DilOS platformHow to Configure Storage Devices With COMSTAR

How to Configure Storage Devices With COMSTAR

This chapter describes how to configure Common Multiprotocol SCSI TARget, or COMSTAR, a software framework that enables you to convert any Oracle Solaris 11 host into a SCSI target device that can be accessed over a storage network by initiator hosts.

This means you can make storage devices on a system available to Linux, Mac OS, or Windows client systems as if they were local storage devices. Supported storage protocols are iSCSI, FC, iSER, and SRP.

For information about the iSNS support in Oracle Solaris, see Chapter 15, Configuring and Managing the Oracle Solaris Internet Storage Name Service (iSNS).

For troubleshooting iSCSI configuration problems in Oracle Solaris, see Troubleshooting iSCSI Configuration Problems.

COMSTAR and iSCSI Technology (Overview)

iSCSI is an acronym for Internet SCSI (Small Computer System Interface), an Internet Protocol (IP)-based storage networking standard for linking data storage subsystems.

By carrying SCSI commands over IP networks, the iSCSI protocol enables you to access block devices from across the network as if they were connected to the local system. COMSTAR provides an easier way to manage these iSCSI target devices.

COMSTAR utilizes a SCSI Target Mode Framework (STMF) to manage target storage devices with the following components:

  • Port providers (or plug-ins) – Implement protocols, such as Fibre Channel (FC) and iSCSI.

  • Logical unit providers – Emulate various SCSI devices, such as disk and tape devices.

  • The libstmf management library – Provides the COMSTAR management interface. The modules that implement the iSCSI functionality do not interact directly with the underlying transport. In a similar way, the modules that implement the transport protocol are unaware of the SCSI-level functionality that is inherent in the packets they are transporting. Some transport examples are Fibre Channel and iSCSI. The framework separates the execution and cleanup of SCSI commands and the associated resources. This separation simplifies the task of writing SCSI or transport modules.

    Use the following to administer these features:

    • The itadm command manages Internet SCSI (iSCSI) nodes within the SCSI target mode framework.

    • The stmfadm command configures logical units within the SCSI target mode framework.

    • The srptadm command manages SCSI RDMA Protocol (SRP) target ports within the SCSI target mode framework.

The following solutions are available to use storage devices in your existing TCP/IP network:

  • iSCSI block devices or tape – Translates SCSI commands and data from the block level into IP packets. Using iSCSI in your network is advantageous when you need to have block-level access between one system and the target device, such as a tape device or a database. Access to a block-level device is not locked so that you can have multiple users or systems accessing a block-level device such as an iSCSI target device.

  • NFS – Transfers file data over IP. The advantage of using NFS in your network is that you can share file data across many systems. Access to file data is locked appropriately when many users are accessing data that is available in an NFS environment.

Here are the benefits of usingiSCSI targets and initiators in Oracle Solaris:

  • The iSCSI protocol runs across existing Ethernet networks.

    • You can use any supported network interface card (NIC), Ethernet hub, or Ethernet switch.

    • One IP port can handle multiple iSCSI target devices.

    • You can use existing infrastructure and management tools for IP networks.

  • You might have existing Fibre-Channel devices that can be connected to clients without the cost of Fibre-Channel HBAs. In addition, systems with dedicated arrays can now export replicated storage with Oracle Solaris ZFS or UFS file systems.

  • The protocol can be used to connect to Fibre Channel or iSCSI Storage Area Network (SAN) environments with the appropriate hardware.

Here are the current limitations or restrictions of using the iSCSI initiator software in Oracle Solaris:

  • Support for iSCSI devices that use SLP is not currently available.

  • iSCSI targets cannot be configured as dump devices.

  • Transferring large amounts of data over your existing network can have an impact on performance.

COMSTAR Software and Hardware Requirements

  • Oracle Solaris storage software and devices

  • The group/feature/storage-server software package for the system that provides the storage devices

  • Any supported NIC

Configuring COMSTAR (Task Map)



For Instructions



For Instructions

Identify the COMSTAR software and hardware requirements.

Identify the software and hardware requirements for setting up an iSCSI storage network with COMSTAR.

COMSTAR Software and Hardware Requirements

Determine the iSCSI target discovery method.

Determine the iSCSI target discovery method best suited for your environment.

Configuring Dynamic or Static Target Discovery

Enable the STMF service.

Enable the STMF service, which provides persistent target information.


Create SCSI logical units and make them available.

Create SCSI logical units (LUNs) and make them available to all hosts or specific hosts for iSCSI or iSER configurations.

How to Create an iSCSI LUN

Configure the iSCSI target.

Configure the iSCSI target for the iSCSI storage component.

How to Create the iSCSI Target

Configure the iSCSI initiator.

