Server 2016 Hyper-V Host with Linux iSCSI Target

dexvx

Member
Mar 6, 2014
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Looking to host some virtual machines to serve our local lab. Is it possible to have Windows Server 2016 host (running mostly Linux/some Windows VM's) with a storage backend of Ubuntu LTS with mdadm/vroc parity raid using iSCSI targets?

I've found administering KVM to be a PITA (Windows Server seems much easier and GUI more reliable). But OTOH, I've had performance issues with Storage Spaces. Thus for storage, mdadm seems to be the way to go.

Anyone run this setup, or is it just crazy?
 

Celoxocis

New Member
Mar 28, 2017
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Why should it be a crazy idea?
It can be done. As far as i understood you want your disk drives in an mdadm raid on a Ubuntu LTS as storage server.
Simply set it up as iSCSI target, setup the LUN's and add whitelistings (if any, its for a lab).
Install the role iSCSI initiator on the Windows Server 2016 and connect to your Ubuntu Served Iscisi targets.
 

dexvx

Member
Mar 6, 2014
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Maybe I am mistaken, but I just do not see many cross-platform designs. For instance, Hyper-V is usually on a Windows iSCSI target (barring some really heavy duty deployments). VM-Ware has their ESX/vSAN stack. And KVM is an all Linux environment.

I'll give this a try. Thanks!
 

Evan

Well-Known Member
Jan 6, 2016
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Maybe not so many direct cross platform but plenty of windows shops use disk arrays from vendors and they mostly run on Linux so not really too unusual.
 

TedB

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Dec 2, 2016
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You have to be aware that when you choose to directly attach hardware disk or iscsi to Hyper-V VM you are limiting VM's functionality. Hyper-V VM's are designed to have full functionality when used with vhdx files as disks. From top of my head things which will not work when you have a directly attached disk or iscsi are: replication, checkpoints and live migration, probably image taking as well. However if you don't need any of this functionality and then it should work without problems.

Remember that MS Windows Server supports iSCSI only over Ethernet, if you want to get lower latency and throughput using RDMA then AFAIK there is no way for MS Windows Server to support iSER or SRP :(

MS Windows Server heavily pushes SMB3 and SMB Direct (RDMA support for SMB) however in open-source world I have not found any good implementations of SMB3 which support all the latest bells and whistles. Storage QOS was introduced in Hyper-V 2016 as MS-SQOS protocol within SMB which allows for vmms (hyper-v) io rate limiter to communicate with storage policier and storage cluster, however I don't know anything in the market except of MS Scale-Out File Server (SOFS) which is able to support it :(