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.
For my current job I work a lot with NexentaOS (an OpenSolaris based distribution) VMs. Today I had to validate the procedure to upgrade VMware Tools on such VMs for a customer and came across some interesting issues.
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!
In the last few years virtualization technologies have changed dramatically and irreversibly the way modern Data Centers are designed, implemented and managed. In modern DCs, virtual to physical ratios are growing constantly, due to the commonly accepted evidence that every workload is now a candidate for successful virtualization: cases where 100% of the systems are virtual are not uncommon anymore.
This clearly requires a different approach to many – if not all – the tasks that fall into the Operations area. Backup and Replication are probably the two tasks that more than any other have changed as a consequence of the opportunities that virtualization has presented to infrastructure designers, engineers and administrators.