Connect StarWind Virtual Tape Library to a Windows Server 2016

StarWind Virtual Tape Library (VTL) is a feature included in StarWind Virtual SAN. StarWind VTL provides a virtual LTO library to store your backup archival. StarWind VTL eliminates the heavy process of tape management and also a costly LTO library. StarWind VTL provides virtual tape to store your backup archival. The connection between StarWind Virtual Tape Library and a server is made by using iSCSI. StarWind VTL emulates virtual tape by Hewlett Packard VTL. In this topic we’ll see how to connect StarWind Virtual Tape Library to a Windows Server 2016. In a next topic, I’ll use the StarWind VTL to archive backup with Veeam Backup & Replication U3.

Requirements

To install StarWind VTL, you need a server with at least the following hardware:

  • 2x (v)CPU
  • 4GB of RAM
  • 2x Network Adapters (one for management and the other for iSCSI)
  • 1x hard drive for OS
  • 1x hard drive for virtual tape

From my side, I have deployed a virtual machine to host StarWind VTL

StarWind Virtual Tape Library installation

To deploy StarWind VTL, firstly you need to download StarWind Virtual SAN from this link. Then run the installation and when you have to choose the components, specify settings as the following:

Once the product is installed, run the StarWind management console.

StarWind Virtual Tape Library configuration

Firstly, I change the management interface to bind only to the management IP address. In this way, we can’t manage the product from iSCSI network adapter. To change the management interface, navigate to Configuration | Management Interface.

Next in General pane, click on Add VTL Device.

Then, specify a name for your Virtual Tape Library ad a location.

Then leave the default option and click on Next.

On the next screen, you are asked to create the iSCSI target. Choose to Create new target. Then specify a target alias.

If the creation is successful, you should get the following information:

Now in StarWind Management Console, you have a VTL device.

If you wish, you can add another virtual tape library to your iSCSI target.

Connect Windows Server to StarWind VTL

On the Windows Server, open iSCSI initiator properties. You are asked to start the MS iSCSI service automatically. Choose yes. Then in target, enter the IP address of the StarWInd VTL iSCSI IP address. Then connect to the target.

Once connected, you can open the Device Manager. As you can see in the below screenshot, you

Conclusion

If you don’t want to invest in a Tape Library you can use StarWind Virtual Tape Library to archive your data. In a real world, usually you use a physical machine with a lot of SATA devices. Instead of using Tape, you use SATA devices. In addition to be a cheaper solution, you don’t need to implement a process for tape rotation. However, the StarWind VTL should be in another datacenter in case of datacenter disaster.

About Romain Serre

Romain Serre works in Lyon as a Senior Consultant. He is focused on Microsoft Technology, especially on Hyper-V, System Center, Storage, networking and Cloud OS technology as Microsoft Azure or Azure Stack. He is a MVP and he is certified Microsoft Certified Solution Expert (MCSE Server Infrastructure & Private Cloud), on Hyper-V and on Microsoft Azure (Implementing a Microsoft Azure Solution).

One comment

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