Serve NFS and CIFS from your VMware Virtual SAN

I have seen the question of being able to serve NFS and CIFS storage from VMware Virtual SAN comes up often lately, as customers want to be able to serve files storage to their VMs for different reasons, below is couples of reasons I have heard often:

  • My applications requires file sharing via NFS or CIFS/SMB protocol.
  • I want to store my users documents in a centralized location in the data-center while still controlling access using AD permissions.

There is more reasons behind this, the idea is that this is being requested by different corporate for a reason or another. Unfortunately, the canned answer for this question is that VMware Virtual SAN does not offer this out of the box. While that statement is 100% accurate, I don’t think the answer should stop there, as there is many ways around this, that allows you to consume VMware Virtual SAN Storage as a file level storage using NFS and CIFS/SMB protocols. Let’s discover few of these.

Three different ways to Serve NFS and CIFS/SMB using VMware Virtual SAN:

1. Using NFS on a Linux Box and CIFS on a Windows Box  

While this is the least elegant way of the three, it is the most obvious route for many as they own these operating system licenses and they can just create a VM that is running on top of Virtual SAN and then mount enough storage from Virtual SAN to the VM which in turn you will configure the VM OS to serve CIFS or NFS.… Read More

Is VMware Virtual SAN Production Ready Yet?

Lately, one of the question that keep coming during any Software Define Data Center architecture session with my customers: “Is VMware VSAN ready for production environment?”. The short answer is: it depends, for a longer version explanation please keep reading.

Before I got into details of the answer to the question if VMware Virtual SAN is production ready or not, let’s give a bit of background of why this question keep raising up. Initially when VMware released the VSAN beta mid last year, the focus use cases was VDI, ROBO, & some Dev/Test. That is quite understandable for a beta released product, but as a lot of the literature of the beta days are still out there, many are confusing what the beta was able to deliver in comparison to what the GA version offer on the other hand.

Further, few VMworld sessions this year when the product went GA, did not update their use cases or shied from having a production use case as a part of the use cases showing on the slide. Below is an example of the slides showing VMware VSAN use cases while leaving production use cases out:

VMware VSAN use cases no production 1

Though not every presentation at VMworld  left the production use case of their slides, but if you only went to one VSAN session and that session left it out you left with the ideat it was not production ready.… Read More