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Moving Xpenology from hardware to VM


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Hi there.

Right now I have a N54L with xpenology. I want to put ESXi and move the current DSM to a virtual machine.

You know of any tutorial out there, I do not want to do everything from scratch and without a basic guide for what can emerge.

An off topic question, do you know if the esxi 6 license is the same for HP custom packaged iso?

Thank you.

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You don't need a new tutorial, or to redo everything from scatch. Setup ESXI, setup the boot image, create a virtual disk for testing.... get everything working, remove test disk, insert array. It should be seamless if you do everything correctly.


Moving your array from physical hardware to esxi, and vise versa is doesn't require any special steps. It all comes down to the boot image, and your hardware working correctly with esxi. If you're not familiar with esxi, set your array safetly to the side and play with physical test disks, or virtual disks. And read a lot.

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Well.. it's not as easy as that. But yes, it's possible. I've done it too.


I'm guessing you have data on your current disks?



- USB boot/HDD boot for Esxi (to run the Esxi OS)

- Seperate datastore in Esxi (to route the RDM disks)

- SSH enabled in Esxi for setting up RDM on each data disk


You can set your current harddrives in Esxi as RDM (Raw Device Mapping) drives.

How to set RD for your disks:

http://blog.davidwarburton.net/2010/10/ ... -for-esxi/


If you want to fully convert to Esxi/VMware with VMDK disks then this is only possible with RAID1/RAID5/SHR (or better). Or you have a spare disk laying around.





You can skip step 1, 5 and 6 if you know what you are doing..


1. Remove your data disks

2. Setup Esxi

3. Setup Datastore

4. Download VMDK en setup VM

5. Shutdown server

6. Add your data disks

7. Start Esxi

8. Follow guide to add RDM data disks:

http://blog.davidwarburton.net/2010/10/ ... -for-esxi/

9. Add the RDM data disks to VM

10. Power up the VM

11. Enjoy your Xpenology running on VMware



Optional if you want to go fully virtual (only possible if you have your data mirrored):

12. Shutdown the VM

13. Remove 1 RDM data disk from the VM

14. Remove that 1 RDM file from your datastore

15. Add that 1 disk as data store.

16. Add a new VM disk to the VM that you will create on your newly made datastore. (i'll advise thin-provision)

17. Power up the VM

18 Go to: :5000 and login

19. Synology will now say that a volume is degreaded. It also finds a new disk (the one you've created in the new datastore).

20. Let Synology repair the volume with your new VM disk :smile:


If you choose to do the optional part, you will loose SMART status reads. But it will give you the flexibility of VM's.

RDM disks are in base rule faster then datastores.. But RDM disks can not benifit the use of SSD's cache.


Left side: RDM disk-------------------------------------------------------------Right side: VM disk





Esxi6 has different drivers. You will need to test this yourself and find out.

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As an addition to this, and talking about a home user not hosting critical data

Mulling over doing the same thing (HDW to VM)

I was proposing buying a new disk (large)

removing existing dataful disks.

So bare machine , then

install esxi, install xpenology on new disk.

Then use a EXT4 reader (software), on a windows machine, to read my existing disks and transfer to newly installed VM

or re-introduce my old disks back into the system (not sure this would work)


It would be nice to have a software to read the disks under Windows anyway, if anyone can recommend?

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