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I'm new to Fibre Channel so please take that into consideration. We have 3 servers. 2 servers are running Hyper-V and 3rd server was bought to act as a file/backup server for those 2 servers. All servers are running Windows 2012 STD.

Steps I've done:

  • I've connected Server A and Server B to one 2 port card on Server C.
  • I've installed on all servers feature called Windows Standards-Based Storage Management but I don't see any changes
  • I've created a StoragePool and Virtual storage drives on Server C and I would like to share it to Server A and Server B but whatever I do I can't see them on those servers.

Is there something like iSCSI Initiator but for Fibre Channel ?

share|improve this question
What are you trying to actually achieve here, it's really not clear, talk us through the protocol stack you're expecting, also give us much more detail, hardware involved etc. – Chopper3 Mar 5 '13 at 14:33
We want to share the storage from Server C to Server A and Server B. We want the drives from Server C be visible on Server A and Server B as normal drives and we expect it to act like iSCSI connection (more or less) but with greater speed. The drives from server C can do over 500MB/s write/read so 1gbit iSCSI is not enough to get that power into the servers. Hope that's more clear now. – MadBoy Mar 5 '13 at 14:50
yeah, that's not going to happen though sorry, it's just not supported. You CAN do IP-over-FC but it's a very old and unsupported spec that almost nobody, and I mean nobody, uses - it certainly won't work in this way. Also you don't mention what FC HBAs and switches you have, do you have these, if so what are they? Either way I'm pretty sure it'd be wasted hardware anyway. You need to do what you're doing via regular IP-over-Ethernet sharing, whether that's working via iSCSI or a NAS protocol such as SMB/CIFS. I think you've gone down a blind-alley with the whole FC thing here. – Chopper3 Mar 5 '13 at 14:53
We have 3 x Emulex LPe11002-E PCI-E x4 Dual Fibre Channel LC 4Gb/s. No switches. Direct connection between 3 servers. As for the blind-alley customer just buys stuff and tells me later on expecting me to fix it :-) – MadBoy Mar 5 '13 at 14:56
Mellanox makes dual port 10Gb cards that can be used to do what you are asking, but you'd probably have to use iSCSI to accomplish it. I am using HP branded cards (part # 581199-001) that have dual SFP+ ports. And using copper SFP+ cables made by proline to interconnect them. Because these are Ethernet NICs, you are limited in trying to get them to work over FC. – MikeAWood Mar 11 '13 at 22:46
up vote 5 down vote accepted

Fibre channel is generally done through a switch. That said, direct connect is supported, but usually between targets and initiators. Initiators are server HBAs, targets are disk drives (or tapes). I don't know of any software you could run in windows that would allow a server to present its HBA as a target.

What you're trying to do is definitely supported and well documented via ethernet, but according to a quick google on the subject, it doesn't support FC.

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What are my options to share the drives from C to B and A with no speed limit like iSCSI imposes (thru only 1gbit NIC). – MadBoy Mar 5 '13 at 14:51
But 10Gbps NICs, they're quite cheap these days, lots of servers come with them already - it's easier and more effective than trying to bond multiple 1Gbps NICs anyway. – Chopper3 Mar 5 '13 at 15:05
10Gbgps need 10gbs switch (unless you get 2 port NICs). – MadBoy Mar 5 '13 at 15:20
Yep, and their prices have come down a lot recently, it's the best way to get >1Gbps for ethernet traffic, there was a time when bonding multiple 1Gbps NICs made sense financially but that's gone. – Chopper3 Mar 5 '13 at 15:51

I think your best solution is, as others have suggested, to buy some 10GbE gear.

However, it is actually possible to do what you were trying to do, with a few cavaets - the first being that you don't run Windows on the FC target machine: The linux drivers for both QLogic and Emulex HBAs support FC target mode:

That of course requires you are comfortable setting up a storage server under linux. There are some linux-based NAS/SAN appliance stacks that will add a configuration layer for you, and Openfiler in particular supports FC Target mode when using QLogic HBAs. I haven't used openfiler, so I can't comment on it other than it exists.

I have, however, used target mode for both Emulex and QLogic HBAs under linux, and can verify that it works well.

None of this speaks to whether doing this is a good idea or not, although if OpenFiler are willing to charge for commercial support for the QLogic FC target mode they must be willing to stand behind it.

share|improve this answer
Thanks. I just shared directories. It's better on Windows since i have Hyper-V there as well. – MadBoy Mar 12 '13 at 7:27

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