Make Windows 10 think an iSCSI Disk is a standard hard drive

Patrick

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I am working on doing some Intel Optane Memory drive caching. It works fine with standard hard drives. That was interesting but more interesting (to me) is caching network volumes. Imagine if you were stuck with 1GbE networking and could add a $40 device to PCs and get fast access to frequently used data sets off of network storage.

The iSCSI volume is online, I can give it a drive letter, but the Intel Optane Memory application can tell that it is not a standard hard disk. Therefore, it will not allow me to select it as a cache drive.upload_2018-6-18_10-36-9.png


Using Get-PhysicalDisk in PowerShell and the FreeNAS iSCSI "disk" and the WD 1TB Black hard drive look similar
upload_2018-6-18_10-35-0.png

Any Windows Gurus with ideas here?
 

Myth

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Feb 27, 2018
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I think there is a cmd line interface cmd that will change a adaptec raid array drive to a standard HDD is storage pools.

Oh I see, yeah they look exactly the same.
 

chilipepperz

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I know you can Set-PhysicalDisk -MediaType HDD but that's what you're seeing already.

I want to see results!
 

marcoi

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I dont know if you can do it on a physical windows OS. but if you are running the OS as a virtual machine, you could add the ISCSI volume to the host then pass it in as a drive to Windows VM then use Optane (also passthrough) to speed it up.
 

Patrick

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@marcoi I tried that. The Optane Memory software does not like that scenario, which makes sense.
 

marcoi

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@marcoi I tried that. The Optane Memory software does not like that scenario, which makes sense.
Can you explain what happens?

You might need to trick the OS from knowing it is a virtual machine. I had to do this when trying to run power dvd software in a VM. I was able to do it under ESXI host running windows OS with pass through BD drive.
(I ran a htpc as a VM if you wondering why i know this. )
 

Patrick

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It is looking for bare metal hardware.

Also, it is 10x less useful if it works only in a VM. If it is VM only, you can cache at a tier below it. I was looking more as a network cache for clients that are on 1GbE.
 

marcoi

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It is looking for bare metal hardware.

Also, it is 10x less useful if it works only in a VM. If it is VM only, you can cache at a tier below it. I was looking more as a network cache for clients that are on 1GbE.
Another idea would be to setup optane on the local hdd, then do folder caching.
How to try it:
1. Possible setup a new drive or partition on current drive. (assuming Optane can speed up a partition?)
2. Setup a share folder and enable offline caching on the new drive/partition.
How to Set Caching Options For a Shared Drive/Folder by Using Windows Interface

Not sure if it will work or not but worth an experiment.
 

Patrick

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Another idea would be to setup optane on the local hdd, then do folder caching.
How to try it:
1. Possible setup a new drive or partition on current drive. (assuming Optane can speed up a partition?)
2. Setup a share folder and enable offline caching on the new drive/partition.
How to Set Caching Options For a Shared Drive/Folder by Using Windows Interface

Not sure if it will work or not but worth an experiment.
That may work. I tried a VHDX on the hard drive and on the iSCSI drive to no avail. The Optane software will not cache it. The Caching directories works, but it does not necessarily help if you have a big data store and have a few hot items (e.g. you have a big shared RAW storage directory and only use some files.)

I really want to find a setting to get this to work natively.
 

ecosse

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Jul 2, 2013
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If you go down the folder route you could try using SUBST to create a drive letter. SUBST is treated as a local drive by windows still. Surprised if that works though!! I've seen other people use symbolic links - they are treated as local by the OS I believe.

Other option could be to look at something like drivepool or even cloud drive to normalise the drive - but not sure if you can have a pool of one or in the case of the cloud drive if you can re-direct to another local drive or the target has to be a cloud drive) Doubt either will work and terribly clunky!
 

psannz

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Jun 15, 2016
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Have you tried connecting the iSCSI target via the NIC itself?
That way, it'd be visible to EFI/BIOS.

Still kindof doubt this will be the solution, but the other ways I can come up with were pretty much tried already
 

Patrick

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Gigabyte H370 is being used for the test bed but not a review of the board. Focusing on Optane Memory M10 64GB and the software
 

Sapphiron

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Mar 2, 2018
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Maybe give AMD StoreMI a try? Maybe it's less restrictive than Intel for iSCSI. I have seen people use Optane modules with StoreMI. You can even add a RAM cache in the mix as well.
 
Last edited:

DavidRa

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@psannz has the right idea. Connect it up to an iSCSI-capable NIC at the hardware level rather than using the Windows iSCSI initiator. I still don't think it will work - I expect the Optane software has been written to cache only SATA-connected devices - but it's more likely to work there than via the software stack.

As for why Intel would do that? Product segmentation and profit motives.

Your other option is a Storage Spaces configuration.
 
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