Virtual Environment Support the Killer App for a NAS?

I was looking at replacing my server, I have always liked the idea of a cheap NAS Box but often found them very limited in functionality. What I have done in the past is to take an old box (Intel Core, AMD K7) and turn it into VMWare ESXi* on sever to provide multiple environments as well as data storage. Apparently a lot of other IT Professionals have done this as well but no one has ever provided a cheap single solution. I am hoping that by WD allowing the development community to create custom apps (possible mod support?) that this can bring in some real change into a historically boring NAS designs.

In order for this to work on the WD My Cloud EX4 it would be somewhat dependent on whether the CPU is x86 based and supports hypervisor technology and also if you can boost the RAM to reasonably amounts as 512MB is too little 4GB is about the minimum you can get away with an run 2 concurrent systems.

  1. The NAS should running VMware ESXi* (or some other Hypervisor) as the base OS.
  2. On top of this you have the WD NASApp running in a VM.
  3. Once this is setup is just a matter of determining what the best way for data saved on the NAS.
  4. If data sorted directly to disk then it would make recovery easier, however if you make is its own VM disk you can take snapshots of the data.
  5. You can install any other number of VMs into their own separate environments on the NAS
  6. From WD NASApp should able mount an ISO file from the local datastore to install/manage additional Virtual Systems.

I look at the potential for this type of setup and I can see it doing the same thing for NAS’s that DD-WRT did for routers.

If you are looking for this type of capability, you will need to look upwards at our Sentinel Product line. This product doesn’t support virtualization technology.

Thanks for the Reply.

What you mentioned was not what I was inferring. What I was talking about running a Hypervisor on the NAS , not hosting Datastore for VMs on the NAS though iSCSI.

This is more in line with what I consider the solution using. However its sill a long ways off even with the Sentinel version.

For this to work we would need either the highest end Atom Processor or the lowest end Intel/AMD cpus.

It has taken NASs almost 10 year to get to the point thought it should be 10 years ago. I guess it will take another 10 years to get to where I think it should be today.

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