Setting up Windows 2008 NFS (Network File Storage) to be used with ESX 4.0 was fun. We discovered many new things about NFS and came across both best practices and advantages of using NFS. Here is a quick overview of how to setup NFS in Windows 2008 without extending Active Directory schema for Unix extension.
Best Practices & Advantages for NFS:
- In ESX, you get thin provisioning by default with NFS.
- You can expand AND decrease NFS volumes on the fly
- You don’t have to deal with VMFS or RDMs
- You don’t have to deal with FC switches, zones, lun sizing, HBAs, and identical LUN IDs
- You can restore multiple VMs, individual VMs, or files within VMs.
- You can instantaneously clone, a single VM, or multiple VMs
- ESX server I/O is small block and extremely random which means that bandwidth matters little
- No single disk I/O queue, so your performance is strictly dependent upon the size of the pipe and the disk array
- You can clone a single VM or create 100’s of VMs from a template in seconds
- VMware Data store sizing — easy datastore growth (possible with VMFS) and shrinking (not possible with VMFS)
- Larger data stores – no need to keep datastores smaller like with VMFS
- VMDK Thin Provisioning
- For thousands of virtual machines, NAS NFS is a much more efficient network storage methodology.
Network Requirements:- Designated VLAN or LAN (Private Switches) with separate subnet
- Jumbo Frames enabled end-to-end
Windows 2008 NFS Requirements & Setup:
- Install NFS in File Server Roles
- Install User Name Mapping Service - UNM server (using Unix Services for Windows) on same machine or separate machine
- Allow the Windows 2008 server
- Export /etc/passwords and /etc/groups files from ESX to Windows host
- Import /etc/passwords and /etc/groups files into UNM server
- Map the root account to an admin account in AD or locally
- Got Services for NFS snap-in from Administrative tools on NFS server, Right clikc Services for NFS and click properties, check User Name Mapping and fill in UNM server FQDN name.
- Add the NFS server to config file to allow connection on UNM server.
- Right click on the folder you want to be NFS share and click NFS sharing.
- Allow root full access on NFS tab
- Allow mapped active directory or local admin account full access on NTFS Security tab
ESX Requirements & Setup:
- Create a new vSwitch
- Attach newly created vSwitch to separate physical NIC
- Create a vmkernel port group for NFS traffic on newly created switch
- Recommended to not allow routing of data between these VM and NFS networks. In other word, do not define a default gateway for the NFS storage network.
- Create a second service console (SC) port be defined on the VMkernel storage vSwitch created above
- Verify IP storage network, or VMkernel, connectivity by running vmkping command.
- In vCenter (Virtual Center)
1. Select an ESX host.
2. In the right pane, select the Configuration tab.
3. In the Software box, select Advanced Configuration.
4. In the pop-up window, left pane, select NFS.
5. Change the value of NFS.HeartbeatFrequency to 12.
6. Change the value of NFS.HeartbeatMaxFailures to 10.
7. Repeat for each ESX Server.
- Add the NFS datastore in VC