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Nas for vmware esx

After quite some thinking and posting questions on ee, I came to the conclusion, I need an extra nas for my lab.

In short, my config:
-3 hp microservers, 8 gb ram, each 1 ssd
-Synology nas ds1511+, 5 seagate caviar 64 mb cache, 2tb disks

Performance on nas is to slow so I would like a budget performant nas with a few 100 GB (only for sql, vcenter, sccm 2012, xenapp-server, maybe other vm s in feature).

I was looking at different nas-es. This one should be dedicated for iscsi luns (no other features needed).

I like the drobo but no resellers here (would need to order it abroad, still an option though). Mostly netap, qnap, Synology, emc is sold over here. Then the disks, should I really go for ssd s, maybe sata of 10 rpm or 15 rpm with cache can also be sufficient (less expensive and more tb for money).
Budget: some 100 euro s (would like to stick below 600, but efforts can be done). Other option is to sell my ds1511+ but then buying ds2413 (need some video, sharing, vpn features of synology).

Please advise.
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Carl Webster
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I just bought a QNAP 469Pro for my lab.  I have 3 lab servers: ESXi 4.1, XenServer 5.6 SP2 and Hyper-V 3.  In the QNAP I have 4 WD 2TB Enterprise drives configured as JBOD.  I have, so far, configured 4 iSCSI 1TB volumes.  1 each for the 3 hypervisors and 1for my Win7 box to use for ISO images.  I also configured 1TB to use for my Mac for Time Machine backups.  That is 5TB used of the 8.

I have had no issues with the QNAP in the 1 week it has been in use.  Performance is very good and no host or my PC or my Mac had any issues seeing the NAS and attaching to the iSCSI or TimeMachine volumes.

I bought mine off of Amazon because I have Amazon Prime and didn't have to pay for 2-day shipping! :)
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Thanks! What about the ts 412 or 419? They are few 100 euro s cheaper, which I could spend on sata s ....
Note: is the ram of importance (smallest model has only 256 ram).
I upgraded mine to 3GB RAM but only because it was less than 15 euro (just spent 2 weeks in Spain/Germany so I am familiar with the Euro).

From the QNAP website, it doesn't look like the 412 can have its RAM upgraded.  The 412 supports iSCSI.

Max storage is 4TB.
I have three Iomega IS2-220's.

Support iSCSI, is on the VMware HCL (owned by EMC) and performance isn't bad for the money.

Downside - booting multiple guests is slow. However, when running, there's no noticeable slowdown.

Alternatively, consider an HP ProLiant microserver and sling OpenFiler on.
If janhoedt is in the EU, paying for the electricty for even an HP Proliant microserver _may_ be cost prohibitive.
I'm in the UK and even for a NAS with our ridiculous costs for electricity it's cost-prohibitive.

At least I can offset some running costs to the business.

I've seen some metrics somewhere though that show the microserver isn't much more expensive to run than a lot of the multi-bay NAS's. I'll have to see if I can't dig it out.
Tony1044, I may be speaking at two conferences in London in 2013.  If you make it to Briforum or Synergy, look me up.
Thanks about the nas-es but what about the disks, what would you advise?
Unfortunately I'm not booked into either due to work overload mate. It would've been great to share a beer. :-(

Sod's law. This time last year I had time on my hands.
Mm, ever heard of mail, mobile phones, why use this forum?
I only buy disks that are listed in the compatible list by whatever NAS you purchase.  That is the safest thing to do.  If you have issues and the disks in the NAS are not in the recommended list you will need to replace the disks to get support from the NAS vendor.  So start off with the disks they recommend.
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Carl Webster
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Good input, thanks!
One more thing. Wouldn't it be a good idea to configure a NAS with two SSD's on which the OS runs, then adding the other ssd's later? Just a thought. I now have RAID 5 on 3 disks and RAID 1 on two others. Not sure where my OS is installed (it is NOT on a rom somewhere, I m pretty sure of that -stupid, but it is configured like that-).
Most OSes only support booting from SAN, not a NAS and that requires a special Host Bus Adapter in the host and special drivers and configuration.  Maybe a high-end NAS will support it but not a low-end NAS like you are looking at.

The OS will boot from and run off of drives installed locally on your ESX host.
Ok, thanks. But that was not my question.
My question was if it would be a good idea to configure a nas to run from a raid1 ssd, then adding other drives.
"Wouldn't it be a good idea to configure a NAS with two SSD's on which the OS runs"

That is what I was answering.  Almost every NAS runs Linux which is very small, highly customized and severly locked down.  That Linux OS will run on a ROM chip that you can do anything with.
Why would you waste a drive in a home lab NAS for RAID?  Is what youare doing so critical that it requires any level of RAID (other than RAID 0)?  I would just configure JBOD or RAID 0 and have all you drive space available.  I did mine as JBOD.  The NAS will handle all the configuring of iSCSI volume space and sizes.
Here s why: I think I will stick to Synology. Very happy about it untill now about Synology. This one has eight bays:

I ll configure it to use 2ssd for os (smalest avaiable), then 6 others in raid 10. Then again, which sata s o use from their hcl. Not sure yet.
I love RAID 10 for my customer's servers.  Great speed and reliability.  For my home lab NAS, I am not willing to lose 50% of my drives.

"I ll configure it to use 2ssd for os "

What do you mean by that?
Yes, I have terrabytes of data: personal stuff: movies, pictures but also vm s which took me months to setup correctly (domain, sccm, xenapp, ...). Main goal is iscsi vmware.
When installing synology, it asks the disks where it should install.. I d then choose a raid1 os. Then again, not sure if this option was available.but you defintely have to choose where to install during setup.
Ahh, I only use mine for test VMs, ISO files and my TimeMachine backups.  I can lose all that and not be upset.
OK, I am not familiar with synology.
Btw, how do you mount an ssd into a nas (as synology)? I have a nas (2 actually), I have ssd's, I have brackets to mount them, but I don't see an easy way to fit them into the bays. Maybe I need other brackets?
And ... time to close this ticket.
Synology it will be, but wonder if it isn't better to take 2 small nas-es then 1 big one.
f.e. 2x DS413J then 1 DS812+.
What is actually the most important thing about the nas? CPU or RAM?
The DS413 has 1,6 Ghz but only 512 RAM. As far as I know my ram is hardly used, only when running applications like photostation. And those things I won't use.
So ... why not 2x a DS413J ...? What do you think?
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And don't forget, two NAS's means you get to experiment with storage vMotion etc

CPU seems to be THE limiting factor in the NAS's I've seen. The cheap end stuff just doesn't have the grunt.

NIC - it's nice to have a second gig connection to split of management or even to trunk them if possible

RAM - doesn't seem to be such a factor unless it's a very small amount. I don't think I'd go for one with < 256 at the least but probably more to the 512 end.