Tuesday, 16 January 2007

iSCSI Continued (2)

After my previous post on iSCSI testing I promised some more detail. So my test environment is based on the Netapp Simulator version 7.2.1, which you can download if you're a Netapp customer - not sure if it's available to non-customers (it should be as it is a great marketing tool) but I guess if you want to find out you could ask Dave.

Netapp filers export LUNs as iSCSI devices. As far as I can tell, the LUN implementation on ONTAP is effectively a qtree (i.e. a share) based on the way I created it. Anyway, once created, I associated the LUN with an initiator group and the initiator group has the access associated with it (hope you're all following this). The screenshot here shows the output from the LUN show command and igroup show command which list the LUNs I created and their association. You can see the igroup can be used to provide access to a number of servers based on the iqn, iSCSI Qualified Name, which is used to reference an iSCSI target or initiator device. The iqn seems to be a "gentlemens agreement" format, based on the reverse DNS of the server on which the iSCSI device resides, plus the date and month that domain was registered. In this case I registered the test server I have the iSCSI initator on and I got "iqn.1991-05.com.microsoft" followed by the specific server identifier of "vmware2.vmware.brookend.com", the name of my server itself.
My first inclination (being a hacker of old) was to spoof this, so I configured another server (XP this time) with the iSCSI initiator and changed its iqn. Voila I can access the same disks, albeit from another IP address. Being iSCSI and block data, the filer simulator didn't care about multiple access (which is fine) and I spent some time trying to break the shared LUN writing and reading data from both sources.
Needless to say this example highlighted how simple security does (or doesn't) work. I know CHAP authentication is available and I suspect there are many more security options that I need to investigate, so that's my next thing. Getting standards and security right I think will be more important than making sure the network performs.
More details to come.

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