MPIO Setup Windows Server 2008R2

Last modified


Updated 3/22/2013

MPIO feature is an optional feature and not installed on Windows Server by default.  It should be installed as a feature through Server Manager. This document (KB00001) describes the steps performed by user to install and use the MPIO feature on Windows 2008R2 server. The document comprises of the following sections:


Install MPIO on Windows Server 2008 R2

To install the feature, please follow the steps below.

* Note: Windows server requires a reboot after performing the following steps.


  1. Open the Server Manager (Start Administrative Tools Server Manager).
  2. Navigate to Server Manager Features.  Click on Add Features.



  1. Select Multipath I/O feature for install and click ‘Next’.



  1. Finish the install by confirming the selections and reboot the windows server if required as shown below.



* Note: MPIO setup for load balancing and performance gains requires each DATA interface and host interface used in the iSCSI paths to be on a different IP subnet.



Configure MPIO for StorSimple Volumes

MPIO needs to be configured to identify StorSimple volumes.  To configure MPIO to recognize StorSimple Volumes, please follow the steps below.


  1. Open MPIO configuration from Start Administrative Tools MPIO.
  2. In the MPIO window, click on ‘Add’ button under ‘MPIO Devices’ tab.



  1. Enter “SSIMPLE Model” in the ‘Add MPIO Support’ window under 'Device Hardware ID:'.



  1. Reboot the server when it prompts.


Mounting StorSimple Volume on Windows Server

Once MPIO is configured on the Windows Server, Volume(s) created on the StorSimple appliance can be mounted and take advantage of MPIO for redundancy.  To mount a volume, please follow the steps below.


  1. Open iSCSI initiator properties on the Windows Server from Start Administrative Tools iSCSI Initiator.
  2. On the ‘iSCSI Initiator Properties’ window, click on ‘Discovery’ tab and click on ‘Discover Portal…’ button.



  1. Enter the IP address of the ‘DATA’ port on the StorSimple Appliance.



File:User:AlpaK/StorSimple-KB00001-MPIO-Setup-Windows-Server-2008R2/image003.png Note: If you are using a private network for iSCSI connections, enter the IP address of the DATA port which is connected to the private network.

  1. Click on ‘Targets’ tab on ‘iSCSI Initiator Properties’ window.  This will display the StorSimple appliance IQN under ‘Discovered Targets’ section.



  1. Click on ‘Connect’ button to establish iSCSI session with StorSimple appliance.  In the ‘Connect To Target’ window, select ‘Enable multi-path’ check box.



  1. Open ‘Server Manager’ from Start Administrative Tools Server Manager and navigate to Server Manager Storage Disk Management.  Volume(s) created on the StorSimple appliance which are visible to this Windows server will appear under Disk Management as new disk(s).



  1. Initialize the disk and create a new volume.  During the format process, select a block size of 64 KB.
  2. Under Disk Management, right click on the Disk and select ‘Properties’.



  1. In the ‘SSIMPLE Model #### Multi-Path Disk Device Properties, click on MPIO tab.  Click on ‘Details’ button for ‘DSM Name:’ section and verify the parameters are set to default parameters.

File:User:AlpaK/StorSimple-KB00001-MPIO-Setup-Windows-Server-2008R2/image003.png Note: Please do not modify the default parameters.

  1. Default Parameters:
    1. Path Verify Period = 30
    2. Retry Count = 3
    3. PDO Remove Period = 20
    4. Retry Interval = 1
    5. Path Verify Enabled = Unchecked.





Configuring MPIO for HA and Load Balancing

For multi-path based HA and for load balancing, multiple sessions need to be manually added to declare the different paths available. For example, if the host has two interfaces connected to SAN and the appliance has two interfaces connected to SAN, then we need four sessions configured with proper path permutations.

This section outlines the steps required to add sessions when an appliance with two NICs is connected to a host with two NICs.

  1. Perform a discovery of the target. In the ‘iSCSI Initiator Properties’ dialog, under the discovery tab, click on Discover Portal.
  2. This will bring up the ‘Connect to Target’ dialog.
  3. Supply the IP address of one of the appliance interfaces.
  4. Click OK to return to the ‘iSCSI Initiator Properties’ dialog.


  1. In the ‘iSCSI Initiator Properties’ dialog, under the ‘Targets’ tab, highlight the discovered target and click ‘Connect’.


  1. This will bring up the ‘Connect to Target’ dialog.


  1. In the 'Connect to Target' dialog:
    • Leave the default selected target setting for 'Add this connection to the list of favorite targets. This will make the system automatically attempt to restart the connection every time this computer restarts'.
    • Check  'Enable multi-path'.
    • Click 'Advanced' to open up the 'Advanced Settings' dialog.
  2. In the 'Advanced Settings' dialog
    • From the ‘Local Adapter’ dropdown, select ‘Microsoft iSCSI Initiator’.
    • In the ‘Initiator IP’, select the IP address of the host.
    • For the ‘Target Portal IP’, supply the IP of appliance interface.
    • Click OK.


  1. Click OK to return to the 'iSCSI Initiator Properties' dialog.
  2. Click on ‘Properties’. In the ‘Properties’ dialog that is displayed, click ‘Add Session’.


  1. In the ‘Connect to Target dialog’
    • Check ‘Enable multi-path’.
    • Click on ‘Advanced’.
  2. In the ‘Advanced Settings’ dialog
    • From the ‘Local adapter’ dropdown, select ‘Microsoft iSCSI Initiator’.
    • In the ‘Initiator IP’, select the IP address corresponding to the second interface on the host.
    • In the ‘Target Portal IP’, select the IP address for the second data interface enabled on the appliance.
    • Click OK to return to ‘iSCSI Initiator Properties’ dialog. You have added a second session to the target.
  3. Repeat Steps 9-12 to add additional sessions (path) to the target. With two interfaces on the host and two on the appliance, a total of four sessions can be added.
  4. After adding the desired sessions (paths), in the 'iSCSI Initiator Properties' dialog, select the target and click 'Properties' to display the dialog as shown below. In the 'Sessions' tab, note 4 session identifiers corresponding to all the possible path permutations. To cancel a session, check the box beside a session identifier and click 'Disconnect'.


  1. To view devices presented within sessions, select the 'Devices' tab as shown below.
    • To configure the MPIO policy for a selected device, click MPIO. This will display the 'Device Details' dialog.


  • In the MPIO tab, you can select the appropriate Load Balance Policy settings. You can also view the Active or Standby path type.





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