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Eric Newbauer

How to share iSCSI storage with several computers (Hint: download iSANmp)

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Ever wanted to share the storage on your iSCSI SAN with more than one computer?

A popular misconception is that since iSCSI is an Ethernet-based protocol it must automatically allow several computers to safely access the storage, like a file server does. Seems sensible, right? Unfortunately, that's not how it works. If you have more than one computer directly accessing an unprotected iSCSI-based volume you will quickly have data corruption. This is because iSCSI is a block-level protocol, not a file-level protocol (like SMB/CIFS, NFS or AFP).

So what can you do?

If you have many computers that need to mount common iSCSI-based volumes and share files, you need to use a shared disk file system or some other software to facilitate the "sharing" process. There are many clustered/shared disk file systems available that can do the job (StorNext, GFS, Xsan, etc.) but they usually require extra hardware (like metadata servers and networks) and can come with a big learning curve. If you have Mac and Windows computers on your iSCSI network and want to share volumes, then things can become even more complicated.

Is there an easy way?

Well, yes. If you have multiple computers that all need to access the same volumes and files on an iSCSI network, then we invite you to download and try iSANmp.

iSANmp is nearly identical to SANmp — our easy to use SAN sharing software for Fibre Channel and iSCSI networks. It offers the same great features as SANmp – no extra servers, no metadata networks, works with Mac and Windows, supports NTFS and HFS+ volumes, compatible with practically any application, most arrays, etc. — but it's iSCSI-only and at about half the price it's the perfect solution for the budget minded, small to medium sized businesses, and do-it-yourselfers.

The full version of SANmp is available to try for free. Download and try SANmp now on an unlimited number of Mac and Windows computers. While you're on our site, check out our short "how to" videos on SANmp or download our globalSAN iSCSI initiator for Mac OS X. You could be sharing your iSCSI or Fibre Channel storage in less than an hour.

If you have questions about SANmp, iSANmp or any of our other products please contact us.

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