Installing and Configuring iSCSI Target Server on Windows Server 2012 R2 – Step by Step

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iSCSI is an industry standard protocol that allows sharing block storage over the Ethernet. Unlike SAN protocols, iSCSI does not require dedicated cabling, it can be run over the existing IP infrastructure.

The Protocol allows Clients “called SCSI Initiators” to send commands to SCSI Storage device “Called SCSI Targets” allowing several hosts to access the Centralized storage at the same time.

iSCSI Target Server is now a built in feature in Windows Server 2012, and in this guide i am going to show you how to configure a Windows Server 2012 R2 to act as an iSCSI target server.

I have already prepared a Windows Server 2012 R2 virtual machine in my lab, now to begin we first need to open the Server Manager and click to manage the Local Server and choose to Add Roles and Features

1Click Next

2Click Next for Role-based or feature-based installation

3Select the local server to install roles and features..

4Select iSCSI Taget Server under  File and Storage Services .

5Click to Add the additional required features then click Next to continue.

6Nothing to add here, Click Next..

7Confirm ..

8It’s Done .. now lets move on to configure the iSCSI target.

9Open the Server Manager and go to File and Storage Services page

10Click to open the iSCSI Virtual disk wizard.


Choose the Location of your virtual disk, the wizard will create a VHDx file in this location ..

12Give a name for the Virtual Disk.

13Choose the size of your virtual disk and it’s type, i will be using this virtual disk for a later deployment of a SQL Server, that’s why i will be selecting  Fixed Size as the virtual disk type since fixed disks are best suited for applications with high disk activity as it provides a better performance.

14Assign to a new iSCSI target

15Choose a name for the Target server that will be used by the initiators.


Specify the initiators that are permitted to access this virtual disk, you can add multiple initiators to access the same disk as in a cluster case, you can use different methods to point to specify the initiator whether it’s the IQN ” iSCSI Qualified name”, the IP Address, the DNS Name or the MAC Address, the default and the recommended is using the IQN, if the initiator is also a Windows Server 2012 OS the Target can detect it’s IQN using the Computer name of the initiator.

17Type in the initiator computer name.

18Wait for the IQN to be detected ..

19Repeat the same steps for any other hosts that will connect to the virtual disk.

20you can secure the communication between the Target and initiator servers using CHAP Protocol.

21Confirm and start the Virtual Disk creation.


23Now go to your Servers that you want to connect to the Target server, open the Server Manager and go to iSCSI initiator from the tools menu.


Click Yes to start Microsoft iSCSI Service .


Type in you Target Server name an click on  Quick Connect,  as you can see the Target ID is automatically resolved “STServer”

26now the initiator is successfully connected.

27Now go to the initiator host and confirm that you can see the Storage in the Disk Management Console.


Hope that was helpful, see you in another article soon ..

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One thought on “Installing and Configuring iSCSI Target Server on Windows Server 2012 R2 – Step by Step

  1. This was SOOOO HELPFUL!! Thank you!! It’s helped me piece a lot of things together as a new SysAdmin.

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