I have recently purchased a Synology DS713+ unit as I needed a reliable storage solution for my new “all physical” vSphere Home Lab. Synology has a great reputation for quality, features and performances and it is one of the manufacturers of choice among home labbers. I was particularly intrigued by the fact that the DS7123+ comes with full VAAI capabilities at a reasonable price (I was able to find it for less than 400 Euros without disks).
I will spare you all the fancy stuff about the unboxing, the initial configuration and the detailed (and indeed impressive) features list and I will go straight to the point: I will show you how I managed to correctly set up a fully VAAI backed iSCSI DataStore for my ESXi 5.5 U1 hosts, after some trial and error: unfortunately the Synology documentation is a bit lacking on this topic and it took me a few attempts before I succeeded to do it correctly.
This post should hopefully be the first one in a series revolving around my new vSphere homelab. I have been running vSphere nested labs for quite a while, self-built or using the mighty Autolab, but recently I had both the need and the opportunity to put together a small “all-physical” lab. I will publish a post in the coming weeks with more details about its architecture and setup (hey! I’m still building it!) but I decided to pull the trigger and document a little inconvenience I managed to overcome quite easily. I hope you might find this info useful!