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I have an NFS server running on Win2k8R2 and an ESXi 4.1 host that uses NFS as a datastore for ghettoVCB backups. No server authentication; unmapped user access by uid/gid; vmkernel port with it's own ip. I can add the datastore and manipulate the file system from the ESXi SSH console.

But...

When I run a backup job, part way through the NFS share becomes unavailable, my RDP connection to windows stops working, and I'm forced to powercycle my windows server. It's a real pain because I have to drive across town to do it. I can't tell what is dying exactly because there's nothing in the event log but I know that attempting to reconnect with RDP prompts for a username and password but goes no further. I know that the server remains pingable. I know that logging on locally prompts for a password but goes no further. Hardware problem perhaps? I changed the windows server hardware to no avail.

And now I post in desperation. There are many tutorials on the web describing many different ways to configure NFS on 2k8r2 for use with ESXi 4.1 but I found nothing describing my problem.

Questions:

  1. Does anyone successfully utilize an NFS share on Win2k8R2 as an ESXi 4.1 datastore? If so, I'd like to know about your configuration.

  2. How the hell can a bad NFS connection take out a whole server? Pardon my language.

  • 1
    Maybe Windows isn't the best platform for NFS? – ewwhite Aug 21 '15 at 21:15
  • get at least a server with lights-out management so you do not need to physically go to the server but can powercycle it remotely ;-) – natxo asenjo Aug 21 '15 at 21:23
  • File under windows nfs can inherent restrictive file permission. I use nfs with a xen for special need, and the file is not readable by any admin, only the xen, that make it hard for working with it. I would try to run a backup without those file first and if it work try to manually copy the file to see if it work. – yagmoth555 Aug 22 '15 at 0:21
  • I was able to make this work well enough until I can get some new stuff. The bottom line is that Microsoft's NFS isn't good enough for anything that matters and I would recommend people avoid it if at all possible. The problem was Microsoft's inability to handle large files with it's NFS implementation so by setting the DISK_BACKUP_FORMAT=2gbsparse in my ghettoVCB configuration, I can avoid beating the receiving machine into a pulp. – VictimOfCircumstance Aug 26 '15 at 13:38

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