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Microsoft Multipathing I/O (MPIO) & iSCSI on Win7

Last response: in Storage
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April 12, 2010 10:15:08 PM

Hello all,

My first post here, but have been a keen follower of Toms Hardware since the days of the AMD K6!

Anyhow, down to business.

I've been spending a lot of my free time playing with storage (SAN/NAS/DAS) and the associated network technologies. I have been using Microsoft's Multipathing I/O (MPIO) with iSCSI on my windows XP 64bit desktop connecting to an open-E based SAN (these are brilliant BTW). I've enjoyed the increased performance (peaking out at around 150-170MB/s) whist connecting to an single iSCSI target consisting of two SATA 1TB disks in RAID1. This uses the two onbard NIC's in my desktop, each set to a different subnet and the same dual NIC configuration on the Open-E SAN. All is peachey and fine!

Then I consider upgrading to Win 7.......guess what?........ "MPIO is only supported on M$ server platforms". Well excuse me! I am running it on a desktop platform that pre-dates both Win 7 and Vista. Why on earth would they exclude it!! They could at least offer it on their "professional" products for those with high performance requirements, but without the deep pockets for dedicated hardware iSCSI HBA's.

This sounds like a very bad decision? And I do think this is a concious decision, rather than an "error"....

Has anyone else any feelings/thoughts/frustrations on the matter?

Best regards

TFZ
April 13, 2010 11:40:36 AM

Well in all honesty, the vast majority of people who would have a home SAN, open source or otherwise would most likely have Win7 Enterprise or Ultimate so I don't really see the issue.

And that's the idea MS has been following for a long time. lots of "advanced" features weren't available in XP Home. In Vista they just added more granularity with the different SKUs but still the same philosophy.

I can say for sure that Enterprise and Ultimate support iSCSI. I wouldn't expect the Home version to.
April 13, 2010 12:48:00 PM

Hello noCheese,

All of M$ operating systems can support iSCSI either natively or with an add-on package from Win2k onwards.

MPIO, however, does not work/cannot be installed or enabled on any of the Win7 product range (as far as I can tell), so the end user is forced to have to invest in an LACP 8023.ad compliant switch and NIC teaming/bonding. This is rather irritating given that MPIO is known to work on their desktop platforms, but they choose to "disable" this functionality.

It's the possible reason for that decision I am trying to understand.

What do you think?
October 4, 2012 12:09:21 PM

any good news ? is there anyway to use mpio on win7 ?
October 4, 2012 9:19:38 PM

techfreakz said:
Hello noCheese,

All of M$ operating systems can support iSCSI either natively or with an add-on package from Win2k onwards.

MPIO, however, does not work/cannot be installed or enabled on any of the Win7 product range (as far as I can tell), so the end user is forced to have to invest in an LACP 8023.ad compliant switch and NIC teaming/bonding. This is rather irritating given that MPIO is known to work on their desktop platforms, but they choose to "disable" this functionality.

It's the possible reason for that decision I am trying to understand.

What do you think?


I've been running Win 7 Enterprise since inception and I know for a fact that iSCSI is native and it supports multi-path I/O (have the option to configure it), but it isn't supported by my NAS. As far as having it disabled, they have taken this approach with Win 7, which is why Bit Locker isn't available on any platform other than Win 7 Ultimate or Enterprise.
!