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Over the past few months we have made a big deal about the storage features of Windows Server 2012, including how the built-in iSCSI Software Target allows you to build a low-cost software-SAN (storage area network) for small environments, and how that lets you create a Hyper-V Failover Cluster without the expense of an actual SAN appliance. We have also made a huge deal about building a Private Cloud with System Center 2012. What we did not mention is how to add your Software SAN as a Storage Device in System Center Virtual Machine Manager (VMM), a crucial component to putting it all together.
System Center VMM allows for three types of storage appliances:
It is the second of these that we are going to focus on. In order to complete this setup you will need the following:
You can download the evaluation software by clicking on the links above.
Step 1: Configure an iSCSI Software Target
Step 2: Install System Center VMM
Step 3: Prepare your iSCSI Target
Step 4: Register the SMI-S Provider
Step 5: Add Storage in VMM
At this point you are ready to add the iSCSI Target as a Storage Device in System Center VMM.
Microsoft is making it easier for you to build out its tools in a sustainable lab environment, as well as in smaller IT environments. However these tools are a poor substitute for the real thing; if your business needs the efficiency and stability of a proper SAN for your production environment then there are many storage providers who make great products. For smaller environments, as well as for labs and classrooms, the software solutions are a great tool to learn, build, and practice.