Setting up a Network File System (NFS) Share:

One of the reasons I setup an NFS share is so that I can have an inexpensive shared storage place for my VMs on the ESX Server 4.0. I can also use the features on vCenter like VMotion and Fault Tolerance using the shared storage. Creating the NFS is only available for the Windows 2003 R2 SP2. For ESX Server’s vCenter, you will also need to install the 32-bit version of the OS. I have a desktop client which I have installed the OS and also where I will store the VMs at. I also have vCenter & vSphere Client installed on the system as well. The actual server doesn’t have any VMs locally stored on it, but ESX knows to use all available resources on the SERVER to run any VMs applications instead of using the client’s resources.

If you have Windows 2003 Sp2 32-bit installed, you can add the NFS portion. Make sure you have the 2nd CD in.
1. Go to the Add windows components --> Other network files & print services --> Microsoft services for NFS, and check everything there to install



2. On your hard drive on the client system, create a etc folder and a Share folder (You can choose whatever name you want)
3. Go to your ESX server and grab the group and password files in the /etc folder. You can use WinSCP (Google & download) to grab files from a Linux environment to a Windows OS. Place the 2 files in the /etc folder you created on the client HD.
4. Under Start --> Administrator Tools --> Microsoft services for Network File system, right-click on user name mapping.
a. Point to the path of where you have the group and password files from ESX server

b. Open up the use name mapping tree and right-click on user maps to create a new user map
i. Choose the Administrator for windows and root for Unix and Add the mapping

5. Go to the Share folder you created w/ the etc folder
a. Go to the NFS sharing tab  Permissions, check Allow root access and change to read-write & check the Allow root access like the picture below

6. On the vSphere GUI, click on your server IP/name and go to Configuration tab  Networking, and properties. Add a VMkernel and type in an IP for this kernel. This is required to use an NFS share. You can also enable this kernel for the VMotion or Fault Tolerance features in vSphere.
7. On your vSphere client GUI, go to the configuration tab of your server and add the NFS storage under the Storage section. This is case-sensitive. Point to the IP on your client and the folder name (/Share).
Note: The NFSShare folder should have a green arrow showing the NFS sharing.

The NFSshare is good to store iso images, or just to get started on VMotion/FT or other features in ESX Server that requires a shared storage. However if you’re going to run heavy duty benchmarks on the VM, the performance may suffer in the NFS storage.

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