Install Synology NFS VAAI Plug-in for VMware

Synology

In the recent DSM update (5.1), Synology added VMware VAAI support for NFS volumes using two primitives which are Full File Clone and Reserve Space. What do these VAAI primitives offer?

  • Full File Clone enables virtual disks to be cloned by the NAS albeit while the machine is powered off.
  • Reserve Space allows you can create a thick VMDK file. However Reserve Space does not off-load the work to the array. The benefit of thick VMDKs is that many use eager-zero for high I/O performance needs.

On the Synology side of things you just need to update to DSM 5.1, but in order to take advantage of VAAI you still need to install the VIB plugin on your ESXi 5.5 hosts.

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Crucial 16GB memory, perfect for Intel NUC

crucial 16gb 204pin memory

I’m a huge fan the of Intel NUC‘s for a VMware home lab. In fact I just recently picked up my third Intel NUC to give me more head room for a small VMware Horizon (View) environment at home.

I typically use G.Skill memory in my NUC’s as I’ve had great luck with the brand in my desktop and laptop for years. However G.Skill has been increasing in price which made me look around for alternatives and came across Crucial DDR3 204-pin memory for less money, but days after I purchased it they too went up in price. However they are now back on sale and cost about $50 less then the G.Skill memory I have been using in my first two NUC’s.

I’ve been using the Crucial memory now for the last several months without any problems and even though they are rated at a lower voltage I can’t say I really see any difference in power savings or consumption compared to the G.Skill 1.5V. If you’re looking to upgrade now might be a good time to take advantage of the sale price.


How to install CrashPlan on Synology Diskstation

CrashPlan Backup

A little while ago I posted several ways to improve the security on your Synology NAS and was recently asked about how to install CrashPlan on a Synology NAS. Synology doesn’t have it’s own pre-built package available, but luckily PC Load Letter from the Synology community has stepped up and made a Synology package that works beautifully – the only downside is his instructions are a bit dated and I found harder than they needed to be.

If you don’t already have a CrashPlan account, go ahead and sign up now.

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How to add Realtek R8168 to ESXi 5.5 Update 2 ISO

Realtek

Over the past weekend I was working on a whitebox ESXi host and wanted to upgrade it to ESXi 5.5 Update 2 from an older version of ESXi 5.1 using a realtek R8168 network card. While I could have performed an in place upgrade, such as via command line, a clean install was preferred. However, VMware has removed a number of NIC drivers from ESXi 5.x and trying to install with the base ESXi image would result in a “No Network Adapters” error during install.

In order to do a clean install you have to re-add the Realtek R8168 NIC drivers back into the ESXi 5.5 image, otherwise a NIC will not be found and thus ESXi will not install. These are the steps to easily re-add the Realtek R8168 drivers into ESXi 5.5 ISO by making a custom ESXi 5.5 image.

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Installing DD-WRT on an ASUS RT-AC66U router

I recently upgraded my EnGenius ESR-750H wireless N router to an Asus RT-AC66U wireless AC router. The EnGenius router has been pretty good for me but basic and no support for other firmware. The Asus RT-AC66U not only has a number of added features and support for 802.11ac, it also doesn’t seem to be plagued with the port 32764 bug or the Linksys “TheMoon” virus that’s been going around on select Linksys models, but the Asus also has a number of firmware options that can be used with this router such as Merlin, Tomato, and DD-WRT.

I’ve used DD-WRT in the past with other routers and had great success and decided to go that route with my new AC66U router as well.

How to install DD-WRT on Asus RT-AC66U

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Secure your Synology NAS, install a SSL certificate

I’ve been using the default setup on my Synology DS412+ with HTTPS enabled for a while now but knew it really wasn’t all that secure without a proper SSL certificate and creating a self-signed certificated isn’t all the much better and can be easily forged. I decided it was about time I used a “real” certificate to better secure the NAS.

Prerequisites before starting

  • You need to own a domain name, for example MikeTabor.com and be able to receive email from the domain name.
    If you don’t already have a webhost for the domain, I’d suggest BlueHost.
  • You also need a DDNS service setup. In this case and for my use, I simply use the Synology DDNS service they offer for free.
  • With those two setup, you will also want to add a CNAME DNS forward from your domain (or subdomain if you wish to go that route) to your DDNS service.
  • Finally you’ll want to make sure Port Forwarding has been configured on your router.

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