Synology NFS VAAI

A few days ago Synology released their latest DSM version 5.1-5004. I have been impressed with the amount of innovation and enterprise features Synology brings to the storage market. It’s with this new release that Synology adds NFS VAAI support to the already ISCSI VAAI support. The two currently supported primitives for NFS are Full File Clone and Reserve Space. I hope Synology also considers adding additional primitives for NFS support in the near future!

In order to take advantage of the two new primitives you need to install the NFS VAAI plugin. This is basically a VIB that can be installed on each host through update manager or esxcli commands.

1)    Copy the VIB to a temp location /tmp

2)    Run esxcli software vib install –v esx-nfsplugin.vib

3)    Reboot host

Once installation is complete you can check to see if the VIB was successfully installed by running:  esxcli software vib list | more

This will list all VIBs installed. As you can see I have the PernixData VIB installed in addition to the NFS VIB. 

 

You can also check in vCenter if “Hardware Acceleration” says “Supported” You can see that my ISCSI and NFS datastores from my Synology both are supported! Since PernixData now supports NFS, I can now start realizing IO accelerartion for VM's using NFS! 

 

Synology RS10613XS+ and RX1213sas

At VMworld 2012 this year, I was able to get a glimpse of the next generation SANS from Synology. The biggest excitement with these new SANS, is the ability to have SSD Read Cache. Since we now have VAAI available, these units have now become enterprise worthy. It's expected that they will also be available in a couple months for under $10k. 

Check out some of the specs and options: 

  • More than 2000 MB per sec., as well as ultra-high transmission efficiency of more than 200,000 IOPS
  • Synology RX1213sas - Up to expand capacity to more than 400TB
  • Supports two 10GbE network port (using the add-in network adapter compatible with PCI-E)
  • Compatible with VMware ® / Citrix ® / Microsoft ® / Hyper-V ®
  • Passively cooled CPU and system fan redundancy mechanism
  • The scalable ECC memory (up to up to 8GB)
  • The operating system Synology DiskStation Manager (DSM)

 

Synology DSM 4.1 Released

Synology has released their new firmware DSM 4.1.

"Agile storage for virtual infrastructure: DSM 4.1 fully supports VMware® vSphere 5 vStorage APIs for Array Integration (VAAI) features. By integrating Full Copy, Zero Blocks, and Atomic Test and Set (ATS) features, Synology DiskStation and RackStation boost the performance of ESXi servers and optimize storage utilization to empower business with an efficient virtualized data center."


Download at: http://www.synology.com/support/download.php?lang=enu

Synology RS3412RPxs Review

Recently I noticed that the only sub $10,000 SAN that is on VMware's VAAI HCL list is the Synology RS3412RPxs SAN. This SAN doesn't currently support all the VAAI API's, but it does support ATOMIC test and set.

http://www.synology.com/releaseNote_enu/RS3411RPxs.php?lang=us

http://www.synology.com/products/product.php?product_name=RS3412xs&lang=us

Their DSM 4.0 is really refined and the setup was very easy. I bought the RPxs model, because it has dual power supplies. I thought about purchasing a 10G NIC card and then load this unit with SSD drives (which is supported), but then I thought that it might be better and cheaper to load the unit with Seagate Enterprise drives at 500GB a piece. This will give me 10 spindles with smaller drives sizes, and hopefully giving me more iOPS at a lower cost. This unit fully loaded with drives using my configuration was only about $6,000!!

To get "Hardware Supported"for VAAI on ESXi 5.0, remember to setup a iSCSi file level LUN. This will allow ESXi to use the Synology for VAAI.

I haven't done much in regards of in-depth testing, but I'm currently running our highly utilized production Exchange mailbox store on it and it's running circles around our EMC VNXe that also has Exchange server running on it.

So far I recommend Synology, it's giving us features that the big boys only give us at $25k and above. Give me your feedback and questions.