It’s been a while since I wrote about the home vSphere lab but it has gotten a lot of use…even more than I expected. I use it when learning new products, testing out features, and just around the house for different VMs that we need. It’s been very useful to have. Since originally building the lab I’ve done a few changes. First, I added a 3rd host so now I’m up to 3. I have added some memory to two of the hosts, one to 12GB and another to 16GB. Since I have used the lab when doing demonstrations at events like the Charlotte VMware Summit I added an internal 2TB SATA drive to one box. That way I can have vCenter, a DC, and any other needed VMs there which keeps me from having to carry the Synology places. Up to this point I’ve just been using the two onboard Intel NICs in each server but that’s causing some problems when I hit NFS real heavy so today I ordered three used Intel PT dual-port NICs to add some more I/O. Sitting on my desk are a couple of Qlogic adapters that I’ll be testing and blogging about very soon, as well.
One addition that wasn’t really a lab edition was another Synology NAS. I am still using the DS1010+ as my primary lab storage but I like it so much and needed more storage for Time Machine backups and media that I ordered a Synology DS1511. Below is a pic of the Synology brothers…they look very much alike.
It’s nice to have a second NAS. I use it as a backup destination for Veeam backup as well as a secondary datastore just for testing with things like Storage DRS. One thing about the Synology boxes is that they are extremely efficient. Their performance is outstanding considering the hardware inside the system. One thing you can upgrade in the boxes is RAM. Stock they both come with 1GB of RAM and if you look at the resource monitor you’ll see that they always sit around 20% memory utilization. Since I’m using these in a lab I am doing async NFS, meaning the Synology will confirm the write once the request has hit RAM, not when it hits disk. Knowing this I figure more cache is better so I wanted to upgrade them. Also, since the 1511 is used for media streaming to several devices in the house I figure cache will help there too. Each system has a single SODIMM slot empty for upgrade up to a max of 3GB of RAM. The RAM I used is here. At the time of this post it’s only $26/each! I figured for that, why not? Here is a picture of the Synology system information, notice Total Physical Memory is 1024MB.
Upgrading these boxes is very easy. All you need to do is gracefully shutdown the system, unplug any and all cables, and then remove the 5 screws out of the back. Slide the cover off and you’ll see the empty DIMM slot on one side.
Just pop your shiny new SODIMM in to the slot and…you’re done. If you look you’ll see it’s a well put together package. The CPU and existing SODIMM (1GB) is on the other side of the board. The existing SODIMM has a warranty sticker over it. DO NOT REMOVE THAT. Do not try to replace that SODIMM!
Put the cover back on and button it up and you’re good to go.
Power the NAS back up and watch the lights on the front. If you just get a flashing blue light it means something is wrong. I didn’t seat the SODIMM fully the first time….what I get for rushing… Once I reseated it the system booted fine and as you can see Total Physical Memory is now 3072MB.
Am I seeing a performance increase? I honestly haven’t used it enough to know…so we’ll see. Right now as I write this I am using SDRS to put the DS1010+ datastore in to maintenance mode and shifting all VMs to the DS1511. That way I can upgrade both with no downtime. Nice.