Scott's Weblog The weblog of an IT pro specializing in cloud computing, virtualization, and networking, all with an open source view

NFS Help

I like to think that I’m a fairly intelligent guy, able to pick up most things reasonably quickly given the opportunity. After all, I transitioned from a Windows-only SE into an SE with a good reputation for VMware ESX Server, various Linux flavors, Mac OS X, and some Cisco configuration (hey, if you can do GRE tunnels with IPSec encryption, you’re not too shabby with IOS). But I’m having a real problem with NFS.

I know, it seems silly, but I just can’t wrap my head around how it works. In particular, the NetApp implementation of NFS and the /etc/exports file that Data ONTAP uses seems to be very different than the way you would configure NFS on Linux or Solaris. Even when I go through the FilerView GUI to configure an NFS export, it doesn’t seem to work the way I expect. To be fair, I’m sure this is just a lack of understanding on my part and not necessarily a flaw or drawback in the NetApp implementation.

Take this example. I recently added another old F840 storage system to my lab at the office, and will begin setting up a demo SnapMirror environment to show to customers (SnapMirror with VMware on NetApp is going to be slick!). I thought I’d also start performing some NFS testing as well; I’m particularly interested in thin provisioning the VMDKs on a thin provisioned FlexVol via NFS. So I create a new FlexVol and then proceed to configure a new NFS export. After walking through the NFS export wizard in FilerView and specifying my MacBook Pro’s IP address as having both read/write access and root access, I mount the export and proceed to try to copy an ISO image file. Denied! Huh? Checking the properties, I see that I only have read-only permissions. What’s up with that?

I try several other variations, and all of them provide the same result. How can that be? If my host’s IP address is provided read/write access, why do I have read-only access? Is one option overriding another? How do the options interact with each other? I’m sure these are silly/easy questions for those well-versed in NFS, but for whatever reason I’m having a hard time here.

If anyone could share some enlightening information, I’d certainly appreciate it.

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