This technical paper provides a step-by-step guidance describing how to configure the StarWind Tape Redirector that is a part of StarWind Virtual SAN functionality. The Tape Redirector is installed on a server with the attached tape drive, creating an iSCSI “gateway” to a tape library. Thus, any backup application located on a remote server can transfer data to tapes over LAN or WAN using SCSI over TCP (iSCSI) protocol. StarWind Tape Redirector acts as a translation layer between virtual machines and the tape library, providing a VM solution with the interface for accessing the tape hardware. As a result, VMs gain access to the tape drives and perform backups directly to the tape library via iSCSI in loopback.
The technical paper is aimed at experienced virtualization admins and StarWind users who want to configure StarWind Tape Redirector.
A full set of up-to-date technical documentation can always be found here, or by pressing the Help button in the StarWind Management Console.
Pre-Configuring the Servers
This document assumes that you have already installed StarWind Virtual SAN on the server which is connected to your Tape Library.
1. In the StarWind Virtual SAN Management Console, click Add device (advanced), select Tape Device and click Next:
2. Select Physical Tape Auto-Loader/Changer and proceed to the next step.
3. Next, select Tape Auto-Loader/Changer Device you want to export and select Access Mode for it. Click Next.
4. Select Tape Drive you want to export and the Access Mode. Click Next.
5. Enter the Target Alias if needed and check the box Allow multiple concurrent iSCSI Connections. The target name generates automatically and must be unique.
Note: the target name can contain only letters from A to Z, numbers, points, dashes, “:” and cannot contain spaces.
Click Next after performing the above steps.
6. Click Create to add a new device and attach it to the target.
7. The newly created device and target will appear in the StarWind Management Console.
8. If you want to add more devices, follow the next steps.
9. In the StarWind Management Console, click Add device (advanced) button, select Tape Device and click Next:
10. Select Physical Tape and click Next:
11. Select a tape drive that you want to export and select Access Mode for it. Click Next.
12. Choose a target attachment method as Attach to existing Target and select the target needed. Click Next to continue.
13. Press Create to add the newly created device.
14. Repeat the step 8 if you want to create more tapes.
Connecting to a Remote Device using iSCSI Initiator
15. Launch the Microsoft iSCSI Software Initiator on the server where you want to connect the Tape Library. Switch to the Discovery tab.
16. Click the Discover Portal button. Type in the appropriate IP address or DNS name and port number (default: 3260) of the StarWind host where the Tape Redirector has been configured. Click OK.
17. witch to the Targets tab and select the created target (if no targets are listed, click the Refresh button).
18. Press Connect button. The Connect to Target window appears. You may uncheck the option Add this connection to the list of Favorite Targets if you don’t want the system to automatically restore the connection every time the computer restarts. Click OK.
Once the connection is successful, the iSCSI device will be shown as Connected.
19. Now the Tape and Medium Changer devices will appear as local devices. You should install drivers for Unknown Medium Changer device to see it properly in Device Manager.
20. Now you can use your backup software to create backups in your Tape Library.
With StarWind Tape Redirector configured there is no need for having tape drives and libraries in every office. Being installed on a server with the attached tape drive, the Tape Redirector uses iSCSI protocol to establish connection between backup server and tape drive and transfers backup data over the IP network.