November 15th, 2014 by JFrappier

Jonathan Frappier Virtxpert

I was going to do a post on NFS versus iSCSI, to be honest that is such old hat in my opinion it doesn’t really matter.  Whether you use iSCSI or NFS is up to you, your application and business requirements along with any constraints in your infrastructure that may force you to lean one way or another.  Since I am an NFS networking ninja, clearly I am going to go the NFS route.  Let’s get started on setting up NFS, if you are not already log into your Synology DSM.

  • Click on the main menu button on the upper left and open Control Panel
  • Click on the File Services icon
  • I have no need for CIFS or AFP at this time so I am going to disable those; expand the Windows File Service section and uncheck Enable Windows File Service; repeat for Mac File Service
  • Expand NFS service and check enable NFS
  • Click the Apply button
  • In the left navigation window click on Shared Folder
  • Click the create button
  • Provide the necessary details for your folder I am naming my folder vxprt-silver01-ds01 which will be on the SATA drives; click OK
  • Click on the NFS permissions tab and click the Create button
  • In the hostname/IP field enter the range for your ESXi hosts, in my case its all the same network so
  • Click OK twice
  • Make note of the mount path value, we’ll need that later
  • Repeat for the folder on the SSD volume, I am naming htis folder vxprt-gold01-ds01
  • You should now have two folders created
Synology NFS shares created in DSM

Synology NFS shares created in DSM

Next I need to connect to my NFS share from the ESXi hosts.  Typically I’d have NFS on its on VLAN, but sans a switch in my home lab to VLANs it will be riding with all my other network traffic.

  • Log into the vCenter Web Client
  • Click on vCenter >> Hosts and Clusters
  • Select your cluster, click on the Related Objects tab >> Datastores
  • Click the icon to add a new datastore, click Next
  • Select next NFS and click Next
  • Enter the datastore name, in my case vxprt-silver01-ds01
  • Enter the server IP address and the path you note in the previous section, in my case /volume1/vxprt-silver01-ds01 – click next
  • Select both/all hosts in the cluster you want to have access and click next then finish

The datastore should now be available on both hosts (Click on the host >> related objects >> datastores) as seen below.  Repeat for the gold datastore.


Now that the datastores are created, I am going to create an “ISO” folder on the silver datastore to hold my linux ISOs and build virtual machines in vCenter.

Setting up NFS on the Synology Diskstation 1513+ for ESXi

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November 14th, 2014 by JFrappier

Jonathan Frappier Virtxpert

In order to provide shared storage to my home lab, I am going to use a Synology DS1513+.  In my lab I have my DS1513+ connected to a switch, which is connected to my home router, this allows me to use to start configuring my DS1513+.

Synology DS1513+

Synology DS1513+

My Synolog is configured with 2x 120GB SSD Corsair Neutron drives and 3x 2TB Seagate SATA drives.  On the page, click on the Connect button to get started.

  • Log in as admin with no password
  • Click on the Main Menu button in the upper left corner and start Control Panel
  • The Synology used DHCP to find an address on your network so we could connect and set it up.  We do not want DHCP to continue providing the address, especially since we will be using this for ESXi host storage (at least I will)
  • In Control Panel click on Network >> Network Interface, selected the connected port and click the Edit button
  • With the networking configuration done, time to start configuring storage!

My Corsair drives do not seem to be compatible with Synology SSD cache, I don’t have the option to create it even though I should have enough memory for at least a portion of the SSDs to be used as cache.  In any case, give what I had for parts I’ll just use the 2x SSDs as an all flash volume for my hosts and the 3x SATA drives as another.

  • Chose manual configuration, enter an IP address outside the scope of your DHCP server (or home router) and click the OK button
  • Click on the Main Menu button in the upper left corner and start Storage Manager
  • When storage manager opens click on volumes (depending on your SSDs you could poke around and see if you can do SSD cache or not)

If your Synology ships with drives already, it likely had a volume created which is now unavailable because you removed two of the drives.  In that scenario remove any existing volumes.  If it was ordered with no drives, then I believe as older models did for me you can just create the new volumes and do not need to delete anything.

Synology Storage Manager

Synology Storage Manager

  • Click on the Volume menu and then click the create button
  • For general purpose use I put my trust in Synology SHR volumes, in my case here I want a bit more control and am not so concerned over data loss since its just a lab.  I am going to chose Custom in the wizard to select my own RAID type
  • Chose either single or multiple volume on RAID (I’ve selected single)
  • Select the 3x 2TB drives, click OK when prompted about erasing the disk
  • On the RAID selection screen, chose the RAID type you are most comfortable with given what you are running…for me – RAID0 across all 3 drives
  • In most cases chose yes to check the disks, these shipped with the Synology and are new so I’ve selected No here for times sake
  • Click Apply – your volume will be created
  • If like me you still have drives in your Synology to use, repeat for the remaining drives.  Once the volume is created for the SSD, click on the SSD Trim button to enable.

And there you have it, Synology volumes are created.  Up next, iSCSi or NFS? (Hint I passed the Chris Wahl NFS Ninja training at the Boston VMUG)

Setting Up the Synology DS1513+

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November 14th, 2014 by JFrappier

Jonathan Frappier Virtxpert

I just got a Synology DS1513+ and wanted to try out the SSD cache.  Having never powered it on I pulled two of the 2TB Seagate drives and installed 2x Corsair SSDs.  Once I powered on the device, it started beeping and wouldn’t stop.  Turns out that when shipped with drives there is an existing volume already created.  The beeping was an error because I basically broke the volume removing the two 2TB drives.  To turn off the beeping, do the following:

  • Log into DSM, since I am assuming this is a new deployment you can find the IP at
  • Log in as admin with no password
  • The control panel window will open
  • Click on Beep off, take aspirin to fix the headache
  • Close the control panel window
  • In storage manager you will see Volume 1 in a crashed state, highlight it and click remove
  • Click OK then yes to confirm deleting the volume
  • You should now see no volumes in storage manager and the disk station health change to good
  • You can now go about creating volumes as you see fit

Having purchased other Synology’s with no drives in them I didn’t expect the volume to already exist.  If your Synology is beeping, log in and check it out!

Synology DS1513+ beeping after installing SSDs (New deployment)

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July 10th, 2014 by JFrappier

Jonathan Frappier Virtxpert

synology-rsSynology has just announced a new 5 year warranty for several of their models, making a great product even more desirable!  Synology has made excellent storage devices for small and medium sized businesses for many years and they clearly look to continue that with this warranty update.  There are those that believe that SMB’s do not need shared storage and should just be using DAS to save on cost.  However, doing this limits an SMBs ability to maintain automated fail over and high availability like VMware’s HA.  Having worked with many SMBs and start-ups I can tell you that up time is critical and being able to leverage products that can take advantage of shared storage is critical.  Is it more expensive that DAS?  Of course but what is the cost of downtime or outages?  Having to constantly rely on full machine restores as your “HA” is not an option.

Model’s that include the new 5 year warranty are: RS10613xs+, RS3614xs+, RS3614RPxs, RS3614xs, RX1213sas, RX1214, RX1214RP

These are excellent products for both iSCSI block storage and NAS (NFS/CIFS) services.  Beyond basic storage you can encrypt and replicate data.  I have also used their smaller models for specific solutions such as video monitoring which works great – rather than constantly recording they can detect motion, start recording when motion is detected and email images to a specified address – a great option for businesses needing to add video monitoring to help safe guard important data.

If you are considering shared storage, either via iSCSI or NFS/CIFS add Synology to your list for consideration.  Check out for more information


New 5 year warranty from Synology (@synology)

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