Supported and tested Microsoft iSCSI Software Target 3.3 limits


This topic provides the supported and tested Microsoft iSCSI Software Target 3.3 limits. The following tables display the tested limits and the enforced limits where applicable.In addition, the following limits apply: 

  1. You should not use network adapter teaming with Microsoft iSCSI Software Target 3.3 for iSCSI communication.
  2. If you plan to use multiple network adapters for iSCSI communication, you should separate them into their own subnets, set up virtual IP addresses, and then implement MPIO.

Basic configuration
iSCSI target instances per appliance256Not Enforced

Initiators that can connect to the same iSCSI target instance16Enforced
When used with MPIO, you can connect no more than 4 sessions per initiator.
iSCSI initiators per appliance256Not Enforced

Virtual disks per appliance256Not Enforced

Virtual disks per iSCSI target instance128Enforced
Simultaneous sessions64Enforced
Snapshots per virtual disk 512EnforcedThere is a limit of 512 snapshots per independent iSCSI application volume and 64 snapshots for file share volumes. If the iSCSI virtual disks and file shares are on a common volume, the iSCSI snapshot limit is 448 (512 – 64).
Locally mounted virtual disks or snapshots per appliance32 (on stand-alone or snapshots per appliance)Enforced

Fault Tolerance

Failover cluster nodes5Not Enforced

Error recovery level (ERL)0Enforced

Multiple Connections per Session (MCS)Not supportedEnforced

Simultaneous connections64Not Enforced

Multipath Input/Output (MPIO)SupportedN/A
MPIO Paths4Not Enforced
Virtual disks over MPIO per initiator on a stand-alone server64Not EnforcedThere is an initial delay after creating the disks before they appear to the Virtual Disk Service and the Disk Management snap-in because PnP first detects the devices and then MPIO detects the paths for each disk. This happens only one time per disk per appliance.
Virtual disks over MPIO per initiator on a clustered application server32Not Enforced
Converting stand-alone iSCSI Software Target to failover cluster or vice versaSupportedN/ANo VHD or target will be preserved.


Maximum number of active network ports6Not Enforced
Applies to network ports that are dedicated to iSCSI traffic, rather than the total number of network ports in the appliance.
Network port speed10 gigabits per second (Gbps)Not Enforced



TCP offloadSupported
iSCSI offloadNot Supported
Jumbo FramesSupported

iSCSI virtual disks

From an iSCSI initiator, which converts the iSCSI target disk from a fixed disk to a  dynamic diskNot supportedNot enforced
VHD minimum size format8 MBEnforced
Parent VHD size2088890 MBEnforced
Fixed VHd size16776703 MBEnforced
Differencing VHD size2088960 MBEnforced
VHD fixed formatSupportedN/A
VHD differencing formatSupportedN/A
VHD dynamic formatNot supportedN/A
FAT/FAT32 (hosting volume of VHD)Not supportedNot enforced
NTFS cluster size4 kbN/A
Non-Microsoft CFSNot SupportedEnforced
Number of differencing VHDs per VHD256Not enforced
Number of parent VHDs per differencing VHD1Enforced
Number of boot operating systems that can be installed on one VHD1Not enforced
Thin provisioningNot supportedN/A
LUN shrinkNot supportedN/A
LUN cloningNot supportedN/A

Windows operating systems on which the VDS and VSS hardware providers are supported

Operating SystemLimitEnforced
Windows Server 2003 R2 x64SupportedEnforced
Windows Server 2003 R2 x86SupportedEnforced
Windows Server 2008 SP2 x64SupportedEnforced
Windows Server 2008 SP2 x86SupportedEnforced
Windows Server 2008 R2 x64SupportedEnforced
Windows Storage Server 2008 x64SupportedEnforced
Windows Storage Server 2008 x86Not supportedEnforced
Windows Storage Server 2008 R2 x64SupportedEnforced
All client operating systems (Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7)Not supportedEnforced

iSCSI Software Target provider interoperability

iSCSI target versioniSCSI provider versionSupported
3.23.1Not supported
3.23.1 (in-place upgrade)Not supported

Note: In-place upgrades from Microsoft iSCSI Software Target 3.1 to Microsoft iSCSI Software Target 3.3 are not supported. To upgrade to Microsoft iSCSI Software Target 3.3, you must first uninstall Microsoft iSCSI Software Target 3.1.

iSCSI Software Target virtual disk compatibility

Created in versionMounted in versionSupported
3.03.1Not supported

Microsoft iSCSI Software Target snap-in interoperability
Snap-in installed onManaging iSCSI target onSupported
Windows Storage Server 2008 R2Windows Storage Server 2008 R2Supported
Windows Storage Server 2008 R2, stand-alone serverWindows Storage Server 2008 R2, failover cluster nodeSupported
Windows Storage Server 2008 R2, failover cluster nodeWindows Storage Server 2008 R2, stand-alone serverSupported


Install Microsoft iSCSI Software Target 3.3 snap-in on Windows XP, Windows Vista, or Windows 7Not supported
Install Microsoft iSCSI Software Target 3.3 snap-in on x86 version of Windows Storage Server 2008Not supported
Use Microsoft iSCSI Software Target 3.3 snap-in to manage Microsoft iSCSI Software Target  3.2 targetSupported
Use Microsoft iSCSI Software Target 3.2 snap-in to manage Microsoft iSCSI Software Target 3.3 targetNot supported


Article ID: 2535811 - Last Review: Jul 2, 2012 - Revision: 1

Windows Server 2008 R2 Datacenter, Windows Server 2008 R2 Enterprise, Windows Server 2008 R2 Foundation, Windows Server 2008 R2 Standard