Netware, iSCSI, Server 2008

Netware has been kind to me. Over the past few years, my advancement in the IT industry has been meteoric, and for that I am extremely thankful. It is, however, a dead OS. Many folks are thinks Netware and Novell still has a future, especially with their OES migration, but I have lost the faith.

Case and point: Today I converted an iSCSI target from a NSS volume to NTFS. It was a rather simple process – copy the files off, use the initiator on the Windows server to attach to the target, reformat drive NTFS, drop files back in and redo permissions.

What struck me the most was the file transfer speed. Using the same hardware, copying files off of the iSCSI storage I topped out at about 30Mbit/s. Copying those same files back to a Server 2008 machine with the same NIC to the same iSCSI target I averaged about 450Mbits, with the lowest speed at about 300Mbit/s and the top around 600Mbit/s.

The iSCSI targets are fantastic. These specific units were from LeftHand Networks, and work well, although at a premium price for their software. I rather enjoy the Microsoft iSCSI target, but we’re still facing issues backing up the enormous files even disk-to-disk (nevermind the fact that BackupExec seems to lock the file so the initators lose contact with the target).

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