How to: Deploying a Synology Diskstation DS418

Earlier this year, I debated on the idea of getting a Synology DiskStation for Home Lab use. The use case would be to have shared storage for my VMware environment. Additionally, having a local NAS at home would allow for flexibility to have mapped network drives on the workstations throughout the house. This, along with being able to scan to PDF and store on the NAS made the decision a no brainer!

There are two main players in the entry level NAS market. QNAP and Synology. I decided to go with the Synology due to the feature set of the DSM software.

In this quick blog will show how to do the initial setup of the Diskstation.

The BoM for this build is below

  1. DiskStation Synology 4 Bay NAS DiskStation DS418 (Diskless)
  2. WD Red 4TB NAS Internal Hard Drive – 5400 RPM Class, SATA 6 Gb/s, 256 MB Cache, 3.5″ – WD40EFAX

I decided to go with the 4 bay for future expansion. I started out with just two drives, but plan to go to 4 drives later.

Note: There are some issues with these drives it appears when researching online. I personally haven’t had any data loss, but be sure to research your drives before purchasing.

First: Pop in your drives and power on the device. Go to a web browser and go use either or diskstation:5000. The Web portal will then launch and search for a DiskStation within the local network. Note: The DiskStation status should be that of Not Installed.
Accept the EULA.
Select Setup.
Next, select Install DiskStation Manager (DSM). Alternatively, you can download the latest version manually and select manual install.
Since the Hard Drives were previously installed before boot up, the Synology Web Assistant will see these drives and import them. Note: Any Data (if not new drives) will be lost! I used the default RAID configuration of Synology SHR.
Next the DSM will now install.
The progress bar will continue as the DSM software is installed.
Next, create a server name, username, password, etc.
Finally, once the DSM software has been installed you will have an option to Setup QuickConnect.

Once DSM is installed successfully, you will be able to hit the IP of the Synology in a web browser and login successfully. From there you can install plugins, create shared folders using CIFS or NFS, etc.

I would highly recommend a Synology for anyone who takes setting up a HomeLab seriously. It is a large investment, but the ease of use, options and software make the investment worthwhile. Additionally, you can also use Hardware Acceleration for VMware Homelabs on certain models. Check back for a How To with regards to Hardware Acceleration.

How To: Upgrading to vSphere 7

Understanding the Upgrade Process

Since vSphere 7 has been out for a while, I figured it would be good to do a quick blog post on how to upgrade vSphere. I was currently running 6.7, and wanted to check out the process of upgrading using my existing VCSA. This upgrade is not like typical upgrades where you download a package and upgrade the software using the existing installation; rather, the VCSA process is a bit different in that each “upgrade” is a new deployment of the VCSA, and a migration of the data from the existing VCSA to the newly deployed VCSA. Fortunately, VMWare has made this process extremely easy. I have found this process to be very reliable as well. In essence, a new VM is deployed and a new VCSA is provisioned on using another IP. Then everything is migrated and the original VCSA is powered down. That’s pretty much it. Now, lets take a moment and see how the process unfolds step by step.

Continue reading “How To: Upgrading to vSphere 7”