Jian Yan, the Program Manager for the iSCSI Software Target, has a new blog post on Filecab that describes in details how to configure diskless servers and boot from the Microsoft iSCSI Target 3.3 (which is now available as a free download for Windows Server 2008 R2). This is a great, lengthy post that includes pictures, screenshot and script samples. Here's an outline:

  • Overview
    • Terminology
    • Deployment
    • Boot process
  • Hardware/Software options
    • An iSCSI boot-capable NIC
    • An iSCSI boot-capable HBA
    • An iSCSI boot loader
  • Boot Process
    • Pre-boot
    • Windows boot
  • Various deployment configurations
    • Using an iSCSI boot-capable NIC or HBA
    • Using a Software boot loader with DHCP and TFTP servers
    • Using a Software Boot Loader without DHCP and TFTP
  • Step-by-step deployment guide
    • Create a Golden Image
    • Customize the boot loader script
    • Deploy diskless clients using a Golden image

This is highly recommended reading for anyone deploying diskless servers (or anyone about to buy a few servers who wants to save some money on storage :-).

Read the post at http://blogs.technet.com/b/storageserver/archive/2011/05/04/diskless-servers-can-boot-and-run-from-the-microsoft-iscsi-software-target-using-a-regular-network-card.aspx