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One storage issue that occasionally proves to be problematic is vSphere 6 support for NFS 4.1. Previously, vSphere supported only NFS version 3. While support for a newer version of NFS is not a problem in and of itself, issues can occur if you use multiple NFS versions.
When you create a new datastore, the New Datastore wizard asks if you want to use NFS 3 or NFS 4.1. However, the NFS version screen also displays the following warning message: "Use only one NFS version to access a given datastore. Consequences of mounting one or more hosts to the same datastore using different versions can cause data corruption."
There are also some vSphere features -- such as Storage DRS, storage I/O control, Site Recovery Manager and Virtual Volumes -- that cannot be used with NFS 4.1. Legacy fault-tolerance mechanisms cannot be used with NFS 4.1 either, but the newer fault-tolerant mechanisms available with the vSphere 6 release do work with NFS 4.1.
Security is another issue that must be addressed when making the transition to NFS 4.1. Although NFS 4.1 still supports the AUTH_SYS mechanism, Kerberos is preferred because it is far more secure. If you create a new datastore that uses NFS 4.1, the New Datastore wizard will give you the option to use Kerberos-based authentication. If you choose Kerberos, there are two situations you need to be aware of:
- To use Kerberos authentication, any host that mounts the datastore has to be a member of an Active Directory domain. The wizard will warn you of this issue.
- An NFS user is defined on each host, so you must configure each host to use the same user or some management tasks may fail.
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