Microsoft Virtualization Discussions

Exchange 2010, can NFS be used for database and log files?


We currently run Exchange 2007 under ESXi 4.1 using NFS storage for the C: drives on our mailbox and hub transport/client access servers.

We present to the Exchange mailbox server two luns using Microsoft's iSCSI initiator. One lun is used for the Exchange database and one for Exchange log files.

We will be migrating to Exchange 2010 and could certainly use a similar setup. What I would rather do though is:

  • Carve out two more volumes on my FAS3020 and make them NFS shares
  • Add these NFS shares to ESXi
  • Add two disks to my Exchange mailbox server using these two NFS shares for storage
  • Use one disk for my Exchange database and one for log files

Two questions:

Is this supported? According to this article ( it may not be supported, here is the important paragraph:

"All storage used by an Exchange guest machine for storage of Exchange data must be block-level storage because Exchange 2010 doesn't support the use of network attached storage (NAS) volumes. Also, NAS storage that's presented to the guest as block-level storage via the hypervisor isn't supported."

Is anybody running Exchange 2010 using NFS for storage of database and logs files?




First of all, as you already pointed out, running Exchange 2010 on NFS VMDKs is not supported by Microsoft. NetApp SME (unlike SMSQL) doesn't support that either (& will plainly refuse to work).

Secondly, I don't see any logical reason why that wouldn't work though . At the end of the day, the guest OS sees just a local drive, no matter what underlying provisioning mechanism is.

It's a bit like with Microsoft clustering on VMware with iSCSI RDMs - not supported, but working.




I did find one person who is running Exchange 2010 under vSphere using NFS datastores for the Exchange database and log files and having no problems. We are currently using SME for our Exchange 2007 server but will not be using it for Exchange 2010. I will be using Commvault instead of SME. SMSQL, and SMVI so I get one spot where all of my backups occur.