Use a Synology NAS on physical hardware or as a VM!

The Synology DiskStation is written using the GPL licensing scheme, therefore it is open to third parties to manipulate and do feature adds.  Some people have ported the OS to run on most physical hardware and as a Virtual Machine.  The version emulates a DS3612xs, which is Synology's big boy 12 bay chassis.

I do like the Synology, it is one of the few entry level NAS's on the market to actually be on the VMware Hardware Compatibility List.  The App Store approach for plugins works well, and has some nice features.

I am not sure I would run this for production.  It MIGHT be easier to deal with than a FreeNAS or Openfiler.  It is however GREAT for learning about the product, and related items such as RSYNC, iSCSI, NFS, Media streaming servers, ect.

Here is the main site:

Here are the instructions I followed:

Summarized install instructions for VMware ESXi:
-create a new custom VM using Linux 2.6 x64, 2gb ram, 1 cpu, use VMXnet3 nics, the data drive will be of type scsi.
-Upload the 32mb VMDK (and it's descriptor file) that has the ported DSM image on it, add it to the VM using disk type IDE

A few observations:
-Just like all Synology devices, one must have a DHCP server, else one cannot configure it, as they don't come preprogrammed with a static IP.
-Use the Synology Assistant to find the new device; as much as I hate installing extra apps on a PC, it is easier than doing an IP scan or looking through the DHCP server to find the device, and remembering to use http://ip.address:5000
-The device will alert you to new updates, but it will not apply them.  I assume it has to do with them not being ported.
-The app store works!
-I haven't attempted to load VMware tools.
-It detected my locally attached storage as type SSD, and my Xeon 54xx cpu's as Core i3's, no issues, just interesting.
-iSCSI does work.  Using a virtual DiskStation I was able to attach to it as an iSCSI target from the host ESXi machine.

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