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Mount a writeable VMFS iSCSI volume on windows.

Posted on 2011-09-09
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Last Modified: 2012-05-12
I know this a bit odd but in my enviroment I ahve a iSCSI target on my network I use to store data I need available to both windows and VMware, Vsphere 4. Because VMware is more limited I have formated the iSCSI drive with the standard VMFS and mounted it as a data store in VMware. On the windows side I am hoping to find a drive that I can load that will allow read wright access as a standard mounted drive (IE not though the data store borwser of the vsphere client). I thought VMFS was actually vmware's name for their ext3 volums but loading the ext3 driver here http://www.fs-driver.org/ did not seem to load correctly. I also found this http://code.google.com/p/vmfs/ which is close but it's read only.

Any one know how I can mount this file system in windows (client vista x64)
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Question by:charles_dilger
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2) earned 500 total points
ID: 36512144
Why not use a NFS mounted datastore that can be read and written by VMware and WIndows (with NFS client).
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by:BloodRed
ID: 36512258
What is your backend storage and/or what other protocols does it support?
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by:charles_dilger
ID: 36514354
Hanccocka, that's a good idea. I already have NFS running on the same equipment for something else. I switched to iSCSI in the past because it seamed more reliable but for this application who's is low demand NFS should work fine.

BloodRed, the back end is actually a windows server running third party iSCSI software to allow it to mount and present a HDD image as an iSCSI target. I did this is the past because of problems with NFS and efficiency but now with a low demand situation I think NFS will work.

I'll try NFS as a cross platform solution and share the results, thanks.
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LVL 120
ID: 36514402
We found NFS to be faster in our testing! (especially if you are using an iSCSI based solution on Windows).

Try enabling Jumbo Frames, you may get better performance. NFS solution will also give you thin provisioing by default, and allow you to copy to and from the datastore.
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Author Closing Comment

by:charles_dilger
ID: 36539125
Great Idea and works quite well Thanks!
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