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Esxi or not on N54L ?


coolboy7369
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Hello guys,

 

I'm going to receive my new N54L tomorrow, i have some questions :

- Should i use Xpenology with Esxi or "native" installation ? What's de pro/cons of each solution ? Besides the possibility to install multiple OS with Vmware ? I will put a 4gb G.skill low profile in it so i have the ram requirements.

- The USB key needs to be always plugged with native installation, with Esxi too ?

- I will have 3x3Tb Seagate NAS HDD to start, i'll use SHR so it'll be a RAID5, should i remove the 250gb default drive or keep it ? Can i choose where the OS installation is done or is it automatic ?

 

Thanks.

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Morning,

 

It depends on what you want out of it I guess. I've an N54L native and it works like a dream. The only thing that does my nut in is the lack of Google Music Manager. This one application is the sole reason I still have a laptop, everything else I can do on a tablet.

I've not used an ESXI image but I'm guessing since ESXI is installed on a hard drive(??) then the image would go on a hard drive too, not a USB drive.

Native installs bits and pieces on every drive, not one specifically. So if you're going native you can whip the 250gb out. If you're going ESXI you could use that for the OS's?

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ESXI install can be done onto a USB drive, which in this case will be always plugged in the N54L (especially, internal USB port on motherboard will do the trick).

 

Virtualization may be harder to handle at first, but in short term tends to be useful, able to run many systems at the same time (e.g synology dsm, linux, windows...)

Moreover, it makes it easier to run test servers without altering a stable system (before migrating xpenology versions for example).

 

I also suggest, when operating through a virtualization solution, to keep provided 250Gb hdd to act as datastore (shared disk space) to help you with managing all your virtual machines. You can plug this disk onto free sata port (with e-sata to internal sata cable - or port dedicated to dvd writer - provided you flash a custom bios).

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ESXI install can be done onto a USB drive, which in this case will be always plugged in the N54L (especially, internal USB port on motherboard will do the trick).

 

Virtualization may be harder to handle at first, but in short term tends to be useful, able to run many systems at the same time (e.g synology dsm, linux, windows...)

Moreover, it makes it easier to run test servers without altering a stable system (before migrating xpenology versions for example).

 

I also suggest, when operating through a virtualization solution, to keep provided 250Gb hdd to act as datastore (shared disk space) to help you with managing all your virtual machines. You can plug this disk onto free sata port (with e-sata to internal sata cable - or port dedicated to dvd writer - provided you flash a custom bios).

 

I stumbled across your post and very interested in learning how to set up virtualization on a custom build that will be 90% of the time used to run xpenology. Based on your suggestion, are you suggesting that a spare 250GB HDD be used for the ESXI datastore only but the server itself would run on the USB drive? What is the recommended size for each VM? How fast should the data store drive be and would an SSD do a better job? My intended usage will be - xpenology, windows, and ubuntu. Thank you in advance!!

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SSD would boot VMs faster, but actual usage of the Windows and Ubunty is not that dramatically different. It will depend more on the amount of RAM available. For DSM after the boot, the performance will depend only on the drives speed. The synoboot portion is very small and only loaded once during the boot process. No benefits of SSD here.

In Windows and Ubinty if you don't manipulate large files and applications, drive speed is not much concern either.

On HP N54L the limiting factor will be your 2.2GHz low power/performance CPU. It's barely enough to run all those VMs, but it is far from high performance desktop experience.

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Hi,

 

ESXi is hypervisor, meaning it's a very small, core system, whose goal is only to manage many virtual machines. This system needs a fair amount of space, and once loaded at boot, is mostly RAM-resident.

 

So in my opinon, using a SSD to store system should only reduce server starting time (vs a mechanical drive or usb key). But given that such a system is not meant to be restarted every day, additional cost of a SSD is not worth it. That's why a USB key is the most economical option to host hypervisor system (in addition, that only takes 1 USB port - keeping sata ports free for storage disks - for example).

 

A 250Gb HDD is a quick solution to provide virtual hdds you'll need for systems as Windows or Ubuntu. You'd just have to create those virtual disks (vmdk files), attach disks to machines, boot, and finally install OS.

All depends on your usage, but giving 15Gb virtual hdd for a Linux system and 40 Gb for Windows one is a good start. Nothing prevents you from giving more space from the start, provided your datastore can handle it :wink:

 

Of course, I'm only telling for system partitions.

 

If you need larger data storage (for personal files, music, videos etc) you'll have to plug larger disks onto you N54L, and eventually take benefit of reliability and fault-tolerance brought by RAID/SHR. Personaly, I've got a 4 disk set (2x2TB + 2x3TB) which are directly and totally mapped to one main xpenology virtual machine (using Raw Device Mapping).

 

 

Hope that helps ya finding your way :smile:

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Very helpful! I think I'm starting to get it but have more questions :smile:.

