a windows iSCSI target software: Stringbeansoftware WinTarget 2.0

We recently tested Stringbeangsoftwares WinTarget Version 2.0. It’s a software implementation of an iSCSI Target with a huge feature set.

“WinTarget Standard Edition provides the core SAN functionality required to centralize, consolidate, and manage storage centrally. The Standard Edition provides this core functionality on an economical basis for those customers that do not need, or are not ready to implement more advanced data management and protection solutions.”

We tested the Standard Edition Evaluation Version 2.0 since we do not need the other features at the moment (like DataView, Snapshot,…).

As usual first the testing setup:

We got 6x 250 GByte Harddisks on 2 Promise FastTrack 150TX4 Controllers. All this on an Intel Serverboard with an 3 Ghz P4 and 2 Gb of RAM. As the client we used the same machine as in all other tests.

14 days should be enough

When you installed it and started it the first time you’ll have something like that:

The Main-Screen of WinTarget 2.0 is divided into the information pane on the right and the section tree on the left side of the window.

WinTarget divides it’s structure into Hosts and Devices. The Snapshot Feature was not tested/used.

We started by creating a new Host:


entering the host name and description

we have to specify which Client IP can access this host…


After creating the host we can create the iSCSI Target Volumes (called “Disks” in WinTarget 2.0):

With WinTarget you can use an actually existing volume or a file to create a iSCSI Target.

We choose the RAID…


a descriptive name…

to which host does the belong to?


Attention: All Data will be deleted from the volume…(we even didn’t have to format it in the beginning…)

there it is…

and it looks good 😉

There’s a snapshot feature in WinTarget that we just didn’t test due to limited testing time.

Now everything is setup. That’s it. 😉 Just that few steps. We can now configure the iSCSI Client:

by entering the IP and Port…

selecting the exported iSCSI Target Volume…

and there it is on the client machine.


in the WinTarget environment it does look a bit different afterwards…

So. That’s it for the configuration. Since we had limited time we could not make a full benchmark of the device. It just took too long since it’s not as fast as expected.

We got around 30 to 40 Megabyte per second reading speed and not more than 7 Megabyte for writing. That’s simply horrible.

We therefore cannot recommand this software combination for our hardware configuration – maybe it’ll be faster with another hardware but as you know: we don’t have the time to test that.

Source: http://www.stringbeansoftware.com/

  1. #1 by Anton Kolomyeytsev on October 9, 2005 - 00:00


    nice to hear your don’t like SBS iSCSI target’s performance 🙂 Especially after these guys claimed they had doubled it (performance) in version 2.0 (well, we did not seen ANY changes in our lab – maybe we’re just stupid?). Whatever… If you’d find some time to test other software (maybe freeware UHN iSCSI target? Or DataCore SANmelody? Or Rocket Division Software StarWind – we can even offer your free non time-limited license and would love to help you with configuration and tuning). That would help other storage people to make final decision upon software they would use. With so many iSCSI vendors it’s quite easy to get confused!

    Thank you very much and have a nice time!

    Anton Kolomyeytsev

    CEO, Rocket Division Software


  2. #2 by Vince Vu on November 18, 2005 - 00:45

    I tested this using Dell PowerEdge 6350 dual 3.2 Xeon with 2GB of memory on 100 base LAN and Gig LAN – Intel. The client machines were Virtual PC 2005 SP1, VMWare 5.0 Workstation, 1GHZ Tablet PC with 512 MB RAM, and HP 1130n Desktop 3500+ AMD64. I use Windows 2000, XPSP1, and Windows 2003 as client OSs – the initiators. The performance was excellent after we switched the LAN environment to full duplex! It screamed! So I am pretty sure there was a flaw in your setup somewhere. Even the Virtual PC’s were fast. I would like to compare it to Rocket Division and publish a comparison soon. I will have this tutorial in an AVI format for everyone to see – fyi, I work for a Microsoft Gold Partner as an Architect so I think I know the technology pretty well – especially SAN technologies and their options.

  3. #3 by bietiekay on November 18, 2005 - 02:19

    hmm…it was full duplex – the machines even where directly connected to each other… there must be something else differnet in our setups…

  4. #4 by Lee on November 30, 2005 - 07:12

    I have excellent throughput here. Make sure you use a Gigabit switch (even 5 port) and update your gigabit Nics in your servers. Going straight through is not cutting it and does not represent real world use. Trust me, use a switch like Netgears or Linksys.

  5. #5 by Kamala on December 28, 2005 - 01:26

    same thing here. reads are ok but writes are dog slow. both sanmelody and unh linux iscsi works just fine using the same hardware. i guess it’s string bean software configuration problem.

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