Home Labbers can rejoice! Have you ever wanted a home lab where you had VAAI capabilities with iSCSI on vSphere? Synology has released a new software version for their NAS boxes DSM 4.0. They don't really point it out anywhere on their main site, but if you read the release notes, it's there. Here's the release notes for my current home NAS from my Green Machine Home Lab build - Synology DiskStation DS411+ Release Notes.
There are all kinds of new features in DSM 4.0, but when I read the following I had to do a double take:
20. VMware vSphere 5.0 VAAI Support:
Atomic Test & Set (ATS) supported to eliminate LUN-level locking based on SCSI reservations and improve data access performance.
Even though the VAAI support is only for ATS on block level iSCSI datastores, it's a start. So what's ATS? According to VMware Storage Blog:
"ATS is used for locking on VMFS datastores, and is far superior to the SCSI Reservation locking technique. There is now more use made of ATS on block storage. One example is that in previous versions of VAAI ATS, when there was a mid-air collision of ATS (i.e. two ESXi trying to lock the same file), the VMkernel would revert to using a SCSI reservation. We no longer do this, but use an ATS retry mechanism."
How awesome is that? Even though it's not XCOPY or anything crazy cool, it is pretty sweet to see VAAI features coming to home lab use.
I completely shutdown my environment, rebooted my Synology DS411+, upgraded the DSM version, rebooted once again, brought my environment back up, and ran esxcli storage core device vaai status get and saw the following:
The Synology NAS has always been a little rough around the edges with iSCSI, but here's another step forward.