May 26, 2015

vSphere Storage Terminologies - NAS

NAS - Network Attached Storage

Network-attached storage (NAS) is file-level data storage provided by a computer specialized to provide data and the file system for the data.

  • An NFS client is built into the ESXi host
  • NFS client uses Network File System (NFS) protocol version 3 to communicate with the NAS/NFS servers
  • The host requires a standard network adapter
  • vSphere support the NFS v3 over TCP on NAS
  • The datastore format supported on NFS storage is VMFS
  • ESXi supports either NFS v3 or NFS v4.1.
ESXi does not impose any limits on the NFS datastore size.

Note: From ESXi 6 onward, NFS v3 and NFS v4.1 shares/datastores can coexist on the same host. However each datastore can only be mounted as either v3 OR v4.1, not both as they each use different locking mechanisms: propriety client side co-operative locking vs. server-side locking respectively.

An NFS v4.1 datastore interoperates with vSphere features such as vMotion, DRS (dynamic resource scheduler), HA (high availability), FT (fault tolerance) and Host Profiles. It is not supported with Storage DRS, SIOC (Storage I/O Control), SRM (Site Recovery Manager) and vVols (Virtual Volumes).

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