A couple of weeks ago my long time friend Synology DS411J+ decided to die, almost 5 years old. Unfortunately Synology only offers 2 years support, so my probably fried mainboard will go into the waste bin together with it’s brother Synology DS410J. I guess the reason for it’s death is corrosion because I live only 50 meters from the beach.
So I reached out to my friends on Twitter trying to find an replacement. People clearly love Synology like I do, but XPEnology caught my attention.
So XPEnology is a software that let’s you run Synology DSM on non-Synology hardware, that being physical or virtual. I use my Synology for Nakivo Backup, ISO, Media and Movies so I’m fine being without the data for a couple of months (will pick up a new at Citrix Synergy 2016 – half the price of Brasil).
Until then I do need a NAS to store my stuff so I decided to spin up XPEnology on my ESXi hosted on the SuperServer. I’ve plenty of old 1 and 2 TB SATA drives laying around.
What’s super cool about the SuperServer is the 4 hot-swap bays at the front. So I just smacked in 2 new drives, one for Nakivo Backup and the other for XPEnology.
First you need to download the XPEnoboot 5.2-5644.5 DS3615xs VMDK and the DSM_5.2-5644 PAT file from here.
Create a new VM as Linux – Other 2.6 x Linux (64-bit).
Use VMXNET 3 and use the default 16 GB disk (you’ll delete that soon).
Now upload the VMDK file to the folder of the VM you created.
Edit the VM and delete the default 16 GB disk and add an existing disk.
Set the boot disk as Non-Persistent, this is VERY important.
Delete CD-Rom and Floppy from the VM config.
Finally create a new disk that will store your data through Synology. Set is to Thick Provision Eager Zeroed. Please be aware that this can take a long time to complete.
Now Start the VM and connect to http://IPADR:5000
Select Configure or whatever your language shows.
Now select manual installation.
And browse to the PAT file.
When it’s finished you’ll see something like this, but don’t worry, that’s the reason we set the disk to Non-Persistent. Simply reboot your VM.
Login with admin and configure your virtual Synology DiskStation. It’s so easy that I’m not going to waste more of your time. Just make sure you download and install the Open-VM-tools.