Setting up a SAN NAS to be used as template storage across multiple ESXi hosts

3 different vmware systems (vblock, 'legacy ESX' and Big Intel)
24+ different ESXi hosts within those systems
Numerous vlans with one vlan common to all ESXi hosts

We want to set up ONE common datastore on a SAN NAS and map that share as a datastore on all the esxi hosts. This NAS will house all our templates and will be connected to the one and only vlan common to ALL the ESXi hosts. What format does the NAS need to be in to be able to be used and seen as a datastore on all the ESXi hosts? Will NTFS work or will it have to be something else?
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
If you have a NAS, an NFS Export would suffice, and support all your ESXi Hosts.

It does not matter about the NAS file system, when your Export the Mount as NFS.
jimlock720Author Commented:
Thank you. So what you're saying is that the NAS itself can be NTFS (Windows) formatted or does the NAS have to be set up ahead of time to support NFS export? Please explain in more detail how this connectivity is done.
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
Yes, the NAS supports it's own file system.

e.g. You can use a Windows Server, with a formatted NTFS disk, Exported NFS mounts, and it will work with ESXi.

ESXi is not aware of the underlying file system on the NAS.

You can see my videos here...

Video Tutorial - Creating an NFS Datastore using Windows 2008 R2 for VMware vSphere ESX/ESX 4.x

Video Tutorial - Adding an NFS Datastore to a VMware vSphere ESX/ESXi 4.x host server

The same is applicable for ESXi 5.x and 6.x.

How you setup your NAS for NFS, depends on the NAS, but most NAS support NFS.

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jimlock720Author Commented:
Exactly what was needed, thank you!
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