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Create and connect an ISCSI Target on vSphere using WD My Cloud DL2100

Dear VMware Experts,

I have recently bought the following NAS from WD:

WD My Cloud DL2100

As per attached screenshot, under Storage Menu,  there is an option for creating iSCSI Targets.

WD Storage Menu
In my VMware 6 infrastructure I would like to connect the NAS/Storage to a specific VM.

The first and easiest option for me is to create a Network Share and Map it to the VM (which is running Windows Server 2012)
The Second option is to Create an iSCSI target.

Q1) In theory I know that I have to add the iSCSI target to the ESXi , following I should create a datastore and finally from the VM I should create an additional Virtual disk to use the space of this Datastore.
With the reference to the attached screenshot could you advise the steps required in detail from WD and vSphere side?

Q2) Do you recommend creating a Network Share or an iSCSI Target? And why?

Q3) In case that the Controller of WD fails and the storage is configured as an iSCSI target, will the data be available if I directly attach the disk to a computer or will be inaccessible?

Thank you in advance,
Mamelas
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mamelas
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mamelas
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2 Solutions
 
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
is this hardware supported by VMware e.g. on the HCL otherwise probably a bad idea.

why do you want to use this device and what for, how many disk does it have, performance is likely to be poor.


Q1.  see my EE Article how you create an iSCSI network

HOW TO: Add an iSCSI Software Adaptor and Create an iSCSI Multipath Network in VMware vSphere Hypervisor ESXi 5.0

Jumbo Frames can boost performance.

HOW TO: Enable Jumbo Frames on a VMware vSphere Hypervisor (ESXi 5.0) host server using the VMware vSphere Client

Q2. Network Shares e.g. Windows Shares are not Supported, BUT NFS is supported by ESXi, and often can give better performance on expensive NAS.

Q3. Unlikely. Once it fails your data is likely gone, unless you can recover using some sort of Linux Machine to mount the internal hard disk, but this is speculation.
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mamelasAuthor Commented:
Dear Andrew,

-      is this hardware supported by VMware e.g. on the HCL otherwise probably a bad idea.

Jumbo Frames are also supported from the NAS but seems that under Storage on the HCL of VMware’s site the Western Digital, as a maker, is not included at all.

In such case is it safer to go with NFS?

-      why do you want to use this device and what for, how many disk does it have, performance is likely to be poor.

This device has 2x 2TB disks in Raid 1 mode and I would like to use it as a backup of my infrastructure using Veeam (therefore this storage will be used as Veeam Repository).
The infrastructure consists of 5 VMs and the total size is less than 0,5TB. Before I was using a USB2.0 version of WD Mirror with 2x1TB in Raid 1 mode, but the controller failed and I had to replace my NAS with a new one.

Thank you in advance,
Mamelas
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Dariusz TykaICT SpecialistCommented:
Hi Mamelas,

you can also connect this NAS directly to Veeam VM without involving ESXi. It is recommended configuration for Veeam VM.
Take a look at this tutorial: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6bkTxOM9cv8
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
It's of no surprise this device is not on the HCL, it's low end, small or home office usage.

I would use NFS, and use for backup only.
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mamelasAuthor Commented:
Dear Geniek73 and Andrew thank you for your additional answers.

I have followed Geniek73 suggestion and I have successfully added the NAS via iSCSI
using Windows Server 2012 iSCSI feature (such option is bypassing VMware's complexity and compatibility).

NFS is more stable compared to iSCSI?
WD iSCSI feature and MyCloud OS may be unstable since it is not designed for production enviroment?
NFS is less complicated and therefore better to use?

If you were me what would be your choice between NFS and Windows Server iSCSI and why??


Thank you!
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
Is this a 2012 virtual machine ?

Lower overhead for your NAS, as your NAS is designed around NFS and not iSCSI.

NFS has also been around for many years longer than iSCSI, all packets have to be encapsulated in TCP packets.

BUT test both, and see which performs best!
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mamelasAuthor Commented:
Hi there Andrew,

Yes this is a Windows 2012 VMware Virtual Machine.
Does this make any difference?

With iSCI Veeam wrote 16GB of data to the NAS in 12minutes.
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
Well if you think about it, your bottleneck here is your virtual machine!

ALL backup data has to go through the VM network interface from the ESXi server, into the VM, and then from the VM down the network interface to the NAS!

rather than a NAS is a network attached device, so straight to the NAS....

if if this is just for backups, you could just use a Windows Share on the NAS, no need for Windows 2012, the NAS performs native Windows sharing.
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