Tag Archives: synology

vSphere Lab Storage: Synology DS414slim Part 4 – VAAI-NAS Plugin

This posting is ~6 years years old. You should keep this in mind. IT is a short living business. This information might be outdated.

Chris Wahl wrote a good blog post about the VAAI-NAS plugin some days ago. I really recommend to read this posting. Because of his article, I will only describe the installation of the plugin. You can download the plugin on the Synology homepage for free.

There are two ways to install the plugin: With the vSphere Update Manager (VUM) and a host extension baseline, or with ESXCLI.

Plugin installation using the vSphere Update Manager

First of all, we need to import the plugin (host extension) to the patch repository. Open the vSphere C# client, switch to the “Home” screen and click “Update Manager” under “Solutions and Applications”. Switch to the “Patch Repository” tab and click “Import Patches”.

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Import the SYN-ESX-5.5.0-NasVAAIPlugin-1.0-offline_bundle-2092790.zip file. The next step is to create a new baseline, in this case a “Host Extension” baseline.

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Scroll down and add the plugin to the baseline (click the down arrow button). Click “Next”.

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Check the settings and finish the creation of the baseline.

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Now attach the baseline to your hosts or cluster.

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As you can see, the VUM detected that my hosts are non-compliant, because the host extension is missing.

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During the installation process, the plugin is installed and a host reboot is triggered. After a reboot and a scan, all hosts should be compliant.

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In addition to the now compliant host status, the NFS datastores should now support hardware acceleration. You can check this in the vSphere C# or vSphere Web Client.

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Another way to install the plugin is using the ESXCLI.

Install via ESXCLI

Upload the esx-nfsplugin.vib to a local or shared datastore. I placed the file in one of my NFS datastores. Then use ESXCLI to install the VIB.

Do enable the plugin, a host reboot is necessary. This ways is suitable for standalone hosts. I recommend to use the VUM whenever it’s possible.

Final words

I strongly recommend to install the plugin. Using the vSphere Update Manager, the installation is really easy. If you have a single host, try the installation using ESXCLI.

vSphere Lab Storage: Synology DS414slim Part 3 – Storage

This posting is ~6 years years old. You should keep this in mind. IT is a short living business. This information might be outdated.

This blog post covers the setup of the volumes and shares. Depending on your disk config, variuos volume configurations are possible. The DS414slim supports all important RAID levels (Synology Hybrid RAID, Basic, JBOD, RAID 0, 1, 5, 6 and 10). I recommend to use RAID 5, if you use more then two disks. I decided to create a RAID 5 with my three Crucial M550 SSDs and use the Seagate Momentus XT as a single disk.

Volume1: RAID 5

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Volume2: Single disk

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Create a NFS share

This disk setup gave me about 880 GB of SSD and 450 GB of SATA storage. To use this storage, we need to create at least one NFS share. Voume1 contains only a single NFS share. Volume2 contains a NFS share and an additional CIFS share, that I use for my Veeam backups. Since I use the Volume2 only for VM templates, I put both shares, the CIFS and NFS share, on the a single volume and a single disk.

To create a new NFS share, open the Control Panel > Shared Folders and click “Create”. Enter a name, a description and select a volume. Then click “OK”.

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Grant the local admin account “Read/ Write” permissions on the new share and click “NFS Permissions”.

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Enter the subnet or the IP address of your ESXi host to grant the host(s) access to the NFS share. Select “Map root to admin” and ensure that asynchronous transfer mode is enabled. Click “OK”.

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That’s it. Now you can mount the NFS share to your ESXi hosts. You can mount the NFS share using ESXCLI, the vSphere C# client or with the vSphere Web Client. The latter provides the very handy NFS multimount feature. This allows you to mount a NFS share at multiple hosts at the same time. With ESXCLI, you can mount a datastore with this command:

To mount a NFS datastore with the vSphere Web Client, simply right-click a cluster and select “New Datastore”. Provide the needed information and in step 4 you can select one or multiple hosts, to which the NFS share should be mounted. Very handy!

Final words

Depending on your disk configuration, you have multiple options to configure volumes. I decided to go for a RAID 5. I strongly recommend to use SSDs, because rotating rust would be too slow. I also recommend to use NFS instead of iSCSI in a lab environment. It’s easier to setup and faster.

Part 4 of this series covers the installation of the Synology VAAI-NFS plugin: vSphere Lab Storage: Synology DS414slim Part 4 – VAAI-NAS Plugin

vSphere Lab Storage: Synology DS414slim Part 2 – Networking

This posting is ~6 years years old. You should keep this in mind. IT is a short living business. This information might be outdated.

The next step is to connect the Synology DS414slim to my lab network. I use two HP 1910 Switches in my lab, a 8 Port and a 24 Port model. The Synology DS414slim has two 1 GbE ports, which can configured in different ways. I wanted to use both ports actively, to I decided to create a bond.

Create a bond

Browse to the admin website and go to Control Panel > Network > Network Interfaces and select “Create”. Then select “Create Bond”.

