Windows Home Server Vail Expands Storage Possibilities

With Windows Home Server v1 being based on Windows Server 2003 Small Business Server you were limited to the features of Server 2003. This means no support for iSCSI in the case of my point today.

With Windows Home Server v2 (Vail) being based on Windows Server 2008 R2 Standard Edition, this opens the plethora of supported storage types to those supported in Server 2008 R2.

Server 2008 and Server 2008 R2 both have native support for iSCSI using the Microsoft iSCSI Initiator application from Control Panel. This is great news because it means that users will no longer be limited to USB or eSATA devices but can look to expand their storage out onto the IP space and look into opportunities for backup solutions for WHS using iSCSI.

Mark Vayman from the Windows Home and Small Business Server team posted on the Microsoft Forums confirming support for iSCSI along with a whole host of other features. My personal favourite besides iSCSI is the ability to now name the drives 🙂

Windows Server Becomes iSCSI

iSCSI is kind of the holy grail is storage these days.

Everyone wants it, a lot of people can’t afford it and then there’s also a lot of people who want it, can afford it but don’t understand it, and then lastly there’s cool people who give you it for nothing.

So whilst aboard the USS Richard Green on it’s travels across the Internet, I discovered this site:

Their current software, StarWind Free 4.1 for Windows allows you to take any box running Windows and turn it into an iSCSI Software Target and for free.

It’s not without it’s limitations I may add. You are limited to 2TB of data storage, but that’s it.

Whilst you may not want to run this in a live environment, for lab and testing environments it’s great because it means you don’t need to go out and buy dedicated hardware for running iSCSI.