I am trying to set up a virtual test environment for a SQL Server 2008 R2 Cluster (2 nodes) running on Hyper-V. The cluster requires a shared storage to function properly, however in this test environment I do not have to required hardware (ISCI, FC, etc.) for this.

Is there a way to create some kind of "fake" virtual shared storage that can be used in the cluster? Thanks for your hints.


Starwind IP SAN can do this but it won't be free if you want the storage visible to both cluster nodes in a HA configuration.

  • Thanks, I'm using the free edition and it works smoothly. – driAn Apr 16 '12 at 10:06

I use the Microsoft iSCSI target for this -


My setup is that I have a domain controller in my "lab" network - this is where the iscsi target is installed. From memory, you need to create a VHD, which you can then expose through iSCSI. I then configure the cluster nodes to point to this.

I use three different virtual networks, one for "domain" traffic (which includes the cluster IP), one for the cluster heartbeat, and one for the "SAN" traffic. I realise the second of these isn't really required any more, but old habits die hard...


Since you are virtualizing already, you might consider installing a virtual appliance providing iSCSI storage within your Hyper-V host. Hyper-V has very limited support for non-MS operating systems, but you should be able to install, configure and expose storage on the Linux-based storage appliance flavors like Openfiler with the Advanced iSCSI plugin (needed for Cluster Shared Storage support) or Open-E DSS which is downloadable as a trial.

Generally, I would recommend against such a setup in a production environment. But for a testing setup, it should work out fine.

  • As far as I know, Openfiler does not support the required ISCSI features necessary for sql clustering. – driAn Apr 16 '12 at 10:05
  • @driAn You are right, persistent reservation support needed for shared storage use is available with the advanced iSCSI plugin only which is an additional purchase. The "Lite" Version of the Open-E DSS does not support them as well, but the full version (available as a trial) does. – the-wabbit Apr 16 '12 at 10:19

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