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To utilize both NICs, select the first option: “IEEE 802.3ad Dynamic Link Aggregation”. This option requires switches that are capable to create a LACP LAG! I will show the configuration of a LACP LAG on one of my HP 1910 switches later.

nas_networking_settings_02

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Click “IPv4”. I have a dedicated VLAN and subnet for NFS. This subnet is routed in my lab, so I that the can reach the DS414slim for management. Make sure that you enable Jumbo Frames and that every component in the network path can handle Jumbo Frames! Switch to the “IPv6” tab.

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I don’t want to use IPv6, so I decided to disable it.

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Click “OK” and wait until the configuration is finished.

Create a LAG

Now it’s time to create the LAG on the switch. As I already mentioned, I use two HP 1910 switches in my lab. Both are great home lab switches! They are cheap and they can do L3 routing. Browse to the web management, log in and select Network > Link Aggregation and click “Create”.

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Enter a interface ID for the LAG. In my case there were no LAGs before, so the ID is 1. Select “Dynamic (LACP Enabled)” and select two ports on the figure of the switch. Check the settings in the “Summary” section and click on “Apply”.

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Now we need to place the LAG in the correct VLAN. Select Network > VLAN and select “Modify Ports”. Select “BAGG1” from “Aggregation ports” and place the LAG as an untagged member in the NFS VLAN (in my case this is VLAN 100). Finish this task by clicking “Apply”.

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You can check the success of this operation by switching to the “Details” pageand then select the NFS VLAN.

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Connect the DS414slim with the two patch cables to the ports that were now configured as a LAG. If everything is configured correctly, the DS414slim should be reachable, with its new IP and in the NFS VLAN.

VMkernel configuration

Make sure that you have at least one VMkernel port configured, that is in the same subnet and VLAN as you DS414slim. You can see that the VMkernel port is placed in VLAN 100 and that is has a IP from my NFS subnet.

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Patrick Terlisten/ www.vcloudnine.de/ Creative Commons CC0

You should also make sure, that the VMkernel port and the vSwitch can handle Jumbo Frames. The HP 1910 switch series has enabled Jumbo Frames by default.

Final words

The network setup depends on your needs. I strongly recommend to use a dedicated VLAN and IP subnet for NFS. I also recommend the use of Jumbo Frames. Make sure that all componentens in the network path can handle Jumbo Frames and that the VLAN membership is correctly set. If possible, use a bond on the Synology and a LAG on the switch.

Part 3 of this series covers the creation of NFS shares: vSphere Lab Storage: Synology DS414slim Part 3 – Storage

vSphere Lab Storage: Synology DS414slim Part 1 – Unboxing and initial setup

This posting is ~6 years years old. You should keep this in mind. IT is a short living business. This information might be outdated.

A VMware vSphere cluster is nothing without shared storage. Most of the functions, like VMware HA or VMware vMotion (okay, vMotion is possible without shared storage), can only be used with a shared storage. The servers in my lab have Fibre Channel Host Bus Adapters (HBA), but buying an old and cheap Fibre Channel storage system wasn’t an option in my case. This left two options when choosing the right storage protocol: iSCSI or NFS. I tried to virtualize the local storage in my ProLiants with the HP StoreVirtual VSA and DataCore SANsymphony-V, but both were too complex for my needs and a lab environment. Because of this I decided to move the local storage into a small storage system and use iSCSI or NFS. I searched for a while for a suiteable system until Chris Wahl started blogging about the Synology DS414slim.

Like Chris, I’m a fan of NFS. His blog posts encouraged me that, the DS414slim would be a good choice. In addition, the DS414slim is relatively cheap (~ 250 € incl. taxes in Germany) and Chris showed, that the system can achieve a good performance when used with SSDs. Fortunately I already had three Crucial M550 SSDs (each with a capacity of 480 GB) and a single Seagate Momentus XT with a capacity of 500 GB, so I bought the DS414slim without disks.

I shot the DS414slim for ~ 250 € at the end of 2014. The price varies between 230 € and 260 € in Germany for model without disks.

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The box contains the DS414slim itself, a stand, two patch cables, screws for the disk trays and a power supply. So it contains everything you need to bring the DS414slim to life.

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The system is really small as you can see on this picture (take the2,5″ disks as reference). It goes without saying that you only can use 2,5″ hard disks.

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Patrick Terlisten/ www.vcloudnine.de/ Creative Commons CC0

The disks were quickly mounted into the disk trays, the needed screws are included. The initial setup is really easy. Simply power it on, open a browser and go to http://find.synology.com. My DS414slim was running DSM 4.1, but you can update the DSM during the installation process. Simply download DSM 5.1 at the Synology Download Center and provide the update file to the installer. The rest of the setup process is not very spectecular. I will not explain the installation process here in more detail – it’s too simple. :)

The next part of this series covers the network connectivity: vSphere Lab Storage: Synology DS414slim Part 2 – Networking.