My home lab relies on having a fast reliable iSCSI storage for both the virtual machines disk and the ISO images that are used to build the VMs. This storage is being housed in a Synology Diskstation DS1813+ NAS box.
For the iSCSI storage, I am using four old 1.5Tb Seagate spinning disks, all of which have a few bad sectors. Ideally, I would replace them with solid state ones, and I may do at some point. The speed increase would be a great boost for my VMs.
Disk Station Manager (DSM)
DiskStation Manager (DSM) is an intuitive web-based operating system found on every Synology NAS. It’s been designed to help you manage your data: documents, photos, music, videos and all other important forms of digital assets. With DiskStation Manager, it’s more than just storing data. DSM offers a various range of applications and services to bring more entertainment to your home life as well as better productivity at work.
Not only are the Synology NAS boxes very good at being storage devices, supporting a wide range of features, including iSCSI, IEEE 802.3ad and VAAI, They also have a large array of packages that can be used outside of a Home Lab. (not all models support all features)
There are currently (at time of writing) over 70 packages that can be installed and used on almost every Synology device. These packages include…
- Audio Station – allows you to access the music library on your Synology DiskStation,
- Cloud Station – allows you to easily sync files between your Synology products, computers, and mobile devices,
- Photo Station – an online photo album integrated with a blog for you to easily share photos and videos,
- Surveillance Station – a web-based application that can manage IP cameras to safeguard your home or office environment,
- Video Station – an ideal video organizer of your collection of movies, TV shows, home videos, and TV recordings, allowing you to watch videos on your computer and other devices.
Check out the full list of packages, some of which I am sure you will find useful.
If you are still not sure you want a Synology NAS, they have an online demo of their DSM, ready for anyone to login and use. Go to the following page and login with the credentials below…
Demo Site : https://demo.synology.com:5001
Username : admin
Password : synology
Take your time, have a play and see what you think.
It would be silly of me to try and list everything that the Synology devices can do, it’s just so much. Instead, I would redirect you to the Synology site where their marketing people can convince you buy one.