I have a QNAP TS-459 Pro II which I use for my home lab to serve both NFS and iSCSI for my lab. QNAP provides a vSphere plug-in to help with provisioning and attaching storage to your ESXi hosts. It can really help make things go a bit faster when you want to add a new LUN or NFS datastore. This only works on the C# client unfortunately/fortunately (whichever you prefer to think).
Installation/Add device for provisioning
The plug-in requires QTS version 3.8 or higher to work for your device. You can download the plug-in from the following link. It’s very straightforward and uneventful really.
We’re looking for this download
Once downloaded we’ll run the installation
Take the defaults for all the install properties. Open up the vSphere Client and go to Plugins>Manage and Enable the QNAP vSphere Plug-in
We need to add a QNAP Storage device to the interface so we can manage and deploy datastores from it. I’m going to add it in from the Home>Solutions and Applications>QNAP application.
Click on ‘Add QNAP Storage in the upper right-hand corner
Put in the IP address of the QNAP and put in the admin password. Click ‘Add’ when done.
Now we can see the storage added
Add NFS/iSCSI datastore
We should now see that the QNAP has been added to the ‘QNAP Storages’ tab. Let’s add an NFS and an iSCSI datastore.
I want to add two new datastores for my ‘MGMT_CLUSTER’ group of hosts. First iSCSI:
I right-click on ‘MGMT_CLUSTER’ and go down to the QNAP option and select ‘Create a datastore’
I can see that it picks up both of the hosts and it has selected the ‘SLAVE1’ QNAP device. Ensure that you CTRL+click to highlight both hosts.
We’ll select the ‘iSCSI’ option.
We’ll set the name to ‘qnap_test’, put the size at 5GB and enable ‘Thin Provisioning’.
We’ll confirm all our settings and click on ‘Finish’.
We’ll see that a static target it created (if necessary) to the QNAP, the datastore is created and formatted with VMFS.
Now we’ll quickly add an NFS datastore following the same process as above. Except we’ll select the ‘NFS’ option
Then we’ll call the datastore ‘qnap_test2’
Verify our settings and click ‘Finish’
We can see that an datastore is built and attached as NFS to our hosts
We can verify that the new datastores are attached via the QNAP tab.
Add Datastore to another host
Let’s say we wanted to add one of those datastores to another host, we can do that easily by using the ‘Connect the datastore to a new ESX host’ option
We’ll select the NFS datastore and select the ‘esx03.vwilmo.local’ host
Verify our settings
We can now see that the NFS datastore is attached to 3 hosts.
To disconnect a datastore we simply select the host we want to remove it from and follow the same path as before.
We select the ‘qnap_test2’ datastore and verify that there are no VMs on that datastore before removing it.
Confirm and it will be removed
Verify that it’s been removed
To destroy a datastore we can do that following the same path as before.
Select the ‘qnap_test’ datastore
Verify there are no VMs attached before we destroy it.
Confirm and its will be destroyed
Overall its a pretty decent plug-in with the absolute minimum of features but is enough to warrant using it in the home lab for quickly adding storage to your environment.