Connecting to MPIO iSCSI LUNS on Microsoft Windows

Before starting, make sure the host accessing the Block Storage volume has been authorized through the SoftLayer Portal:

  1. From the Block Storage listing page, click the Actions button associated with the newly provisioned volume, and click Authorize Host.
  2. Select the desired host(s) from the list and click Submit; this authorizes the host(s) to access the volume.

Mounting Block Storage Volumes

Following are the steps required to connect a Windows-based SoftLayer compute instance to a multipath input/output (MPIO) Internet Small Computer System Interface (iSCSI) logical unit number (LUN). The example is based on Windows Server 2012. The steps can be adjusted for other Windows versions according to the operating system (OS) vendor documentation.

High-level steps

  1. Configure the MPIO feature at the system level.
  2. Configure block storage (iSCSI) by running the iSCSI Initiator.
  3. Make sure the MPIO option is selected in the iSCSI Initiator.
  4. Add multiple sessions and paths to the block storage.
  5. Verify the provisioned input/output operations per second (IOPS).

Detailed steps

Configure the MPIO feature

  1. Launch the Server Manager and navigate to Manage, Add Roles and Features.
  2. Click Next to the Features menu.
  3. Scroll down and click the Multipath I/O checkbox.
  4. Click the Install button to install MPIO on the host server.

Add iSCSI support for MPIO

  1. Open the MPIO Properties. To open MPIO Properties, click Start, point to Administrative Tools, and then click MPIO.
  2. Click the Discover Multi-Paths tab
  3. Select the Add support for iSCSI devices check box, and then click Add. When prompted to restart the computer, click Yes.

Configure the iSCSI Initiator

  1. Launch iSCSI Initiator from the Server Manager and select Tools, iSCSI Initiator.
  2. Click the Configuration tab.
  1. The Initiator Name field may already be populated with an entry similar to iqn.1991-05.com.microsoft:.
  2. Click on the Change button to replace existing values with your iSCSI Qualified Name (IQN). The IQN name can be obtained from the Block Storage Details screen in the SoftLayer Portal.

C. Click the Discovery tab and click the Discover Portal button.

D. Input the IP address of your iSCSI target and leave Port at the default value of 3260.

  1. Click the Advanced button to launch the Advanced Settings window.
  2. Select Enable CHAP log on to turn on CHAP authentication.

Note: The Name and Target secret fields are case sensitive.

  1. Delete any existing entries in the Name field and input the username from the portal.
  2. Enter the password from the portal in the Target secret field.

Note: The Name and Target secret values can be obtained from the Block Storage Details screen in the portal as Username and Password respectively.

G. Click OK on the Advanced Settings and Discover Target Portal windows to get back to the main iSCSI Initiator Properties screen. If you receive authentication errors, recheck the username and password entries.

Note that the name of your target appears in the Discovered targets section with an Inactive status. The following steps show how to activate the target.

  1. Click the Connect button to connect to the target.
  2. Select the Enable multi-path checkbox to enable multi-path IO to the target.

  1. Click the Advanced button and select Enable CHAP log on.
  2. Enter the username in the Name field, and enter the password in the Target secret field.

Note: The Name and Target secret field values can be obtained from the Block Storage Details screen in the portal as User name and Password respectively

  1. Click the OK button until the iSCSI Initiator Properties window is displayed. The status of the target in the Discovered Targets section changes from Inactive to Connected.

How to configure MPIO in the iSCSI Initiator

  1. Launch the iSCSI Initiator, and on the Targets tab, click Properties.
  2. ,Click the Add Session button on the Properties window to launch the Connect To Target window.
  3. Select the Enable multi-path checkbox and click the Advanced button.

  1. In the Advanced Settings window
    1. Leave Default as the value for the Local Adapter and Initiator IP fields. For host servers with multiple interfaces into iSCSI, you’ll need to choose the appropriate value for the Initiator IP field.
    2. Select the IP of your iSCSI storage from the Target portal IP drop–down list.
    3. Click the Enable CHAP Log on checkbox
    4. Enter the Name and Target secret values obtained from the portal and click OK.
    5. Click OK on the Connect To Target window to go back to the Properties window. The Properties window should now display more than one session within the Identifier window. You now have more than one session into the iSCSI storage.

  1. In the Properties window, click the Devices button and launch the Devices window. The device interface name should have mpio at the beginning of the device name.

  1. Click the MPIO button to launch the Device Details window. This window lets you to choose load balancing policies for MPIO and also shows you the paths to the iSCSI. In this example, two paths are shown as available for MPIO with a Round Robin With Subset load balancing policy.

  1. Click OK several times to exit the iSCSI Initiator.

Unmounting Block Storage volumes

Following are the steps required to disconnect a Windows-based SoftLayer compute instance to an MPIO iSCSI LUN. The example is based on Windows Server 2012. The steps can be adjusted for other Windows versions according to the OS vendor documentation.

Launch the iSCSI Initiator.

  1. Click the Targets tab.
  2. Select the targets you wish to remove and click the Disconnect button.

Optional if you will no longer need to access the iSCSI targets:

  1. Click the Discovery tab in the iSCSI Initiator.
  2. Highlight the target portal associated with your storage volume and click the Remove button.