StarWind iSCSI SAN: Configuring Global Deduplication

Published: May 8, 2012


This guide provides detailed step-by-step instructions on installing StarWind iSCSI SAN with Global Deduplication. The document is intended for experienced Window system administrators.



CPU: Intel Xeon Processor E5620 (or later), or equal AMD Opteron processor.

It is recommended to use Intel Xeon E5620 or equivalent to meet minimum system requirements for StarWind iSCSI SAN server. To achieve maximum performance, use Intel Xeon X5650 or equal AMD Opteron CPU.

Note: It is more recommended to use a CPU with more cores per socket and lower frequency, than a CPU with less cores and higher frequency. E.g. having 6-core Intel Xeon 5660 with 2.8 GHz per core is better than having 4-core Intel Xeon 5667 with 3.02 GHz per core.

RAM: 4 GB minimum

4 GB of RAM is a required minimum for the server running StarWind iSCSI SAN. To implement StarWind High-Speed Caching upgrade RAM. The cache-dedicated RAM capacity should be equal or higher than one reserved for iSCSI targets caching.

Note: Always reserve 4 GB RAM for Windows internal processes and StarWind iSCSI SAN engine.

To calculate RAM required for proper operation of Deduplication, use the following table:

In case of intensive workloads, either implement NIC teaming or scale network to 10GbE infrastructure. It is highly recommended to use 9K Jumbo frames capable network equipment for both 1 and 10GbE in order to maximize the SAN performance.

HA synchronization channel requires secured and fault-tolerant connections for NIC and switch.

HDD: SATA, SAS, or SSD drive-based RAID array

A RAID array type depends on required storage performance. A SAS/SSD based RAID10 is used to achieve maximum storage performance with minimum ST. To ensure higher security level for critical data, it is better to use RAID5/RAID6. Please, contact your hardware vendor to get more information on available RAID arrays and their performance.

Note: It is not recommended to use software based RAID arrays in iSCSI SAN environment.

Recommended operating system: Windows Server 2008 R2

StarWind Software recommends using latest server-class Windows operating systems. StarWind supports all Windows OS from Windows Server 2003 to Windows 2008 R2 family, including Server Core editions and free Microsoft Hyper-V Server. Please note that if you are planning to use Windows Server Core or Hyper-V Server you will not be able to install StarWind Management Console locally on a server because of GUI limitations set by OS. In this case StarWind Management Console should be installed on any other server/PC/notebook running any Windows version starting from Windows XP.

Note: To enable remote management, open 3261 port on both machines.



1. Download the StarWind setup file from our website:

Note: The setup file is unified for x86 and x64, so that you do not need to worry about the platform compatibility.

2. Launch the downloaded executable setup file on the server that you want to turn into SAN storage. Setup Wizard appears.

3. Click Next to continue.

4. Read and accept the License Agreement.

5. Click Next to continue.

6. Read the information.

7. Click Next to continue.

8. Click Browse to select the installation path.

9. Click Next to continue.

10. Specify the installation type:

StarWind iSCSI Service

This installation type is applied to remote access servers. StarWind Service enables the creation of various devices (e.g. HA devices, Snapshot, CDP, and Mirror devices) and can be managed with StarWind Management Console from another computer.

StarWind Management Console

Management Console is the Graphical User Interface (GUI) part of the program that monitors and controls the storage related operations (e.g. allows for the creation of devices on the available target servers). After its installation, Management Console connects to StarWind Service remotely.

Full installation

Full installation includes both StarWind Service and Management Console elements. It allows for the management of resources from the machine with installed StarWind Service.

11. Click Next to continue.

12. Specify the Start Menu folder.

13. Click Next to continue.

14. Select the appropriate checkbox if you want to create a desktop icon.

15. Click Next to continue.

16. Check the settings you have specified, and click Back if you need to make any changes. Click Install to continue.

17. After the installation process is completed, you will be prompted to apply either a time-limited fully functional evaluation key, or a FREE version key, or a fully unlocked commercial license key that is supplied with an acquired StarWind product. Select the appropriate option.

18. Click Next to continue.

19. Select the appropriate checkbox to launch StarWind Management Console immediately.

20. Click Finish to close the wizard.


Registering StarWind Management Console

1. Launch StarWind Management Console: double click the StarWind tray icon.

StarWind Management Console allows for the management of multiple StarWind servers from one computer.

2. Activate StarWind Management Console by applying your license key: Click Apply key… to proceed.

3. Click Load to select and open the license file that you have received.

4. Click OK to continue.

5. The locally installed StarWind Service server is listed in the Servers item of the Console tree.

6. Click Connect in the toolbar to connect to the server.

7. You will be prompted to enter login and password. The default login and password are “root” and “starwind”. You can always change them later.

8. Click OK to continue.


Registering StarWind Software

1. Select the connected server and go to the Configuration tab.

2. Click Registration. You will see the information about the license applied to this server.

3. Click Install to apply the license.

4. Click Load to select and open the license file that you have received.

5. Click OK to continue.


Preparing Storage

1. Launch StarWind Management Console: Start -> All Programs -> StarWind Software -> StarWind Management Console

Note: When the Management Console is running, its icon appears in the system tray. To access StarWind Management Console:

Double-click the StarWind Management Console icon

Right click the StarWind Management Console icon and select Start Management Console from the pop-up menu

2. On the Console tree select a server, where iSCSI target device is to be created. Double-click it to connect.

3. In the Login dialog that appears specify login and password in the corresponding text fields.

Note: The default login and password are “root” and “starwind”, respectively. You can change them later.

4. Optionally select the Save password check box to log in automatically next time.

5. Click OK to continue.

6. As you are connected to the StarWind Service, click Add Device button to add a device to the selected server.

7. Add Device Wizard appears. Please, follow the Wizard’s steps to complete creation of a new HA device.

8. Go to Hard Disk->Advanced Virtual-> Deduplicated disk device.

9. Click Next to continue.

10. If you decided to create a new virtual disk select Create a new virtual disk.

11. Click Next to continue.

12. Specify the virtual disk location and name in the appropriate text field. Specify the deduplication block size and the virtual disk size.

13. Click Next to continue.

14. Select cache mode of deduplication device.

15. Click Next to continue.

16. Specify a target alias and name. The name must be a unique. Under this name the device is declared to the iSCSI initiators connecting to the StarWind Service over an IP network.

17. Click Next to continue.

18. Check the specified device parameters. Click Back to make any changes.

19. Click Next to continue.

20. Click Finish to close the wizard.