QNAP recently updated the TurboNAS firmware that they us to version 3.5. I told you about that here. One of the interesting features is setting up a ISCSI target to use with virtual machines. Read on for details!
This is the first in a series of articles about the Turbo NAS v3.5 firmware. QNAP was good enough to lend me two units to review and I used a TS-459 Pro+ for this post. Stay tuned for more on the Turbo NAS over the next week or so.
Here is how QNAP describes ISCSI:
What is iSCSI and how can one benefits from it?
iSCSI, (Internet Small Computer System Interface), an Internet Protocol (IP)-based storage networking standard for linking data storage facilities. By carrying SCSI commands over IP networks, iSCSI is used to facilitate data transfers over intranets and to manage storage over long distances. iSCSI can be used to transmit data over local area networks (LANs), wide area networks (WANs), or the Internet and can enable location-independent data storage and retrieval. (quoted from Wikipedia)
An all-in-one storage solution with high ability of expansion and low establishment cost is alway seeked by most SMB storage infrastructure planners who have budget concerns and overall ease of delpoyment. With the iSCSI service on QNAP Turbo NAS it can instantly be served as your storage expansion or backup destination of the application servers, such as database server, mail server, or Time Machine (for Mac OS X 10.5 or later) in the business environment. This article demonstrates how you can use the iSCSI target service on QNAP NAS for storage expansion on different operating systems. See below for the usage scenario.
This means that you can establish a storage array in a cabinet separate from the main computer and connect to it using ethernet cabling. That really comes in handy when setting up virtualized solutions as you can set up storage separate from the server and communicate with the storage solution over regular ethernet rather than the expensive cabling that used to be required.
Setting this up is pretty easy.
Log in and you get this screen.
Click on Disk Management.
Click on ISCSI Target. Enable the ISCSI target service and note the port used (3260 here).