Gracefully disconnecting the iSCSI initiator?

Gracefully disconnecting the iSCSI initiator?

Postby Rainshadow » Wed Aug 24, 2011 2:20 pm

We are in the process of bringing a ReadyNAS on line as an iSCSI target to a Windows Server 2003 initiator.

When restarting the ReadyNAS I am warned to disconnect the iSCSI initiator gracefully first.

When I try to log off the target session from the W2K3 initiator I get an error that the session cannot be logged out since a device on that session is currently being used.

When I go into Disk Management there is no enabled option for the disk to deactivate it or take it offline.

Is there something else I should be doing to gracefully disconnect the initiator?

When I tested doing a restart on the ReadyNAS without doing anything on the server send I couldn't see the contents of my shares anymore until I unshared and then reshared them. I wouldn't want to have to do that in the event of some klutz cutting power or unplugging the orange patch cable that says "DON'T UNPLUG!"
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Re: Gracefully disconnecting the iSCSI initiator?

Postby darwin » Thu Aug 25, 2011 7:21 am

The only "graceful" way I know of (without possible data corruption)

- remove the persistent setting on the iSCSI initiator
- Shut down host machine (W2K3) and wait for it.
- Shut down or reboot ReadyNAS
- Do what you need to do, then re-connect the iSCSI initiator to the target and re-enable persistence.
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Re: Gracefully disconnecting the iSCSI initiator?

Postby Rainshadow » Thu Aug 25, 2011 7:58 am

Sounds like the best approach in terms of maintenance is to ignore the fact that it's a network-attached device and just treat it exactly like a directly-attached SCSI drive array.
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Re: Gracefully disconnecting the iSCSI initiator?

Postby Grievous » Fri Aug 26, 2011 12:02 pm

Rainshadow wrote:Sounds like the best approach in terms of maintenance is to ignore the fact that it's a network-attached device and just treat it exactly like a directly-attached SCSI drive array.

Correct. For all intents and purposes, windows itself isn't aware that it's a network device. Disconnecting the network cable in the middle of a write would effectively be the same as disconnecting a SATA or SCSI cable on a local hard drive.

The most obvious advice, is to keep the klutz out of the server room. With windows server 2k8, MPIO is actually worth using(2k3 with regards to MPIO and even iSCSI was a bit of a hack job on microsoft's part) and you would just physically route a second network cable elsewhere, that would give your iSCSI connection some redundancy. Just keep in mind that just like disconnecting the network cable, the same problems can occur if power is suddenly lost to the switch, the NAS, etc.
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