As mentioned in the beta release notes, the kernel in RHEL 7.2 contains a rebased LIO kernel target, to the equivalent of the Linux 4.0.stable series.
This is a big update. LIO has improved greatly since 3.10. It has added support for SCSI features that enable VMWare VAAI support, as well as data integrity (DIF), and significant iSER work, for those of you using Infiniband. (SRP is also supported, as well as iSCSI and FCoE, of course.)
Note that we still do not ship support for the Fibre Channel qla2xxx fabric. It still seems to be something storage vendors and integrators want, more than a feature our customers are telling us they want in RHEL.
(On a side note, Infiniband hardware is pretty affordable these days! For all you datacenter hobbyists who have a rack in the garage, I might suggest a cheap previous-gen IB setup and either SRP or iSER as the way to go and still get really high IOPs.)
Users of RHEL 7’s SCSI target should find RHEL 7.2 to be a very nice upgrade. Please try the beta out and report any issues you find of course, but it’s looking really good so far.
Contrary to what RHEL 7.1 release notes might say, RHEL 7.1 should be fine as an iSER target, and it should be fine to use iSER even during the discovery phase. There was significant late-breaking work by our storage partners to fix both of these issues.
Unfortunately, there were multiple Bugzilla entries for the same issues, and while some were properly closed, others were not, and the issues erroneously were mentioned in the release notes.
So, for the hordes out there eager to try iSER target on RHEL 7.1 and who actually read the release notes — I hope you see this too and know it’s OK give it a go 🙂
RHEL 7 will be using the LIO kernel target subsystem for iSCSI and other protocols, instead of the tgtd daemon, aka scsi-target-utils. This is a change from RHEL 6, where we use tgtd for iSCSI target support, and LIO only for FCoE targets, via the fcoe-target-utils package.
Users of tgtd can prepare for RHEL 7 by trying Fedora 17 or 18, which have current LIO/targetcli code. LIO has many features tgtd doesn’t, but LIO also won’t cover 100% of tgtd’s features at first, either. File bugs for these regressions and we’ll work to address them.
Other software that currently uses tgtd may wish to look at the rtslib Python library, and targetcli’s JSON config format — LIO has a nice API so if you find yourself wanting to parse targetcli output, please hold off and email me instead, ok? 🙂
scsi-target-utils will still be available via EPEL for RHEL 7, and supported in RHEL 6 for its lifetime.