by November 30, 2012 0 comments

At the end of this hands on you would be in a position to create a storage server from where you can create volumes for your end users. Here, we will talk about iSCSI based targets in particular, which is quite popular in storage domain and refrain ourself from listing down features of FreeNAS as there are too many of them. To begin with, you need to have a machine with good enough disk space which would be used as a storage server. Keep in mind the type of disks you use and processor of server would ultimately define performance of this storage server.

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First download FreeNAS from It’s a 104 MB file named FreeNAS-8.2.0-RELEASE-p1-x64.iso. Being an ISO image, you can create a bootable CD/DVD or USB drive with it. Boot your machine from it and install the software. It’s a pretty straightforward process. Post installation you are presented with options from where you can set the IP address of this machine (e.g. Use this IP address to open the GUI of the server from a web browser of another machine running on same network. Navigation in FreeNAS 8 has been made simpler with the left panel presenting shortcuts to all the setting pages available to the administrator.

Before we can make a storage volume available to Windows clients, we need to add a volume using the ‘Volume Manager’, which is under ‘Storage>Volumes’ on left panel. Once you have clicked on the Volume Manager, you need to give it a name, attach member disk, define file system type, and finally click on ‘Add Volume’ button.

Move to iSCSI under ‘Services’ option to configure the target. Creating an iSCSI target on FreeNAS involves five steps. Start by creating a portal, then add authorized initiator, add extent, add target, and finally attach extent to target. In the first step, click on ‘Add Portal’ option under ‘Portals’. Here you need to add name of portal (iscsip), select IP address ( and change the port number if required. Second step involves adding authorized initiator. Click on ‘Add Initiator’, leave all fields to their default values and click on ‘ok’ button. This means we are allowing all imitators to this target. In the third step, go to ‘Extent’ and click on ‘Add Extent’. Here, you have to give name (iscsie), path (/mnt/Test/iscsie), and size of extent (10 MB). The fourth step is to add target. For this, go to ‘Add Target’ under ‘Target’ and add target name (iscsitarget), portal group id (1(iscsip)), and initiator group id (1). The final step is to attach extent to target. This can be accomplished by clicking on ‘Add Target/Extent’ under ‘Target/Extent’ from the window and select ‘iscsitarget’ and ‘iscsie’ under Target and Extent drop down box.

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With the above steps, your iSCSI target is ready. Just go to the services tab of FreeNAS and switch on ‘iSCSI’ service. Next is to add this target to a machine running Windows 7 Ultimate OS. In the Windows Search bar, type ‘iscsi’ and press enter. This would start iSCSI Initiator Properties window. Under ‘Targets’ tab, put IP address of FreeNAS ( and hit ‘Quick Connect button’. This step would connect your initiator to your iSCSI target. Before you can use this volume, you need to configure it. To do so, go to ‘Volume and Devices’ tab and click on ‘Auto Configure’ button.

Finally to use the storage volume sitting in your FreeNAS, go to ‘Computer Management’ by right clicking on ‘Computer’ and then clicking on ‘Manage’. Go to storage and you’ll find a newly attached volume. Simply right click on it and start ‘New Sample Volume’ wizard, which would give name and drive letter to this volume. Finally go to Computer and find the freshly attached volume (New Volume (G:)).

This freshly created volume can be used to store critical files and these would be safe even if client OS crashes.

Did you find this article useful? Have more queries? Then send them to us at

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