VMware Solutions Discussions

NetApp FAS2040-R5 as NFS Server for ESX 3.5


We are currently setting up a NetApp FAS2040-R5 filer to as a NFS Server for ESX 3.5 Server.

The NetApp FAS2040-R5 has 2 x Ethernet Controller with each controller having 4 x Gigabyte Ethernet Ports connected to a 37xx Cisco Switch.

Is there any setup / configuration guide for configuring the NetApp FAS2040 for NFS service provisioning via multiple Gigabbyte Ethernet Ports (Total of 8 x Gigabyte Ethernet Ports) with all ethernet ports in active mode to increase the network throughput to maximum ?

Thanks you for any advice.



I wonder why everyone is so keen on trunking 4, 8 or even more ethernet ports to one VIF. Having more than 2 links active at the same time makes no sense in >90% of all use cases as you won't be benefiting from the increased (theoretical) throughput because almost everything you do is I/O bound and I/Os scale with number of disks ,not the network, and that's the bottleneck in almost all cases.

Anyway, as the others already explained, you can only do VIFs on one controller and you should do single VIFs if you have multiple switches connected (i.e. one single vif over 2 multi-vifs with 2 ports each)



Thanks Michael.

Regarding the network connection, you mentioned single VIFs to multiple network switches (i.e. one single vif over 2 multi-vifs with 2 ports each).  Could you explain what is single VIF over 2 multi-VIFs?  Are you referring to a Second-Level VIFin an activ-active configuration?


I am also not clear about what Michael said with having a single VIF over mutl VIFs.


Look at tr-3749 “NetApp and VMware vSphere Storage Best Pratices”.


Is it possible to combine all the 8 x Ethernet ports in the 2 x Network Controller into a single VIF to maximize the NFS networking bandwidth?


...and TR-3802 "Ethernet Storage" by Trey Layton (Cisco, ex-NetApp).

It has many answers for your current (and future) questions about NFS, and other Ethernet-related issues.


Tr-3805 is “SnapManager 1.0 for Hyper-V Best Practices” as long as I can believe NetApp site ☺

May be you could just post a link to this TR?


No. VIF is per-controller only.


Thank you very much.

I read your recommended article on VMware NFS Best Practise, and it seems that VIF alternative connection only provided fail-over, but the bandwidth for a single NFS datastore is still limited to a single network connection.  Is there anyway to increase the NFS bandwidth for a single NFS datastore ?


Multi VIF offers some limited load balancing, but it is really effective only with large number of clients.

You may consider iSCSI which does multipath and load balancing.

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