Adding a Windows Server 2008 NFS Share to VMware ESX Server as a Datastore

KB ID 0000319 Dtd 07/09/10


You have a Windows 2008 R2 Server with plenty of storage space and you would like to present that to an ESX/ESXi server as a datastore. You can configure a folder (or drive) as an NFS share and present it to VMware so that it can be used as a datastore.



1. The system will not work if you do not have a vmkernel port, if you already have iSCSI or vmotion working then this will already be in place.

If not you will see an error like this,


Call “HostDatastoreSystem.CreateNasDatastore” for object “ha-datastoresystem” on ESX “{name or IP of ESX server}” failed.

2. Make sure TCP port 2049 is open between the NFS share and the ESX box. On an ESX 3.x servers you may need to run ” esxcfg-firewall -e nfsClient “.

Other Points

1. You CAN boot a windows VM from and NFS store (just because Windows cannot boot from NFS – does not mean a VM can’t).

2. NFS Datastores are limited to 16TB.

3. vSphere supports up to 64 NFS Datastores (ESX supports u to 32).

4. Thin provisioned disks will “re-expand” when moved/cloned to another NFS Datastore (THOUGH NOT in a Vsphere environment).

5. On Server 2008 R2 NFS can only support 16 TCP connections, to raise the limit see here.

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Author: Migrated

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