VMware ESXi to add storage

Have you tried to add storage in your VMware environment after the initial setup and configuration? In my case, I needed to add storage for more space to copy virtual machine files. This is also the same approach to access a USB drive to import a vmx and vmdk files (virtual machine and data storage).

For this article, I will provide a step by step procedure on how to add your USB drive from one of your Windows Server (or workstation).

Let's use a Windows Server 2003 for reading your USB drive. By default, the NFS service is not enable. So, you have to add this service first. Go to Start, Control Panel, Add or Remove Programs, Add/Remove Windows Components, Other Network and Print Services, and select all for Microsoft Services for NFS.

You asked, Why enable NFS Service? The VMware is based using Linux, so you need to enable NFS service to share your network drive or folder.

Share a USB drive or folder. Open your Windows Explorer and browse your USB drive. In your USB drive, let's share the TEMP folder (the TEMP is the folder you want to give VMware read only access). Give Everyone a read-only permission.

Use NFS Sharing. Click the NFS Sharing tab (if you don't see this tab, please add it first), select Share this folder, put check on Allow anonymous access, and put check on Allow root access (as shown in the picture below). Click OK to finish.

Add storage to VMware. Login to your vSphere Client, choose one of your physical host (192.168.xxx.xxx), click the Configuration tab, in Hardware click Storage to see your existing Datastores/Devices.

Click on Add Storage, select Network File System. In Locate Network File System properties, enter the IP address (or hostname) of the server e.g. 192.168.xxx.xxx (this is your VM server), enter the Folder name, in our example we use TEMP. Click Next to continue, click Finish.

If you got an error similar to this "Call "HostDatastoreSystem.CreateNasDatastore" for object "datastoreSystem-9" on vCenter Server "YOUR_SERVER_HERE" failed.
Operation failed, diagnostics report: Sysinfo error on operation returned status : Bad parameter. Please see the VMkernel log for detailed error information" for object

You can fix it by doing ... resetting your NFS Server service. Try it and it should work.

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