 

Some background, I'm building a mini-itx system with an AMD 6400k processor and 4GB RAM. I think my main concern with the N54L was the slow processor. Sorry to hijack this thread. I would like to create a primary data store for xpenology (5x2TB + 1x1.5TB) to house media backups + files. I want to add two VMs for Windows and Ubuntu, one of which I plan to use for media playback i.e. XBMC. I was hoping to keep the Windows and Ubuntu VMs on a separate drive if possible which is why I wanted to use the SSD (my thinking is that this would greatly improve performance for the Windows VM).

 

I understand how ESXI works theoretically, but confused about the physical location of the virtual disks to run each VM. I'm approaching this from a Windows perspective, hence the confusion.

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I understand how ESXI works theoretically, but confused about the physical location of the virtual disks to run each VM. I'm approaching this from a Windows perspective, hence the confusion.

Virtual machine files consist of small configuration files and larger disk-image files. Normally organized by folders for each VM. Those folders/VMs stored on the datastore that can be created on local disk, mounted iSCSI disks or mounted NFS filesystem.

Inside each VM disks can be stored as a large Disk-Image files or RDM (RawDirectMapping)-directly using the real hard drives from the host server.

You can use 250Gb drive as a local datastore and place your entire smaller VMs on it. Larger drives can be Raw Mapped directly to DSM VM or large datastore created and huge file for DSM storage placed on this storage (Ouch!).

More reading and learning on VM technology is recommended.

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AFAIK and from my experience, DSM won't know anything about SMART data even when using SCSI passthrough. For me this was a deal killer. I thought for the $240 the n54l can be had for the in US that it was low enough of a cost to be a standalone service.

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Hiya,

 

Sorry for hi-jacking this thread but seems appropriate given my hardware setup.

 

I'm currently running 4.3 update 4 on my N54L via a USB drive.

 

Is there a means of moving to ESX with DSM as an OS keeping all my existing data intact?

I'd add an extra drive for any additional OS (Windows with Google Music!).

 

I managed to upgrade from 4.2 to 4.3 simply by shutting down, swapping the USB drive and restoring the Syno settings. Is it possible to do something similiar?

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Hiya,

 

Sorry for hi-jacking this thread but seems appropriate given my hardware setup.

 

I'm currently running 4.3 update 4 on my N54L via a USB drive.

 

Is there a means of moving to ESX with DSM as an OS keeping all my existing data intact?

I'd add an extra drive for any additional OS (Windows with Google Music!).

 

I managed to upgrade from 4.2 to 4.3 simply by shutting down, swapping the USB drive and restoring the Syno settings. Is it possible to do something similiar?

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You can try the following procedure:

Disconnect existing DSM drives (and synoboot USB) temporarily and insert extra drive for ESXi. Start ESXi installation. Install it on to USB drive or new hard drive. Create a local datastore on that new drive.

Install DSM virtual machine with small temporary virtual disk and make sure it works.

Now connect your existing DSM disk back and power up ESXi, but not VM DSM.

Find the names of the old drives as ESXi see them and configure the RDM links for them.

Configure the VM DSM to add those RDM links to it. Perform migration of DSM and reconfigure any missing apps and settings.

Remeber the performance you once had with native DSM install. Pull everything a part and start from scratch with hardware installation of DSM to be returned back the same as it is now.

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You can try the following procedure:

Disconnect existing DSM drives (and synoboot USB) temporarily and insert extra drive for ESXi. Start ESXi installation. Install it on to USB drive or new hard drive. Create a local datastore on that new drive.

Install DSM virtual machine with small temporary virtual disk and make sure it works.

Now connect your existing DSM disk back and power up ESXi, but not VM DSM.

Find the names of the old drives as ESXi see them and configure the RDM links for them.

Configure the VM DSM to add those RDM links to it. Perform migration of DSM and reconfigure any missing apps and settings.

Remeber the performance you once had with native DSM install. Pull everything a part and start from scratch with hardware installation of DSM to be returned back the same as it is now.

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Inside each VM disks can be stored as a large Disk-Image files or RDM (RawDirectMapping)-directly using the real hard drives from the host server.

You can use 250Gb drive as a local datastore and place your entire smaller VMs on it. Larger drives can be Raw Mapped directly to DSM VM or large datastore created and huge file for DSM storage placed on this storage (Ouch!).

More reading and learning on VM technology is recommended.

 

I think I'm getting closer and closer to what I want to do but most of the guides don't make things clear how the ESXI datastore works in relation to the virtual machines space. Can you help answer a few questions:

1. Does space of the datastore impact how big the VM virtual disk can be? For example if server datastore is 64GB, will the largest possible virtual disk be 64GB or can it be more? I am considering using a spare 64GB SSD.

