One common refrain we hear from you is that you appreciate the fact we’re driving down the costs of virtualization and adding more and more capabilities in the box such as Live Migration (LM) and High Availability (HA). We’re happy to do it and we’re just getting started. :) To use both LM and HA, these require shared storage. This shared storage can be in the forms of SAS, iSCSI or Fiber Channel SAN. For many environments this isn't an issue, but there are some specific scenarios where customers need LM and HA and the cost of a dedicated SAN is a blocker. For example,

  • A branch office environment. It's one thing to setup a dedicated SAN in a datacenter, but what happens when you have 100/500/5000 branch offices? That's a huge multiplier to provide SANs in every one of those branch offices...
  • A small business. Small businesses are especially cost conscious and still want to deploy Hyper-V clustered for the benefits of LM and HA...
  • A test/dev staging environment. Perhaps you want to test your application with LM & HA, but don't have the budget to pay for a SAN.

Wouldn't it be great to have another option? We think so too. Today, as a big THANK YOU to our Windows Server 2008 R2 customers we are taking another step in lowering the barriers and making it even easier to take advantage of Windows Server 2008 R2 Hyper-V High Availability and Live Migration.

The Microsoft iSCSI Software Target 3.3 provides storage (disks) over a TCP/IP network. It turns a computer running Windows Server into a storage device which provides shared block storage. You can use Microsoft iSCSI Software Target 3.3 to perform a variety of storage-related tasks, including the following:


  • Provide shared storage for Hyper-V to enable high availability and live migration
  • Consolidate storage for multiple application servers (i.e. Microsoft SQL Server or Hyper-V)
  • Provide shared storage for applications hosted on a Windows failover cluster
  • Enable diskless computers to boot remotely from a single operating system image using iSCSI

The Microsoft iSCSI Software Target 3.3 is an economical solution suited for a development or test environment and a small, medium, or branch office production environment. It enables storage consolidation and sharing on a Windows Server by implementing the iSCSI (Internet Small Computer Systems Interface) protocol, which supports SCSI-block access to a storage device over a TCP/IP network. For details on how to manage iSCSI targets, see

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