in the Failover Cluster Management console.

  • The network adapters are configured to support separate subnets for cluster heartbeat, storage, and client access.

The following table contains a sample configuration of the network adapters that might be used. The example information is based on a storage appliance with four network interfaces.

Network Subnet IP address Allow clients to connect through this network Register connection in DNS






N2-Cluster heartbeat















By default, only the network interfaces that are configured with a default gateway address are automatically set to permit clients to connect. The network properties for a failover cluster can be set through the Failover Cluster Management console. Because the subnets used for the cluster heartbeat and the iSCSI storage are statically assigned and typically do not have domain controllers, DNS, or DHCP, those interfaces should be assigned static IP addresses. To ensure prompt performance when transferring resources between node of a failover cluster, the Register this connection in DNS setting in the Advanced Properties of the interface’s IPv4 settings should be unchecked. For more information, see Configuring a Cluster Network for Performance.

To create a resource group
  1. Open Failover Cluster Management. Click Start, point to Administrative Tools, and then click Failover Cluster Management.

  2. Expand the node for the cluster where you are creating the resource group. Right click Services and Applications and then click Configure a Service or Application. Click Next.

  3. Under Select the service or application that you want to configure for high availability, click Other Server. Click Next.

  4. In Name, type the name clients will use to connect to this application. Resource group names must be unique on the failover cluster.

    For the statically assigned IP addresses in your cluster, you are prompted to define the address. Under Address, click the text box and enter the static address to use. If the network interface will not be used by clients to access the clustered application, remove the check mark beside the network. Click Next.

    If you have previously created an iSCSI resource group and subsequently deleted it and are now unable to recreate it because of a name conflict, remove the name entry for the resource group in your designated DNS server.
  5. On the Select Storage page, select the disks to be assigned to this resource group. You can add additional disks at any time after the wizard is complete. Click Next.

  6. On the Select Resource Types page, do not select either option. The Microsoft iSCSI Software Target 3.2 will automatically remove these resource types when created from this page. You should always use the Microsoft iSCSI Software Target console to create these resources.

  7. Review the information that is presented on the Confirmation page. If everything appears correct, click Next.

  8. Review the report for the results, and then click Finish to exit the wizard.

To properly configure your network to support Microsoft iSCSI Software Target on your cluster, use the Failover Cluster Management console to delete any networks that are not required for iSCSI access. In the sample configuration given earlier, there would be a network listed in your resource group for the public subnet (192.168.1.x/24). This network address will not be used to connect to the Microsoft iSCSI Software Target resource on your failover cluster and should be removed.

Next, use the Microsoft iSCSI Software Target console to create an iSCSI target for the failover cluster. Make sure that you perform this procedure from the cluster node where the iSCSI resource group is currently active, otherwise you will be unable to modify the configuration.

To create an iSCSI target
  1. Expand Microsoft iSCSI Software Target, right-click iSCSI Targets, and then click Create iSCSI Target. Click Next.

  2. In iSCSI target name, type a name to identify the iSCSI target. This could be the cluster name. In Description, type a short description of the target.

  3. In IQN Identifier, type the IQN for the iSCSI initiator that will connect to this target. You can also use the host name or IP address by clicking Advanced and choosing the appropriate type of address. Click Next.

  4. In Resource group, select the resource group to use for this target. If there are no initiators configured yet, you can use a random placeholder IQN, such as iqn.temp. Click Next.

  5. Click Finish.

Once you have created the iSCSI target you need to create a virtual disk to provide storage.

To create a virtual disk for an iSCSI target
  1. Open the Microsoft iSCSI Software Target console. Click Start, point to Administrative Tools, and then click Microsoft iSCSI Software Target.

  2. Expand iSCSI Targets. Right click the target you created in earlier steps and then click Create Virtual Disk for iSCSI Target. Click Next.

  3. Type the path and name for the virtual disk file, including the .vhd extension, such as C:\disks\data.vhd. Click Next.

  4. Type in the size of the virtual disk in megabytes (MB). Click Next.

  5. In Virtual disk description, type a short description for the disk. Click Next.

  6. Click Finish.

Next steps

Once you have configured the Microsoft iSCSI Software Target for high availability on your failover cluster and created the target and virtual disk, you will need to connect your iSCSI initiators to the failover cluster resource.

To connect a Windows Server 2008 iSCSI initiator
  1. Open the iSCSI Initiator Properties. Click Start, Click Control Panel, and then double click iSCSI Initiator. Click Continue when prompted for User Account Control authorization. Click Yes to start the iSCSI service. Click Yes to automatically open the Windows Firewall ports for the iSCSI Service.

  2. On the Discovery tab under Target portals, click Add Portal. Enter either the DNS name or IP address of the cluster storage appliance.

  3. Click the Targets tab.

  4. Select the target to connect to, and then click Log on. If the desired target does not appear in the list, click Refresh.

  5. Select Automatically restore this connection when the computer starts. Click OK.

    If your storage appliance support Multi-Path Input/Output (MPIO) select Enable multi-path. Only use this option if MPIO software is installed on your storage appliance.
  6. Click OK to save the settings. Repeat these steps on the other cluster storage appliance.

Additional considerations

  • You must be a member of the local Administrators group to perform these tasks.

  • To open iSCSI Software Target, click Start, point to Administrative Tools, and then click Microsoft iSCSI Software Target.

  • To open Failover Cluster Management, click Start, point to Administrative Tools, and then click Failover Cluster Management.

  • Another way to open iSCSI Software Target is to click Start, click Run, and then type iscsitarget.msc.

  • After configuring the cluster environment for failover clustering, use the information in iSCSI Software Target Help to set up iSCSI targets, iSCSI virtual disks, and other components.

Additional references