NFS on Windows Server 2008 R2

As usual I have reconfigured my home lab and again I start with configuring my Starwind iSCSI Target with no problem at all, It’s easy, fast and reliable at least in my home lab I get a good answer from it.
I’m using this software to provide iSCSI targets to my ESXi hosts and placing my VMs there.
Then it’s time for creating NFS for accessing to ISO files and for sure, it’s Microsoft on the line.

I have tried this several times with Windows 2003/R2 and Windows 2008 with no problem, it’s easy and fast, you just need to add one user and check one-or-two box and you can use it. (don’t forget to install the NFS service on your server first ;))
This time I changed my server to Windows Server 2008 R2 Enterprise and followed the same path as before, but there was a little changes in here.

You must add the “Anonymous” users just like before and grants them with permission to at least read, I’m grant them write as well cause may be for some reason I need to add anything to my ISO lab (like below image).

It’s time to configuring the NFS, so I browsed to the “NFS Sharing” tab and pressed “Manage NFS Sharing” button and then checked the “Share this folder” so other configuration comes available.

As I (my hosts) don’t need any “Kerberos” Authentication” I removed them (both) and I checked the “Enable unmapped user access” for being sure that my hosts can connect to this share, also I selected “Allow anonymous access (UID= –2 | GID= -2)”.

Also I had configured “NFS Share Permissions” by clicking on “Permissions” button and allowing the “root access” with “Read-Write” permission.

After all of these and clicking on OK buttons two times I moved back to first “Folder Properties” window and I can saw the configuration has changed. after pressing the last “OK” button I moved back to Explorer and refreshed the window. everything seems to configured well (as I saw two green arrow appears on my folder).

so I opened my vSphere client and connected to my host, browsed to “configurationstorage” and pressed “Add Storage …”, Selected the “Network File System” and entered the proper information and clicked ok. It took about seconds that new NFS appeared, just like before.
I created new VMs and connect them to ISO file for installing new OS on them and powered on first VM.

Waited, Waited, … but it seems the ISO file is not working well. I restarted the VM and select the CD-ROM from “boot menu” several times, but every time it failed, it seems there is no ISO connected, I changed the ISO files but same answer again, no luck on booting from ISO files.

I went to explorer and browsed to my ISO folder for checking the configuration, if I missed anything.

I changed the way anonymous users can access by selecting “Allow unmapped users Unix access (by UID/GID)” again (which was the default; I think).

Powered on the first VM with the first ISO file again and . . . . . YES, it’s working.

So, you can just connect your ESX/ESXi host to NFS on Windows Server 2008 R2 by:
1. Adding anonymous user with at least read permission
2. Enable NFS and removed those two “Kerberos Authentication”
3. Set the permission for “Root Access” to “Read-Write”
4. And, select the “Allow unmapped users Unix access (by UID/GID)”
Now you just need to add your NFS share to your ESX/ESXi host and start using it.

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