Getting Started with iSCSI for Windows


If you are here, you probably want to know what iSCSI is and how to use it and the benefits. Good thing is, that you’ve come to the right place.

In the iSCSI series we will publish this week we will discuss the benefits and usage of iSCSI as well as how to set it up on your computer.

iSCSI Basics

Don’t worry, you don’t need to buy any special hardware! You will only need two things, an iSCSI Target (something that will be able to share your device) and an iSCSI Initiator (something that will connect to iSCSI Target).

Istorage diagramiSCSI (“eye-scuzzy”) – translates to Internet Small Computer System Interface is a technology that allows you to connect to different devices (such as hard drives, printers, scanners etc.) via Ethernet network.

What does this mean? It means that you can share a partition or optical drive through the Internet! You are probably thinking ‘This isn’t news, I’ve been able to do that for ages’. Not exactly.

The main difference is that when you share a hard disk as an iSCSI Target and then connect to it using iSCSI Initiator, the hard disk will appear as an actual local hard drive on the client. This means you can format, partition, label that drive as you wish, just like you would on a physical drive.

Same concept applies for other devices like printers, scanners, tape drives, optical drives, etc.

Getting Started

Now that you have a basic understanding of iSCSI, let’s discuss the software options necessary to set up iSCSI software.

In order to configure iSCSI targets on your computer you will need to download and install iStorage Server. iStorage Server will allow you to setup the iSCSI target that will be accessed with the iSCSI Initiatior included in Windows 7.

There is a free 20-day trial version that has available all features, but most importantly there is also a free version of iStorage Server.

If you don’t use Windows 7 you can download Initiator from Microsoft to set up the iSCSI initiatior on your Windows PC.

The next set of articles that will publish this week will show you how to configure iSCSI and initiate connections from your Windows PC.

These guides should provide you with all the instructions you will need to begin working with iSCSI initiators and targets.

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