There are real advantages to being a veteran of the IT industry… you learn to do something, and it continues to work through version changes; when people discover features in Windows 2008R2 I am often amused to point out ‘Yeah, that’s been there since Windows Server 2003… it’s just never been popular.’
One disadvantage, though, is that sometimes things are made easier, and you overlook them because you learned things the hard way, and there is no need for you to look any further. Joachim Nässlander (www.nullsession.com) and Sander Berkouwer (http://blogs.dirteam.com/blogs/sanderberkouwer/default.aspx) read my recent article on configuring iSCSI Initiator on Server Core and Hyper-V Server (Server Core, Target, and Initiator- Commanding them to work!) and pointed out on Twitter that iscsicpl.exe (the GUI for the iSCSI Initiator console) is now included in Windows Server 2008 R2 Server Core installations. I logged into one of my Hyper-V Server 2008 R2 hosts and confirmed that it is included in that SKU as well.
While I was surprised that it was there, I am also quite pleased. As a Virtualization Evangelist (not my official title) for Microsoft Canada I am tasked with showing people – IT Pros, User Groups, Partners, and Clients – how to leverage Microsoft Virtualization, and how it really is as simple as I say. While I hope that Server Core (and Hyper-V Server) stay as lean and mean as possible, I think this was a fair compromise that will make implementing these platforms more attractive to customers… and isn’t that why we build technology?
With all of that being said, the steps laid out in my article still work… and if you are using Server 2008 (or Hyper-V Server 2008) then it is your best way to connect to an iSCSI Target.
I want to thank my MVP peers for pointing this out because aside from proving that nobody knows everything, the knowledge they gave me will help me directly with my clients as well as my demos going forward!
So now that you know, what is your excuse for using the full GUI installation of Windows Server as your host?