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The Synology NAS 810+ is 'certified as compatible with VMware vSphere 4' - but we are planning to go with a cheaper Synology rack NAs.

What do we loose (except performance and size) if we want use one of Synology Rack NAS 407,409,409+,409RP+ as iSCSI Target for VMWare ESXi?

I thought all of them can do this.

If we can install DSM 2.3 or they ship with DSM 2.3, could there be any problem using it as VMWare iSCSI target?

Anything to consider/remember when choosing between the above mentioned models 407,409,409+,409RP+ ?

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2 Answers 2

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Greetings Mit

Thanks for your interest with the Synology RackStation, if you're looking for using the RackStation within a VMware environment, I would highly suggest using the RS810+ as this particular model is Vmware certified and you will be able to gain technical support for using this RackStation for your Vmware needs. If you're looking at using one of our other models, you may elect to do so, as they are all managed by the same OS, the DiskStation Manager - which means, that the management experience is the same, and the functionality, and abilities of the RackStation will be similar with the exception of performance.

If you want to compare the RS810+ with the RS409, the largest factor is performance, followed by scalability. You may wish to look here for the Block-level iSCSI performance of the RackStation

http://www.synology.com/us/products/4-5bay_perf.php

RS409: 54.69MB/Sec Writing; 64.82MB/Sec Reading

RS810+: 98.9MB/Sec Writing; 97.27MB/Sec Reading

Note the above performance numbers are using RAID-5 - you may elect to use RAID-0 if you're looking for greater performance, but a RAID-0 environment offers no redundancy - therefore a disk failure will result in failure of the entire volume.

With regards to scalability, the RS810+ can be paired with its companion system, the RX410, where you will have the ability of creating an 8-bay storage system, useful as your storage needs increase, you can expand the storage capability of the RS810+ without the need of migrating to another system, or using two RackStations.

To address some of the concerns that Helvick has brought up, the CS407 which was referenced is part of our 2007 product line, and was reviewed with an early version of the DSM 2.0. Today's RS810+ contains a lot more performance, and with the latest DSM 2.3 OS, provides more functionality.

The RackStation supports the ability of hot-swapping HDDs, where you may remove a failed HDD and replace it with another one and repair the volume if it is a redundant volume. Email Notification, visual, audio alerts of a failed drive is available in the current DSM 2.3 OS.

If you're concerned about having high power availability, you may elect to use the RS810RP+, which features two hot-swappable redundant power supplies, which will allow for the RackStation to be operational in case power to one module has failed.

Also, iSCSI SPC3-PR is available in DSM 3.0, which is currently being evaluated as a public beta. Please visit synology.com for further information about the DSM 3.0 Beta.

If you have any further questions, I would suggest that you contact our pre-sales team, and one of our product specialists will be happy to assist you. Please visit synology.com and click on contact us on the lower right, and you may use the Product Question form for contacting our product specialists.

Have a good day

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Nice info - thanks for the clarifications. –  Helvick Sep 1 '10 at 19:10
    
Thank you very much, your answer helped a lot and in the end we purchased a RS810+ and are happy with it so far. ISCSI works fine. –  mit Nov 19 '10 at 1:45

You will want to confirm that the model you are interested in can present iSCSI sessions to the number of ESXi boxes that you need to support.

Other possibly concerns - single Gigabit interface, slower CPU's\Controllers and thus throughput. The 810+ looks to be capable of supporting about 100Meg/sec sequential write \ 80-100 write IOPs with 4 disks in RAID5. That's alright for a very small virtualization exercise but the lower spec boxes will probably only deliver half of that (50 Meg/sec 40 IOPs), maybe even less, which will be a significant performance bottleneck. As a comparison 2x20k SAS Disks in RAID1 locally on a server will provide 200Meg/sec (or more) sequential write's and up to 150 read IOPs. All of these (including the 810+) only have a single power supply, that's a concern for centralized storage.

Low end devices like these often have very poor iSCSI stacks and performance may be worse with iSCSI than with NFS. I've no idea if that is an issue for the Synology line but it is a common enough pattern.

Some quick googling throws up some other things to think about - no support for hot swapping failed drives, poor alerting, inefficient RAID5 performance. SmallNetBuilder has a decent overview of the basics - http://www.smallnetbuilder.com/content/view/30092/75/ - I would say that it's fairly obvious that this is a product aimed at home\very small business levels and not really intended for the sort of demands that a production virtual environment needs, even a very small one, but that's your call.

If it's not VMware certified then it may will still work but obviously you have no way of getting VMware support if anything goes wrong. That's not a great decision to be making from a supportability perspective.

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+1, The cheaper unit might also not support SCSI3-PR, which is require for High Available configruations. –  Chris S Sep 1 '10 at 17:28

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