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Adding Network Share as a Datastore in VMware ESXi and vCenter


Okay, so you have a sweet Windows 2012 R2 Server configured with a RAID configuration with plenty of storage space and you would like to present that to an ESX/ESXi server as a datastore to storage your virtual machines (VMs). You can configure a folder (or drive) as an NFS share and present it to ESXi hyper-visor so that it can be used as your primary datastore.

Step 1: Click on “Manage” within Server Manager

Step 2: Click on “Add Roles and Features”

Step 3: Click on “Next”

Step 4: Click on “Next”

Step 5: Click on “Next”

Step 6: Expand “File and Storage Services (2 of 12 installed)”

Step 6: Expand “File and iSCSI Services (1 of 11 installed)”

Step 7: Locate “Server for NFS”

Step 8: Click on “Add Features”

Step 9: Click on “Next”

Step 10: Click on “Install”

Step 11: Once the installation is completed – click on “Close”

Step 12: Open up “Windows PowerShell” and type in the following commands.

  • dism.exe /online /enable-feature /featurename:adminui /all
  • dism.exe /online /enable-feature /featurename:nis /all
  • dism.exe /online /enable-feature /featurename:psync /all

Step 13: Open “Active Directory User and Computers”

Step 14: Create a group for your UNIX users

Step 15: Right-click your new group and get into the properties

Step 16: Click on the UNIX Attributes tab and set your NIS Domain to your domain

Step 17: Set the GID group to: 0

Step 18: Click on the “Members” tab and add your user. I’m adding the Administrator account

Step 19: Right-click on the user you added to your group and go into Properties

Step 20: Go into the UNIX Attributes tab of your user and change the NIS Domain to your domain and UID to 0

Step 21: Locate the “Services for Network File System” Application within Windows Server 2012 R2

Step 22: Right-click on the main root of the Services for NFS and go into Properties

Step 23: Enable “Active Directory domain name” and enter the FQDN of the server that has the NFS installed and configured

Step 24: Create your folder – I’m placing the folder inside the C drive (not best practice ;))

Step 25: Right-click on the folder and go to Properties

Step 26: Go to NFS Sharing tab and click on “Manage NFS Sharing”

Step 27: Enable “Share this folder”

Step 28: Enable “Allow anonymous access” and leave the default UID: -2 & GID: -2

Step 29: Click on Permissions > Type of access: Read-Write

Step 30: Enable “Allow root access”

Step 31: Log into your ESXi server > Configuration > Networking

Step 32: Click on “VMkernel”

Step 33: Pick your vSwitch for your VMKernel

Step 34: Configure this part, but I left all the defaults

Step 35: You can assigned an IP address for your VMKernel, but I picked “Obtain IP settings automatically” for my testing environment.

Step 36: Click on “Finish”

Step 37: Click on :Storage”

Step 38: Click on “Add Storage…”

Step 39: Click on “Network File System”

Step 40: Enter the FQDN server name, but my DNS wasn’t working so I entered the IP address of the NFS server

Step 41: Enter the Share name folder and give your Datastore a name > Click on “Next”

Step 42: Click on “Finish”

Step 43: Congrats!!! You did it 🙂

About BjTechNews (1061 Articles)
An IT guy trying to learn everything about technology and sharing it with you all. I'm a blogger and video blogger who highlights daily news in the tech industry, promoting tips and hacks for fellow techies.

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