iSCSI & Virtualization

Storage is a challenge for any dynamic and modern business. Synology provides storage solutions for virtualized environments with high performance and reliability, allowing large and demanding enterprises to ensure business continuity and efficiency. Combining a simple user interface with flexible features, Synology iSCSI solutions help you answer the challenges of virtual datacenters.

High performance

To meet demanding businesses' need

Many large businesses deploy Synology NAS as file servers or storage for virtual machines, which requires high IOPS and throughput. To satisfy this need, SSD support boosts system performance to the next level. In addition, Synology iSCSI storage fully supports most virtualization solutions, such as VMware, Windows, and Citrix, enhancing work efficiency.

SSD Cache

Workload-intensive servers often face performance bottlenecks from regular hard drives. Synology DSM offers full SSD cache reading and writing support on high-end servers for significant reduction in I/O latency without crippling your budget. In addition, SSD arrays are fully supported by DSM.

High performance

With a small upfront investment, businesses can benefit from significant server performance enhancement. With the SSD cache write mode, data is first written on the SSD then flushed back to hard drives afterward. A single SSD cache mounted volume can consist of up to 12 SSDs, so you can simply accelerate read and write speeds by adding additional SSD cache on heavy application servers that require high random IOPS. See the white paper for more technical details regarding SSD cache

Easy Management

Storage Manager provides essential information for the administrator. Evaluate how much space you need for hot and cold data, monitor your SSD health, and add new disks to the cache, and so on.

Advanced VMware support

Synology is officially certified for VMware vSphere® 6 and VAAI (iSCSI and NFS) support1. Full iSCSI VAAI support includes Hardware Assisted Locking (ATS), Block Zero, Full Copy, and Thin Provisioning while VAAI NAS enables Full Clone and Reserved Space. When deploying Synology DiskStations and RackStations, businesses gain the following:

  • Faster operation performance of VMs is achieved by offloading cycles from ESXi to the storage array
  • More effective utilization of storage arrays delivered by virtual machines with VAAI support
  • Better flexibility when deploying and migrating VMs
  • Higher storage performance and storage efficiency with VMFS-5 file system
  • Smoother access and management efficiency with load balancing automation in Storage vMotion

To show how VAAI support can improve performance in practice, here are some key points:

  • Hardware Assisted Locking: Creating multiple VMs is 9 times faster with ATS enabled
  • Block Zeroing: Creating a VM with Write Same support is nearly 140 times faster than on a non-VAAI LUN
  • Full Copy: Copying a VM on a VAAI LUN is 34 times faster than on a non-VAAI LUN

  1. To learn more about our VAAI support, please visit the official Synology Blog (English).
  2. Performance may vary depending on the environment.

How to use your Synology NAS as an iSCSI storage for a VMware environment

Windows ODX integration

This cutting edge technology removes the middle man and allows your Windows server to offload data transfers to DiskStation without the need to have your data go through the server host. By using ODX, the speed for data manipulation dramatically increases, and since the data transfer is offloaded, the CPU usage of the host server and the network bandwidth utilization shrink to minimum values, allowing the server to handle more important tasks.


Model VMware vSphere Microsoft Hyper-V Citrix XenServer
vSphere 6 & VAAI vSphere 5.X & VAAI vSphere 4.X 2012 R2 2012 2008
FS series
FS3017 V V V V
FS2017 V V V V
XS+ series
RS18017xs+ V V V V
RS18016xs+ V V V V V
RS10613xs+ V V V V V
RC18015xs+ V V V V V
RS4017xs+ V V V V
RS3617xs+ V V V V
RS3614xs+ V V V V V
RS3413xs+   V V V V
XS series
RS3617RPxs V V V V
RS3617xs V V V V V
RS3614(RP)xs V V V V V
RS3412(RP)xs   V V V V
DS3617xs V V V V
DS3615xs V V V V V
DS3612xs   V V V V
DS2015xs V V V V V
Plus series
RS2416(RP)+ V V V V V
RS2414(RP)+   V V V
RS2212(RP)+ V V V V V
RS815(RP)+ V V V V V
RS814(RP)+   V V V V
RS812(RP)+   V V V V V
DS2415+ V V V V V
DS2413+   V V V V
DS1817+ V V V V
DS1815+ V V V V V
DS1813+   V V V
DS1517+ V V V V
DS1515+ V V V V V
DS1513+   V V V
DS916+ V V V V V
DS716+II V V V V V
DS716+ V V V V V
DS713+   V V V V V
DS415+ V V V V V
DS412+   V V V V V
Value series
RS212 V V V
DS1817 V V V V

High Reliability

Ensures business continuity

DSM allows you to meet various RTO (Recovery Time Objective) and RPO (Recovery Point Objective) goals with different technologies, letting your business sustain multiple concurrent failures while keeping data online and accessible to applications.

Application-aware LUN snapshot and replication

Snapshot Replication allows you to create up to 256 application-consistent LUN snapshots, offering virtual machine data and status consistency under VMware vSphere or Windows environment. The server flushes pending operations to its storage space and enters a quiescent state to ensure all content is preserved and remains consistent. In addition, you can also replicate snapshots to an offsite Synology NAS up to every 15 minutes to minimize data loss and achieve your business's target RPO. Learn more about Snapshot Replication

LUN Clone

Synology's LUN Clone lets you create near-instantaneous virtual copies of a LUN with a simple click. For system engineers, this delivers much higher productivity and less complex deployment during system-wide operations, while allowing engineers to prepare production or development environments in a breeze. LUN Clone also consumes only a fraction of storage at the time of creation.

Support for VMware Site Recovery Manager

Support for VMware Site Recovery Manager, letting users start disaster recovery directly via VMware vCenter Server, thus simplifying the process and eliminating complicated configurations.

Synology High Availability (SHA)

SHA is a cost-efficient, easy to set up, and powerful solution to ensure business continuity. By linking two DiskStation together, you can ensure that data and services are always available for all your users if one server happens to malfunction. Learn more about this feature in the dedicated section.

Seamless Integration with your Virtualization Platform

Your Synology NAS supports easy storage management via Microsoft SCVMM or OpenStack platforms, and allows data storage automation and capacity management with SMI-S and OpenStack Cinder. For a list of compatible models, click here.

Applied Models

  • FS3017
  • FS2017
  • RS18017xs+
  • RS4017xs+
  • RS3617xs+
  • RS3617xs
  • RS3617RPxs
  • DS3617xs
  • DS1817+
  • DS1817
  • DS1517+
  • DS1517
  • RS18016xs+
  • RS2416+
  • RS2416RP+
  • DS916+
  • DS716+II
  • DS716+
  • DS216+II
  • DS216+
  • RS815+
  • RS815RP+
  • RC18015xs+
  • DS3615xs
  • DS2415+
  • DS2015xs
  • DS1815+
  • DS1515+
  • DS1515
  • DS715
  • DS415+
  • RS3614xs+
  • RS3614xs
  • RS2414+
  • RS2414RP+
  • RS814+
  • RS814RP+
  • RS10613xs+
  • RS3413xs+
  • DS2413+
  • DS1813+
  • DS1513+
  • DS713+
  • RS3412xs
  • RS3412RPxs
  • RS2212+
  • RS2212RP+
  • RS812+
  • RS812RP+
  • DS3612xs
  • DS1812+
  • DS1512+
  • DS712+
  • DS412+


  1. Synology XS, XS+, FS models are certified for VMware iSCSI and NFS protocols. For other models, please visit the web page of each product.