What is Internet Small Computer System Interface (iSCSI)?

iSCSI is a way of connecting storage devices over a network using TCP/IP. It can be used over a local area network (LAN), a wide area network (WAN), or the Internet.

Show all

iSCSI storage components

The iSCSI client or host (also known as the iSCSI initiator) is a software driver that runs on a computer connected to an Ethernet network. The iSCSI initiator provides connectivity to an iSCSI target device over an Ethernet connection. This allows you to access storage that exists in a different location from your computer. When your computer connects to a disk on an iSCSI target device, the disk appears as a local hard disk that can be managed and accessed like any other local hard disk.

For best performance, a Gigabit Ethernet network adapter, which transmits data at a rate of 1000 megabits per second (Mbps), is recommended for connection to an iSCSI target. Like the standard 10/100 network adapters, most Gigabit adapters use existing Category 5 or Category 6E network cabling. Each port on the adapter is identified by a unique IP address.

iSCSI target

An iSCSI target is any device that receives iSCSI commands from an iSCSI initiator.

For more information about iSCSI or to download the iSCSI Initiator User’s Guide, go to Microsoft Storage Technologies – iSCSI on the Microsoft website.