VMware Cloud Community

NFS datastore for ISO Images question

Hello all,

We've used a NFS mount in the past for an ISO repository on our ESX servers, and had it mounted within the service console under /vmimages.  We're upgrading to 5.1 and since there's no more service console, we need to start doing this the right way. 🙂

On our ESXi 5.1 servers, we have vSwitch0 with only a "Management Network" vmkernel port.   No other portgroups are currently on this vswitch. 

My understanding is that in order to truly isolate NFS traffic to a unique vmkernel, we would need to have a separate subnet specifically for it.  For example, if another vmkernel port was created (for NFS) in the same subnet on vSwitch0, there's no guarantee it would use that vmkernel port for NFS unless it was "first" in the list of vmkernel ports.  (esxcfg-route -l) 

We don't currently use NFS for datastores and that may come later as we are planning to do more with it, but it's not practical to setup another subnet at the moment for just an ISO repository.

Are there any issues with having the ISO repository NFS traffic use the "Management Network" vmkernel port?  Or, should we setup another vmkernel port and/or vswitch (that would ultimately be in the same subnet) and try take steps to make sure it comes before the "Management Network" vmkernel port?

Thank you!

0 Kudos
2 Replies

To save re-typing it, have a look at this NFS best practice thread I have just posed to;


There are no technical reason which would prevent you from using the same subnet for management and IP Storage (NFS), but since you are interested in doing things right Smiley Happy, then look at segregating all your services in a fully redundant configuration - diversely patched into separate physical switches.

For example;

vSwitch0 - Management

vSwitch1 - vMotion (use 2x VM kernel ports (requires multiple IP addresses), with inverse NIC teaming policies for increased performance)

vSwitch2 - IP Storage (NFS - refer to the link above for configuration)

vSwitch3 - Guest Networking (use trunk ports with VLAN tagging)

Each vSwitch should have two uplinks patched into separate physical switches, and the vmnic's used for each one should also be split across the PCI bus to avoid any single points of failure.

vExpert 2014 - 2022 | VCP6-DCV | http://www.jonmunday.net | @JonMunday77

personally I stopped putting ISO's on expensive SAN storage in ESX3.5 and use one of 2 options:

#1 - put them on a cifs share and use PISMO file mount utility to just quick mount the ISO (which turns the iso into a folder) and install from there

#2 - use client side mappings and just have a mapped drive on my PC to the CIFS share...

The only thing that gets angry doing that is a SQL install..so I typically will cheat and  copy the files locally (after mounting the ISO) and then delete it afterwards.  Don't do many SQL servers so its not much of a hassle...