Enable NFS File Service in VMware vSAN Storage Cluster

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In this article we will be looking at how you can enable file service in a vSAN Storage cluster configured in a VMware environment. The vSAN File Service allows a vSphere admin to provision a file share from their vSAN cluster. The file share created can be accessed using NFS protocol. Before you start the configuration you need few items already configured:

Setup Pre-requisites

  • A Working VMware vSphere implementation: Setup ESXi hosts and deploying vCenter Server Appliance.
  • Configured and working DNS resolution for all ESXi hosts and vCenter Appliance
  • Static IP address, subnet masks and gateway for file servers
  • DNS name for each IP address or allow the system to do a reverse DNS lookup.

The design implementation of the File Service is as captured in the diagram below.

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Enable NFS File Service in a VMware vSAN Storage Cluster

The vSAN File services is supported on DVS version 6.6.0 or higher. You need to create a dedicated port group for vSAN File Service in the DVS.

Click on the Cluster name you created in vCenter. The go to Configure > vSAN > Services. Click “ENABLE” under the File Service section.

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Review requirements in the Introduction page and hit Next if the checklist is satisfied.

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In the File service agent page there are two options to choose from for downloading the OVF files.

  • Automatic approach: This is the default option which lets the system search and download the OVF.
  • Manual approach: This option allows you to browse and select an OVF that is already available on your local system.

Using Manual approach

If you don’t have internet connectivity from your VMware Infrastructure you’ll need to have the following files for deployment:

  • VMware-vSAN-File-Services-Appliance-x.x.x.x-x_OVF10.mf
  • VMware-vSAN-File-Services-Appliance-x.x.x.x-x-x_OVF10.cert
  • VMware-vSAN-File-Services-Appliance-x.x.x.x-x-x-system.vmdk
  • VMware-vSAN-File-Services-Appliance-x.x.x.x-x-cloud-components.vmdk
  • VMware-vSAN-File-Services-Appliance-x.x.x.x-x-log.vmdk
  • VMware-vSAN-File-Services-Appliance-x.x.x.x-x_OVF10.ovf

Here is the list of the files I downloaded and I’ll be using Manual approach.

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For my installation I’ll choose Manual approach deployment method.

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Select all the files and hit Open.

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Confirm all the files were selected for use during deployment.

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Set File service domain name. DNS Servers and DNS suffixes.

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Select network to be used by file service, subnet mask and the network’s gateway.

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Provide IP addresses which should match the number of hosts in the cluster for best operation. Make sure the DNS names are configured in your DNS server.

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Confirm configuration details then click “Finish“.

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If the installation is successful the file service should show as enabled.

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In our next article we will look at how you can use vSAN NFS file service. Stay connected for updates.

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