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How to use the iSCSI service on a Thunderbolt™-compatible NAS for storage on Mac computers?

Small and medium businesses may opt for consolidated storage such as a QNAP NAS with Thunderbolt™ technology that is cost-efficient and has opportunities for future expansion. Using iSCSI Target service provides a convenient way to expand the storage space available on your local system as well as for backing up your files. This article will guide you through the basics of creating an iSCSI LUN on the NAS and mounting the target on a Mac for storage.

Create an iSCSI target

1. Log in to your NAS as an administrator, go to “Storage Manager” > “Storage Space”, select “Create”, and then select “New iSCSI LUN”.

2. Choose from one of the options on the screen to create an iSCSI Target. Make sure that a LUN is mapped to a target if you choose to create a LUN and target separately.



3. Enter a name for the iSCSI target.

4. Configure the username and password for CHAP authentication so that iSCSI initiators will be authenticated before using the iSCSI Target. Choose this option when the NAS is on a public network. If you do not want to use CHAP authentication, skip this step.

5. Choose from either “Create an image file on a volume as an iSCSI LUN” or “Allocate space from a storage pool as an iSCSI LUN”. The first choice offers better flexibility whereas the latter has better performance.

6. Give a name and allocate space for the iSCSI LUN. Click “Advanced Settings” if you want to set the allocation sector size or enable SSD Cache for application optimization.

7. Click “Next” after confirming your settings.

8. The iSCSI storage has been built.

Use iSCSI targets on Mac computers

Make sure that you have configured the iSCSI storage on the NAS.

You need iSCSI Initiator software to connect to iSCSI targets on the NAS. There is iSCSI initiator software available from third parties, and in this article we use globalSAN iSCSI Initiator for OS X (requires OS X 10.4 or later) for demonstration purposes. For more information and download links, please visit: http://www.studionetworksolutions.com/globalsan-iscsi-initiator/.

Use the following steps to mount an iSCSI Target from the NAS onto a Mac computer.

1. Double-click on the iSCSI initiator in “System Preferences”.

2. Click “+” to add the IP Address or DNS name of the NAS hosting iSCSI Targets to create a new portal.



3. It will display all of the available iSCSI targets. Select the iSCSI target name on the left and the IP address of the Thunderbolt port on the right, and then click “Connect”.

4. The system will prompt you to initialize the disk if it is the first time that you have connected to the iSCSI target. Click “Initialize…” to format the disk.

5. The state will be green if mounting the iSCSI target was successful.

6. A new drive will be present on the Desktop, indicating that it is ready to be used.

Release date: 2015-08-18
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