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ZyXEL NAS326 + iSCSI + Windows Server 2012

I need to add some storage to the server I use for development purposes. I don’t want to consume anything that is considered to be a part of the enterprise resource pool. Since this is only for temporary, I’ve decided to use ZyXEL NAS326 in order to attach 100GB of storage using iSCSI protocol and fast GB Ethernet connection.

iscsi schema

In order to use ZyXEL as iSCSI target I need to create so-called LUN, which stands for Logical Unit or Logical Unit Number. I need to go the Memory management panel and then unfold options related to iSCSI (there are two of them: iSCSI LUNs and iSCSI Targets). LUN is nothing more than a logically separated storage based on physical resources – in the following example I created a LUN of 100G based on my two physical WD disks combined in RAID 1.

 

lun

Now, I have to create a target, in other words I’m about to tell someone that my LUN is ‘for rent/sale/whatever’. I go to the iSCSI Targets tab and create a new target.

target

target details

In other words, I could say that I assigned an ID to my LUN and exposed it to the local network. However, I’m not gonna let any iSCSI initiator already running in the local network communicate with my new target. That’s why I decided to use password and CHAP authentication used by the initiator of allowed IQN – my Windows Server 2012 R2. This server is also identified by IQN in the context of iSCSI communication.


Now it’s time to switch to my server and configure iSCSI Initiator via this window (you'll find it in Administration Tools in Control Panel):

initiator window

I enter the IP address of ZyXEL and after clicking Quick Connect… my Target should show up in the Discovered targets pane. Then I can use connect option to go with CHAP authentication by clicking Advanced in the following window:

initiator chap

Where can I find the IQN of the server?

initiator iqn

And now, the most interesting question – how to add the storage I’ve just created on ZyXEL? I go to the Disk Management, and I see a raw device attached to the server, which I’m about to bring online, initialize, create a volume and format. That’s all – remote resource is now attached to the local system as a local disk (Windows does not consider the new volume as a shared resource or anything like that – it’s local to the system).

iscsi disk

iscsi nfs