Q

Using iSCSI for clustering

Storage expert Christopher Poelker offers insight on setting up clustered storage with iSCSI.

Does iSCSI allow two initiators to access the same disk? I've set up a test environment, with one Linux iSCSI target, sharing one disk and two windows servers running Microsoft's iSCSI initiator. Telling the initiator to read/write the same disk simply corrupts the disk. So, how do you use iSCSI for clustering?
You can use an iSCSI disk for clustered resources, and even for a quorum disk. Using an iSCSI-based quorum and resources is a good way to create a geographically dispersed cluster with Microsoft Cluster Server (creating a GeoCluster is now much easier with the latest version of Microsoft Cluster Server or Veritas Cluster Server). The issue you are seeing is that you still need a lock manager, just as you would for normal Fibre Channel based SAN disks. In other words, without the cluster software, there is no cluster, and corruption may occur.

Please visit this Web site for more information on using iSCSI with Microsoft cluster technology.

This was first published in December 2005

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