QNAP NAS Supports iSER - QNAP

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iSER Makes Your QNAP NAS DataStore for VMware Faster Than Ever

Speed up transmissions between QNAP NAS and VMware ESXi servers

As demands for virtualization increases, iSCSI technology has been widely used in enterprise datacenter environments. While QNAP explores possibilities to enhance storage performance for enterprises and small and medium-sized businesses, we partnered with Mellanox®, the industry-leading network appliance provider, to add iSER (iSCSI Extensions for RDMA) support to QNAP NAS. By installing an iSER-compatible 10GbE or 40GbE network adapter, bandwidth between QNAP NAS and VMware® ESXi servers could see a significant performance boost.

Optimized performance for your virtualization environment

iSER allows data to bypass general network drivers, the socket layer, and to directly enter memory buffers of the ESXi server and storage. Response time is also reduced to ensure service quality of the NAS. Combining iSCSI with RDMA (Remote Direct Memory Access), iSER provides impressive improvements and greater efficiency to existing VMware virtualization environments.

Unleash the full potential of iSER

By combining iSER with SSD caching, Qtier™, or an all-flash configuration, the performance of virtualization environments are greatly optimized.

  • SSD Cache
  • 10/40GbE
  • Qtier
  • all SSD

Access a borderless performance with iSER

During QNAP testing, iSER can increase an all-flash storage array’s random read and write performance up to 60%, while latency is optimized by up to 50%. This means a borderless performance for QNAP NAS that is deployed as VMware’s Datastore.

Further boost efficiency with Qtier

While an all-flash storage solution provides the utmost performance, they are outside of the budget of most organizations and do not provide the capacity of hard drives. Hybrid storage solutions (a combination of hard drives and solid-state drives) have become a popular option for budget-conscious companies looking to optimize performance. Combining Qtier with iSER, data in your virtualization environments are not only automatically allocated to different drives according to their access frequency, but commonly-used data that is stored on the fastest drives will have the same performance as an all-flash storage configuration. During testing, a QNAP NAS with 12 SSDs and 12 HDDs with Qtier can reach 180,000 random R/W IOPS. This speed can match an all-flash configuration without constraining total storage capacity.

For details about QNAP's iSER testing, please see the QNAP white paper.

  • Hybrid
    disk configuration
  • Qtier
    auto tiering solution
  • 180k IOPS 
    of lightning speed

iSER requirements

An Intel® or AMD-based QNAP NAS (with QTS 4.3.3 or later) with expansion slots is required. To enable support for iSER, dedicated network interface cards (NICs) that support iSER must be installed in the QNAP NAS and VMware ESXi servers. Below is a list of QNAP iSER NICs, and Mellanox-recommended switches and NICs.

QNAP NAS NICs Recommended Mellanox switches Recommended Mellanox NICs for VMware ESXi servers
LAN-10G2SF-MLX MSN2700-BS2F MCX311A-XCCT MCX342A-XCQN
LAN-40G2SF-MLX MSN2700-BS2R MCX312B-XCCT MCX345A-BCPN
  MSN2410-BB2F MCX312C-XCCT MCX345A-BCQN
  MSN2100-BB2F MCX313A-BCCT MCX346A-BCPN
  MSN2100-BB2R MCX314A-BCCT MCX346A-BCQN
    MCX342A-XCPN