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Using FreeNAS as a NetWare iSCSI Target. AKA: Cheap Mass Storage



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February 1, 2008 10:13 am

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Using FreeNAS as an iSCSI target for NetWare provides several benefits:

  • FreeNAS is free (and BSD)
  • Works on almost all standard hardware
  • Works on older hardware (low system/RAM requirement)
  • FreeNAS provides a (fairly) reliable software RAID
  • FreeNAS can be loaded/run from USB drives/CDROM.
  • A number of other services (CIFS/SMB, FTP, RSYNC) can be run on the same machine
  1. Get the latest version of FreeNAS

    http://www.freenas.org/
    (As of this writing “.686 Stable” is the latest version and is the version used in this document.
  2. Install FreeNAS as per:
    https://developer.novell.com/wiki/index.php/HOWTO:_Install_FreeNAS

    *TIP: if you are completely unfamiliar with FreeNAS, take some time to run through an install or two and spend some time getting to know the product a bit. It’s not hard to use, however, a little familiarly will go a long way.

    My system:

    • Ip — 10.1.1.14/16
    • 2 mirrored (software RAID1) 350Gig IDE drives.
    • Standard Desktop PC hardware (HP d330).
    • 256 Megs RAM.
  3. Temporarily “enable” CIFS/SMB, name and set up a share. I have named my share “DATA” for use in this document. Specific directions on how to setup a share are located in the FreeNAS documentation/wiki: http://www.freenas.org/index.php?option=com_openwiki&Itemid=30
  4. Using the OS of your choice, browse to your FreeNAS server share (in my case that is \\10.1.1.14\DATA) and create a file. I called my file ISCSI and put it in the root of the share that I had named DATA. I did not put and extension on the file.
  5. To set up FreeNAS as an iSCSI target, log into the FreeNAS web interface and select “iSCSI Target” from under the “Services” menu
  6. “Enable” the iSCSI service by checking the “Enable” box in the upper right.
  7. Click on the “+” under the Extent heading to make a new extent.
    Leave the default name as Extent0.
    Click on the browse button and navigate to the file you created earlier (I named mine ISCSI) select OK and give the file a size. This size can be up to the maximum size of the available hard drive space on the FreeNAS server.

    Select OK then “Save” when you are done.
    Return to the main iSCSI Target screen.

  8. Click on the “+” under the Device heading to create a new device.
    Leave the default device name as Device0.
    Select the Type (in my case, I selected RAID1 mirroring)
    Check the Storage selection “extent0”
    Select “Save” when you are done.
    Return to the main iSCSI Target screen.

  9. Click on the “+” under the Target heading to create a new Target.
    Leave the default Device name as “target0”
    Set the flags (either ReadWrite or ReadOnly)
    Under the Storage heading, select the previously defined “Extent0”(DO NOT check the “device0” box)
    Set you network address and subnet (10.1.0.0 /16 in my case)
    Select “Save” when you are done.
    Return to the main iSCSI Target screen

  10. If everything is set correctly you should be able to “Save and Restart” from the main iSCSI screen without ant errors. (see the log files under the “Diagnostics” menu if you get errors)
  11. That should be all on the FreeNAS box.
    Change the default web access password, and disable CIFS/SMB (under the “services” link), you shouldn’t need CIFS/SMB access any longer.
  12. From your NetWare server console load “ion” (iSCSI On). You should see a couple NLM’s load. (Assuming you have the iSCSI software installed on your server)
  13. Type “iscsi list” to be sure that your server can be used as an iSCSI initiator. You should see your server name after the “InitiatorName”.
  14. Use a web browser to access Remote Manager (usually https:\\ServerIP:8009), login and browse to the “Storage Services” and select the iSCSI services.
  15. Select “Browse” and enter the IP of your FreeNAS box leaving the port at 3260.
  16. Select “Next”
  17. Select “Add” to add the iSCSI target.
  18. When you are done with adding the target you should see in on the main iSCSI Services screen.
  19. Browse to the “Partition disks “link and use the normal procedures to partition and mount the iSCSI HAM drive.

    More detail can be found in the iSCSI User Reference guide at http://graphics.adaptec.com/pdfs/iscsi_user_reference_guide.pdf
    Pages 36-40.

  20. Once the device is partitioned and volumes created, the volumes are treated as normal NetWare volumes and will have all of the benefits associated with Novell volumes.

    Using FreeNAS as an iSCSI target for NetWare provides several benefits:

    • FreeNAS is free
    • Works on almost all standard hardware
    • Works on older hardware (low system/RAM requirement)
    • FreeNAS provides a (fairly) reliable software RAID
    • FreeNAS can be loaded/run from USB drives/CDROM.
    • A number of other services (CIFS/SMB, FTP, RSYNC) can be run on the same machine

Additional info:

From Alex Hargrove

  • Also, once you have the iSCSI connection established, you can run “SCAN FOR NEW DEVICES” to get the new storage to show up and ready to carve. Don’t forget to put “ion.ncf” in the autoexec.ncf, and also the command to mount the volume:
    #load iSCSI support
    ion.ncf
    
    #delay the mount by 10 seconds or so to give all the iSCSI NLMs time to load
    delay 10
    
    #mount the iSCSI volume
    mount vol_name_here
    
    
  • It’s best to have a dedicated network for iSCSI, but at the very least you’ll want to VLAN it and make sure the [gigabit] switch and [gigabit] NICs have Jumbo Frame support. Tx and Rx Flow Control is helpful too if at all possible. See:

    http://preview.tinyurl.com/ynu6nx
  • Finally, you can test your iSCSI performance with “tsatest” from Novell:

    http://preview.tinyurl.com/2ohe5l

-Scott Owen

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Disclaimer: This content is not supported by Novell. It was contributed by a community member and is published "as is." It seems to have worked for at least one person, and might work for you. But please be sure to test it thoroughly before using it in a production environment.

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