VMware 4.1 NFS on Storage Server 2003 R2

Ok, so I guess most people will shudder at the thought of this but its something that I had to get working and on the face of it its something that should

A: Be pretty simple to set up

B: Just work

Well, as I found out its certainly not as straight forward as it should be but with a lot of patitience and time you can eventually get it to work.

Firstly here is what I have. 1 vCentre server 4.1 with 3 ESXi 4.1 hosts, all running Update 2. I then have an HP storage server running 2003 R2 SP1.

Please note that I already had a working VKernal port on the same network as the NFS server and could ping all the right places.

Here are my list of problems

  1. At first I could not even add the NFS share as I was getting cannot open volume : /vmfs/volumes/<GUID> followed by this lovely error saying Operation failed, unable to complete sysinfo operation.
  2. Once I got over number one as soon as I tried to create a file or move a file to the data store the storage server would suffer the following BSOD error STOP 0000007E

I found that doing the following steps got around point 1

  1. Create a new folder on the NFS server and create an NFS share
  2. I change the ICON on the folder just so its stands out from the others
  3. Enable anonymous access and set the GID and UID to -2
  4. Allow read write access to all machines
  5. Allow access to the root
  6. Set the NTFS permissions to allow the anonyous user full control
  7. Now go to vCentre and add new storage
  8. I found setting the server name to the IP worked best
  9. In the share name I just put the name of the folder set in step 1 with no  leading or training /
  10. Set the data store name. I used nfs-<nfs server name>-<share>-01
  11. Choose if you need it to be read only or not

Now point 2 is the fun one but here is what I did

  1. Applied service pack 2
  2. Applied the following Microsoft Hotfixes
  3. Manually created the regisitry keys to enable the hot fix! You must do this! Then reboot

I am only summarising the fix here but I went through a whole host of troubleshooting to get there. I could see from the messages log file on the ESX host that it was just not getting the required response from the NFS server so I concluded that the issue cannot lie with ESX.

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