2. Based on what you're saying and reading through the Idiot's guide to installation, should all the drives (5x2TB) that will be used as part of the storage system be RDM-ed first? I assume then that this is where the DSM files will reside and not on the ESXI datastore?

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Inside each VM disks can be stored as a large Disk-Image files or RDM (RawDirectMapping)-directly using the real hard drives from the host server.

You can use 250Gb drive as a local datastore and place your entire smaller VMs on it. Larger drives can be Raw Mapped directly to DSM VM or large datastore created and huge file for DSM storage placed on this storage (Ouch!).

More reading and learning on VM technology is recommended.

 

I think I'm getting closer and closer to what I want to do but most of the guides don't make things clear how the ESXI datastore works in relation to the virtual machines space. Can you help answer a few questions:

1. Does space of the datastore impact how big the VM virtual disk can be? For example if server datastore is 64GB, will the largest possible virtual disk be 64GB or can it be more? I am considering using a spare 64GB SSD.

2. Based on what you're saying and reading through the Idiot's guide to installation, should all the drives (5x2TB) that will be used as part of the storage system be RDM-ed first? I assume then that this is where the DSM files will reside and not on the ESXI datastore?

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1. Does space of the datastore impact how big the VM virtual disk can be? For example if server datastore is 64GB, will the largest possible virtual disk be 64GB or can it be more? That is correct for localy stored disks, For VMs with RDM, only small config files will be stored on this storage.

2. Based on what you're saying and reading through the Idiot's guide to installation, should all the drives (5x2TB) that will be used as part of the storage system be RDM-ed first? I assume then that this is where the DSM files will reside and not on the ESXI datastore? Correct.Only Synoboot image (small) will be stored on local datastore. Large disks will have on this storage RDM links only.

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1. Does space of the datastore impact how big the VM virtual disk can be? For example if server datastore is 64GB, will the largest possible virtual disk be 64GB or can it be more? That is correct for localy stored disks, For VMs with RDM, only small config files will be stored on this storage.

2. Based on what you're saying and reading through the Idiot's guide to installation, should all the drives (5x2TB) that will be used as part of the storage system be RDM-ed first? I assume then that this is where the DSM files will reside and not on the ESXI datastore? Correct.Only Synoboot image (small) will be stored on local datastore. Large disks will have on this storage RDM links only.

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Hi Guys,

 

thanks for all information here; just a few questions about ESXI + RDM

* is there any tool to make RDM mapping easier than looking for hard drives funny names like WD21315464____________________________________WD45646465464___________________________.t10 ?

 

* Can i switch from ESXI install to classic USB install if my disks were RDM?

 

* I've installed the datastore on my 250 GB hard drive, how can i backup properly the Xpenology here? In a USB Key datastore? Or make a 250gb Raid 1?

 

thanks!

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Hi Guys,

 

thanks for all information here; just a few questions about ESXI + RDM

* is there any tool to make RDM mapping easier than looking for hard drives funny names like WD21315464____________________________________WD45646465464___________________________.t10 ?

 

* Can i switch from ESXI install to classic USB install if my disks were RDM?It should be possible

 

* I've installed the datastore on my 250 GB hard drive, how can i backup properly the Xpenology here? In a USB Key datastore? Or make a 250gb Raid 1? USB Keydatastore not supported by ESXi. RAID is not a backup. Consider backup to external USB hard drive or on the second NAS

 

thanks!

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Hi Guys,

 

thanks for all information here; just a few questions about ESXI + RDM

* is there any tool to make RDM mapping easier than looking for hard drives funny names like WD21315464____________________________________WD45646465464___________________________.t10 ?

 

* Can i switch from ESXI install to classic USB install if my disks were RDM?It should be possible

 

* I've installed the datastore on my 250 GB hard drive, how can i backup properly the Xpenology here? In a USB Key datastore? Or make a 250gb Raid 1? USB Keydatastore not supported by ESXi. RAID is not a backup. Consider backup to external USB hard drive or on the second NAS

 

thanks!

does any 1 know why im getting 0mb/s when transferring using SMB when via ESXI but when natively installed it works fine?

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does any 1 know why im getting 0mb/s when transferring using SMB when via ESXI but when natively installed it works fine?

 

Almost same issue on my side, i get strange network use when transfering files, it comes from 100 Mo/s (COOL!) to 20, to 6, etc... (less cool); maybe it's a story about MTU that cannot been set?

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does any 1 know why im getting 0mb/s when transferring using SMB when via ESXI but when natively installed it works fine?

 

Almost same issue on my side, i get strange network use when transfering files, it comes from 100 Mo/s (COOL!) to 20, to 6, etc... (less cool); maybe it's a story about MTU that cannot been set?

yeah mine starts at 100 then drops to around 6 then 0 and doesn't come back.

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