Today I was working in my homelab. A few days ago I started to rebuild it. Initially, I started with three DELL PowerEdge servers for some time, but the consumed to much power and produced to much heat. My approach was to have as many physical components as possible. Well, it didn’t work so well as planned (more here, but that wasn’t all…).
I’m running now only one PowerEdge server, installed 144GB of memory (did some frankensteining with one other PowerEdge server) and installed some SSD drives. I also installed a PERC H700 RAID controller because my white box HPE H240 HBA doesn’t like RAID much, and my HPE P822 RAID Controller stops the server from booting. But let’s go into the topic, VAAI supported iSCSI LUNs on a Synology NAS. Yes, I already wrote about that topic here. But with the current version of DSM (Disk Station Manager), the feature set changed a little. And you don’t need the VAAI plugin (because it’s only for NFS datastores and currently not supported on vSphere 6.7, ohhh myyy…).
This quick guide should help you to create a VAAI enabled iSCSI datastore on your Synology NAS. It’s a straight-forward guide, and I’m assuming that your Synology BOX is empty. As my NAS came back from repair today, I didn’t care and wiped all disks. So mine is empty now.
But what is VAAI?
Long story short, VAAI stands for “VMware vSphere Storage APIs Array Integration (VAAI)”. Through this API, storage operations, like cloning of a VM, will be offloaded to the storage itself. Not because it’s just possible, but because it’s faster and with less unnecessary data traffic between the ESXi host and the data store.
On a datastore without VAAI / hardware acceleration, the ESXi initiates the process to clone a VM. But instead of the storage, cloning the data blocks itself (for example to another LUN), it’s the ESXi host receiving all the data blocks and sending/writing them to another LUN. On a data store with VAAI / hardware acceleration enabled, the ESXi hosts only initiates the process. All data blocks will be then cloned by the storage itself. To get all the benefits from that, your storage has to support these features. Check with the hardware vendor if your storage is VAAI ready or not.
Note: I’m not good at drawing…
Let’s dive into that topic now.