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Fileserver recommendations - inside vmfs or remote nfs mount?

Hi,

I have a FAS 2050 which I use mostly for running VMs on, over NFS . I need to create a fileserver and would like to serve about 3 TB out of it, mostly over CIFS and HTTP. We are a linux shop. At the moment , the fileserver is an ancient tower PC with 3 TB SATA drives in, so am keen to move this to something more supportable!

What do you think the best way to do this would be:

A) Put all the files to be served on a new NFS volume on the FAS 2050, and create a small linux VM and mount the FAS 2050 using NFS and serve the files up on a webserver running on the linux VM.

B) Create a big linux VM and store all the files to be served inside vmdk files on the FAS2050. (Probably also with LVM to get around the 2TB ESXi disk space limit).

C) Doesn't matter - will get the same results. 

D) Something else

Am very interested to hear your thoughts!

Fileserver recommendations - inside vmfs or remote nfs mount?

I would suggest using a NFS mount for simplicity - you can grow it on the fly, you can move it to another VM or physical server, if needed, you can take snapshots for fast backups, etc. My question would be is there any limitations to re-sharing the NFS mount via CIFS and HTTP? I wouldn't think so, but I haven't done it myself.

Fileserver recommendations - inside vmfs or remote nfs mount?

It's a shame you didn't get the CIFS license with the filer when you bought it.  Using samba on linux in vmware with an nfs mount is just a big can of worms that will eventually probably bite you in the back side....   Have fun...