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NFS with Windows 2012


I was recently playing with Windows 2012 and decided to have an little play with NFS services.  I've occasionally come across the odd requirement to host NFS and thought this would be an opportune moment to see how NFS on Windows 2012 and Nimble would work.  So I set about the task to set it up and recorded the steps here:

First step was to build a Windows 2012 Server (I did this running on VMWare Fusion) it was largely a standard Windows install.

Next make sure you have the File Server and NFS roles enabled within the Server Manager...

Click through until you get to the Roles and then select the File Server role and the NFS Server role and then click install (this will require a reboot of the Windows 2012 host)


Once the roles were installed I created a LUN on my Nimble storage controller and mounted it to my Windows server:


In order to do this I was using Nimble Connection Manager which makes things like path management very easy;  (If you are using 1.4.7 then there is a good blog here by Nick Furnell that steps through setup)


and then mounted this volume to Windows in the usual Disk Management fashion (Note:  I just created a small volume for the testing)


Next I navigated to my newly created E: Drive using Explorer and right clicked the volume and hit Properties and then the NFS Sharing tab; Click Manage NFS Sharing


Click the Share this Folder button, setting up your authentication and access policies; (I had no Kerberos/Active Directory in my environment so opted for the simple No Server Authentication)


and finally clicking on Permissions, allows you to set which NFS clients can access this export and with what permissions:

(again for simplicity I elected to make this accessible to any client but in a secure environment you'd make this more secure).  Permissions are explored in much more detail in the following Microsoft Technet Post.


From a server side that is all that is required.

The final step is to mount the share from your NFS client as follows;


Our anecdotal benchmarks during customer proof of concepts show some really impressive performance numbers, however as this is only running in my local virtual environment I have been unable to do any scale testing, so I will save that for a future blog.

There are some additional benefits in that this fully supports Volume Shadow Services for file recover, Windows Deduplication and co-hosting the share with CIFS/SMB to allow file sharing between Windows and Linux users;  Something I'll also detail in a future blog !

About the Author



Nice, thanks for posting this, this might be interesting for a datastore that I store ISO files in, this way I can manage them directly from a workstation to a windows share but have them available to the ESX hosts in a NFS datastore.


Thanks for that I am going to give this a try! I have heard that the NFS performance of Nimble on Windows 2012 is much faster than Netapp's NFS

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