Configure the system or systems that initiate SCSI requests to the iSCSI target.

How to Configure an iSCSI Initiator

Access the iSCSI disks.

You can access your iSCSI disks with the format utility. You can also enable the iSCSI disks to be available automatically after the system is rebooted.

How to Access iSCSI Disks

Restrict LUN access to selected Systems.

You might want to restrict LUN access to specific systems in the network.

How to Restrict LUN Access to Selected Systems

Configure Fibre Channel devices.

Configure FC devices with COMSTAR if you have a FC storage array in your environment.

Configuring Fibre Channel Devices With COMSTAR

Configure FCoE devices.

Configure Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE) devices with COMSTAR.

FCoE functionality is provided through Ethernet interfaces. FCoE ports are logical entities associated with Ethernet interfaces.

Configuring FCoE Devices With COMSTAR

Configure SRP devices.

Configure SRP devices with COMSTAR.

The SRP (SCSI RDMA Protocol) accelerates the SCSI protocol by mapping the SCSI data transfer phases to Infiniband (IB) Remote Direct Memory Access (RDMA) operations.

Configuring SRP Devices With COMSTAR

(Optional) Set up authentication in your Oracle Solaris iSCSI configuration.

Decide whether you want to use authentication in your Oracle Solaris iSCSI configuration:



Consider using unidirectional CHAP or bidirectional CHAP.

How to Configure CHAP Authentication for Your iSCSI Initiator



How to Configure CHAP Authentication for Your iSCSI Target


Consider using a third-party RADIUS server to simplify CHAP management.

How to Configure a RADIUS Server for Your iSCSI Target

Monitor your iSCSI configuration.

Monitor your iSCSI configuration by using the iscsiadm command.

How to Display iSCSI Configuration Information

(Optional) Modify your iSCSI configuration.

You might want to modify your iSCSI target parameters such as the header and data digest parameters.

How to Modify iSCSI Initiator and Target Parameters

Configuring COMSTAR

Configuring your iSCSI targets and initiators with COMSTAR involves the following tasks:

  • Identifying hardware and software requirements

  • Configuring your IP network

  • Connecting and setting up the iSCSI target device

  • Configuring the initiators

  • Configuring the iSCSI target discovery method

  • Creating file systems on your iSCSI disks

  • (Optional) Configuring iSCSI authentication between the iSCSI initiator and the iSCSI target

  • Monitoring your iSCSI configuration

The iSCSI configuration information is stored in the /etc/iscsi directory, but it requires no manual administration.

COMSTAR Terminology

Review the following terminology before configuring iSCSI targets and initiators.






The process that presents the initiator with a list of available targets.

discovery method

The way in which the iSCSI targets can be found. Three methods are currently available:

  • Internet Storage Name Service (iSNS) – Potential targets are discovered by interacting with one or more iSNS servers.

  • SendTargets – Potential targets are discovered by using a discovery-address.

  • Static – Static target addressing is configured.


The driver that initiates SCSI requests to the iSCSI target.

initiator group

A set of initiators. When an initiator group is associated with a LUN, only initiators from that group may access the LUN.

iqn or eui address format

An iqn (iSCSI qualified name) address is the unique identifier for a device in an iSCSI network using the form iqn.date.authority:uniqueid. An iSCSI initiator or target is assigned an IQN name automatically when the iSCSI initiator or target is initialized.

An eui (extended unique identifier) address consists of 16 hexadecimal digits, and identifies a class of GUIDs that is used in both the SCSI and InfiniBand standards. SRP devices use the eui address format.

logical unit

A uniquely numbered component in a storage system. Also referred to as a LUN. When a LUN is associated with one or more SCSI targets, the target can be accessed by one or more SCSI initiators.

target device

The iSCSI storage component.

target group

A set of targets. A LUN can be made available to all targets in one target group.

target portal group

A list of IP addresses that determines which interfaces a specific iSCSI target will listen to. A TPG contains IP addresses and TCP port numbers

Configuring Dynamic or Static Target Discovery

Determine whether you want to configure one of the dynamic device discovery methods or use static iSCSI initiator targets to perform device discovery.http://www.ietf.org/rfc/rfc4171.txt

The iSNS discovery service provides an administrative model to discover all targets on a network.

For more information about setting up iSNS support in Oracle Solaris, see Chapter 15, Configuring and Managing the Oracle Solaris Internet Storage Name Service (iSNS).

  • Static device discovery – If an iSCSI node has few targets or if you want to restrict the targets that the initiator attempts to access, you can statically configure the target-name by using the following static target address naming convention:


    You can determine the static target address from the array's management tool.

Note - Do not configure an iSCSI target to be discovered by both static and dynamic device discovery methods. The consequence of using redundant discovery methods might be slow performance when the initiator is communicating with the iSCSI target device.