The Dell XC Series Web-Scale Hyperconverged appliance powered by Nutanix delivers a highly resilient, converged compute and storage platform that brings benefits of web-scale architecture to business-critical enterprise applications such as Microsoft Exchange.

Dell XC Series software installs quickly for deployment of multiple virtualized workloads. Previously, storage from the Nutanix Acropolis Distributed Storage Fabric (ADSF) could only be presented directly to virtual machines through NFS. Now, Nutanix software supports volume group vdisks to be connected to VMs through iSCSI with in-guest iSCSI initiators. This change is significant for Microsoft Exchange Server because NFS-connected virtual disks, although fully supported by Nutanix, are not supported by Microsoft. However, in-guest iSCSI is supported by Microsoft because the storage is presented as block-based storage to the virtual machines.

This paper details the configuration and testing of this iSCSI support feature through a simulated multi-Exchange Server 2016 workload on a representative Dell XC Series cluster.

Updated February 2017