1. Introduction and Disclaimer

    Open-E develops Enterprise class IP based storage software. As of the time of writing (April 2014) the Data Storage Software V7 (Open-E DSS V7) is active and this is the version used here. The software is mature and widely used with a good track record, it also features ease of use (which will be show in this guide) and any experienced SysAdmin will have no issues getting to grips with device configuration.

    As always my HOWTO guides focus on the HOW rather than the WHY and are designed to get the user up to speed rapidly with a working configuration and as such very little explanation is given along the way. Basic functions such as iSCSI and NAS configuration are shown. Since the intent is to gain familiarity with the functionality of the product the configurations shown here are not necessarily best practices, indeed since the focus is more on education, virtual machines were used rather than physical ones to illustrate the functionality. Each configuration step shows the associated screen shots which reduces the likelihood of errors, however there is no guarantee that this document is free of errors. The information portrayed here is for educational purposes and should not be used in a live production environment.

    The user is encouraged to implement other features not covered in this guide and investigate the Enterprise level features such as High Availability, Remote Mirroring etc. Open-E has comprehensive documentation available that  goes well beyond the limited scope of this document.

  2. Obtaining and installing the software

    The software can be downloaded at and burnt onto a CD.DVD. The installation process is fairly simple and after successful installation a screen similar to that shown below will be shown.

  3. Accessing the configuration screens

    From a suitable configured system point a browser to the IP address shown in the screen above.

    Select <Try> to get a 60 day trial version. This will bring up the next screen prompting for an email address.

    Enter a valid email address and follow the link that is emailed. After this a key will be sent which can be pasted into the dialog box.

    Select <apply> to activate the product key. This will bring up the license agreement screen as shown below. Review the agreement and select <agree> to proceed to the wizard screens.


    Use the password “admin” for the initial login.

    In this case the default language of English will be used – select <Next> to select the language.


    Change the password from the default of “admin”.


    Next set the IP address, in this case no changes are needed and the static IP of will continue to be used.

    Next select the correct time zone.


    Set the time manually or use an NTP server.

    Name the Server.

    Verify the settings are correct and select <Finish>.

    At this point the wizard is complete and the system is ready for volume configuration.

    In addition scrolling down will show documentation links. The system allows for a 60 day trial period.

  4. Configuring a Volume

    The first step is to configure a volume. A volume is part of a volume group so the first part is to create the volume group. This is done by selecting Configuration Volume manager Volume groups.


    Name the volume group and select apply.

    Select <OK> to create and format the volume group

    Now that the volume group exists a logical volume can be created. This can be done by selecting the highlighted link below.


  5. Setting up an iSCSI Target

    The next screen will allow the creation of NAS or iSCSI devices. In addition snapshots can be created. In the following example an iSCSI volume will be used with a capacity of 25 GB. Also a SWAP space of 4 GB will be set up. The initialization rate can also be adjusted from the drop down box. It is recommended to perform an initialization on the new volume. In the option box select <Create new target automatically>.


    If the process is successful a screen similar to the one shown will appear.

    The capacity of 25 GB is shown and the link can be selected to configure the iSCSI target. This screen shows that the access mode is set up for write through which is best for reliability, CHAP authentication is disabled (which is acceptable for the purposes of the tutorial) and the default iqn is used. It is also possible to map only certain hosts to the target from the <target IP access> box.

  6. Connecting to the iSCSI target from a Linux iSCSI initiator

    This example will setup an iSCSI initiator on CentOS. If the iSCSI initiator is not included with the installation then it can be installed with the following command:

    sudo yum install iscsi-initiator-utils

    The default iSCSI configuration file is located at /etc/iscsi/iscsid.conf. At this point the defaults settings should be OK. Next configure the iSCSI services by:

    sudo service iscsid start

    Connect to the target by issuing:

    iscsiadm -m discovery -t st -p

    The system should respond with the target’s iqn as shown below/

    This can be compared with the Name on the Open-E configuration screen.

    Configure the iSCSI service to start at boot time –

    sudo chkconfig iscsid on

    Use the fdisk command to show the target:

    fdisk –l


    Here the iSCSI target is /dev/sdb. Next use fdisk to partition the device and mkfs to format it.


    Test the device by creating a mount point, mounting it, copy some files and then list the copied files.

  7. Configuring a NAS Device

    A new physical device of 50Gb has been added to the open-e host. This device will be used to configure a NAS share. From the browser select the <Configuration Tab> as before and select <Volume Manager>à <Volume Groups>. Select the second disk (Unit S002) and select <New Volume Group> from the Action dialogue.

    Note that instead we have the option to add to the existing volume group (vg00) but here a new volume group (vg01) will be created.


    Select <Apply> to format the new volume group. After the new volume group has been created it will show up as being “in use” and now select the link to create a logical volume.


    Select <new NAS volume> for the action and use 20GB of the capacity. Select <apply>.

    After the volume has been created the link to create a network share can be selected.

    Name the share and select <apply>. After the network share has been created the next step is to configure services for the share. Do this by selecting the link.

  8. Configuring a Windows Share

    This time Windows will be used as the Operating System to access the open-e resource. From the SMB setting box ensure that <Use SMB> is checked and then set the Users access permissions accordingly. Other share settings will not be used in this example.

  9. Accessing the Open-E share from Windows

    Select run form the menu (varies according to the windows version) and enter \\ The share should now pop up in a file window as shown below. This share can be mapped to a drive letter and used a s a file resource.



    The share now shows up as a regular device under explorer.

  10. Other features

  11. Statistics

    Along with the ease of use of open-e it is also very strong in showing a wide range of statistics which can be used to analyze performance bottlenecks and to glean other important information. Select <Status> à <Statistics> and then select the link <more details>.

  12. Load Statistics

    The first section is <Load> which shows how the load various over the course of the day and this is of great importance to administrators as it gives them a great feel for what is happening “Behind the Scenes”.

  13. FileSystems Statistics

    The filesystems page shows device read and write accesses over varying time periods.

  14. Misc Statistics

    This screen captures System Uptime Stats.


  15. Network Statistics

    This screen shows the number of bits and packets that are sent and received over a given time period.

  16. Memory statistics

    This screen shows memory usage as well as access patterns.

  17. Using the Open-E console

    Many functions are also available directly from the console Press the <F1> Key to bring up a help screen.

    Only a few of the options will be discussed here but some of the screen that are covered are:

  18. Console Tools Console command

    Press Ctrl – Alt-T to access the console tools menu.

    Press <2> to bring up the Hardware Info menu. Use the arrow keys to navigate through the listing.

  19. Extended Tools console command

    Press Ctrl–Alt-X to access the console tools menu.

    This is a potentially data destructive tool so a password prompt is required to proceed.

    Warning it is not recommended to use these options without a thorough understanding of the underlying actions involved.


  20. Configure Network console command

    Press Ctrl–Alt-N to access the network settings menu. This screen can be used to change IP addresses and set up static or DHCP configuration.

  21. Hardware Configuration console command

    Press Ctrl-Alt-W to access this screen. This is also a potentially data destructive operation so the options should be used with care.

    Enter the administrator password to proceed.

    Option 7 can be used to run a basic benchmark such as a read performance test.

    Select the <Read test> only.

    Use the arrow keys to navigate and the space bar to select the devices, select <OK>.

  22. Shutdown console command

    Finally use Ctrl-Alt-K to shutdown or restart the system.

    As mentioned at the beginning this guide only covers the bare minimum of DSS V7’s capabilities, further investigation of the many enterprise level features is greatly encouraged.