NFS Exports on Centos 7 to ESXi

I spent a couple hours troubleshooting NFS today. The backup server I setup in 2010 is wearing out so I upgraded to a shiny new T320 (on sale!) and set out to reconfigure my NFS backup datastore to point to the new backup server.

Since I haven't played around with NFS in ages, I had forgotten what a joy it could be /s

In the end everything worked once I got the configuration straightened up, so yay!




This ended up being a 3-phase process:

  1. Debug the ESXi box by running some commands:
    1. Try mounting the share via esxcli:

      #esxcli storage nfs add -H -s /mount/depth/location -v SANBACH
      Sysinfo error on operation returned status : Unable to connect to NFS server. Please see the VMkernel log for detailed error information
    2. tail /var/log/vmkernel.log

      NFS: 168: NFS mount failed: Unable to connect to NFS server.

    3. Check the ESXi firewall (just in case?)

      JACKPOT:  Under Configuration -> Security Profile -> Firewall I found I was restricting the NFS client to only talk to certain NFS servers

      I altered the list of 'approved' IP addresses to include the SAN address and I was good to go!

  2. Debug the Centos 7 box
    1. Disable the firewall and try to connect from ESXi

      The output from the ESXi CLI was different:

      Sysinfo error on operation returned status : The NFS server denied the mount request. Please see the VMkernel log for detailed error information

    2. Re-enable the firewall after enabling mountd

      firewall-cmd --permanent --add-service=mountd
      firewall-cmd --reload

      VMWare connect now, yay!

  3. Now there's a problem with my NFS share: 'everyone' can connect!
    1. There's not much security if *any* host on *any* interface can connect to the backup share! Especially since I took the time to setup a separate SAN exclusively for storage traffic...
    2. Examining my exports file, everything looked fine:

    3. Yet when I run showmount -e I get craziness:

      showmount -e
      Export list for BACKUPHOST:
      /mount/depth/location (everyone)

      Yeah, I have a *little* problem with the 'everyone' directive here...

    4. After some scrounging I found that I had to reload my NFS exports:

      exportfs -arv

      (-a exports everything in the 'exports' file, -r re-exports directories and clears outdated entries, while the -v flag gives verbose output)

      Now it shows up correctly: the share is restricted by IP Address and properly configured