Product Announcements

NFS and the vCD Appliance

Tom Stephens
Senior Technical
Marketing Architect

I’m sure many of you have heard about the vCloud Director Appliance by now.   It’s one of the fastest ways you can get vCloud Director up and running to evaluate it in your environment. 

The key here is that it is only supported for evaluation environments.  As a result, certain design decisions were made with this in mind.  For example, even though it is based on CentOS, only packages that were critical to its use are included.  This helps to keep the size of the vCloud Director Appliance down, making it quicker to download and install.

The configuration provided should be more than sufficient for most evaluation environments.   Every once in a while though, someone has a need for something that surpasses what the vCloud Director Appliance was designed for.

Recently I was made aware of someone who had such a requirement.  What they needed was an ability to mount a NFS share from within the vCloud Director Appliance.

In a production environment, customers often use a NFS share on the vCloud Director cells to provide adequate space for the transfer service operations.   When this person tried to do this with the vCloud Director Appliance, they quickly realized that they couldn’t. 

Screen shot 2012-03-29 at 11.12.26 PM

The reason for this is because not all the NFS related packages are provided with the vCloud Director Appliance.  Normally, this is not a concern as the amount of transfer service space provided with the appliance is adequate for evaluations.  However, if you find yourself in a situation like this person was in where you need it, I’m going to show you how to get NFS working on the vCloud Director Appliance.

Before I do though, I’d like to place a special note here that this is UNSUPPORTED.  As you will have to install packages that are not included with the vCloud Director Appliance, that means that we do not perform any functional testing with these packages installed.    So if you do this, you are doing so at your own risk. 

Now the process to get NFS functionality on the vCloud Director Appliance is pretty simple.  First, make sure that your vCloud Director Appliance is connected to the Internet.  This is required, as it will be downloading the correct packages to install.  Next, use yum to install the portmap and nfs-utils packages.  You can do this by logging into the vCloud Director Appliance as the user root (where the default password is Default0) and entering the following commands:

# yum install portmap

# yum install nfs-utils

After you do this, you simply need to start the portmap service with the following command:

# service portmap start

You should be able to mount a NFS share now, using a command similar to:

# mount –t nfs4 mynfsserver:/nfs_share /nfs_mountpoint

for NFS v4, or if using NFS v3 or v2…

# mount –t nfs mynfsserver:/nfs_share /nfs_mountpoint

That’s all there is to it!