Playing games over a network by emulating local HDD?

tl;dr: iSCSI programs/linux based OS's that can emulate a local hard drive and get around certain game protection like Blizzards "local disk" only installations and game play.

Heyo! I work at a LAN center and we have been trying to setup a network drive to load our games off of. We found a program called CCDisk which is derived from CCBoot but it has some bugs that wont allow us to connect to the drive with a 100% uptime. The reason for this software is so we can emulate a network drive as a local drive on the systems. It works when it wants to but only about 80% of the time. Some games wont allow us to boot from a network (Blizzard games primarily and a few one offs) so we need a program like this to save storage space. The main concern is upgradeability. If we can house all our games on a server then it would be possible to add more to the game library without the need of added more HDD's to every pc.

Has anyone had any success in doing this? Someone threw the term iSCSI at me and i cant find much detail from google searches. I know CCDisk uses iSCSI for its "emulation" but i cant find very many other programs that deal with this. Daemon Tools has an iSCSI tool but i dont have the time to test it as I only have a few hours each day to mess with the server before we open each day.

We have multiple gigabit switches connecting everything so load times isnt much of a concern when we can transfer around 500MB/s to each pc.

if you have such throughput whats the problem mounting network location as harddrive without software?

also its called iSCSI.

you might be able to make it work if you mounted a vhd/vmdk file from your drive. you could also try mounting your networked drive as a empty ntfs folder.

It doesnt work, we tried that before we started looking at emulation. The OS reports the drive as a network drive and some games refuse to boot off of a network drive for DRM reasons.

I'll try the ntfs option out tomorrow, I dont know if a VHD will work thought i dont see why it wouldnt so i'll check that as well.

Right now I just setup a FreeNAS box out of an old pc i had lying around and im going to try using iSCSI target along with it. Didn't realize that FreeNAS supported this and it looks like the Blizzard games that have been giving us trouble are loading up without complaining. Im going to test a few other games that have this DRM and see what happens.

I've done it with VHDs, not sure how well that would work if mounted to multiple systems simultaneously.

Have you tried using just a simple symbolic link to the network location?

Doesnt work, The OS still sees it as a network drive since the symbolic link just redirects is causing some games to fail.

The only technical way to do this is via iSCSI as it allows for lower level access to the drive than that of standard network shares.

Although you would be limited to only one machine being able to use the drive at anyone time.