I’ve added a couple of XenServer 5.6 FP1 to my lab which also includes some Hyper-V and ESXi. To get some shared storage, I installed a 2008 R2 machine and installed NFS to be able store VMs on it. Here’s how I did it.

On the NFS-server, use Server Manager to Add Roles… or Add Role Services if the File Service role already is installed.

You’re installing the Services for Network File System.

After installation, create a folder, for example D:\NFS, right-click and choose Properties and NFS Sharing tab.

Click Managed NFS Sharing… and configured it like below. I’ve seen many suggestions about different setup here and I can’t answer for the security of these settings, but these are the only ones that worked for me. Especially the Allow unmapped user Unix access (by UID/GID) where some other suggested to put Allow anonymous access and set the UID and GID to -2.

Click Permissions and make sure Type of access: is Read-Write access and Allow root access is selected.

Press OK and go to Citrix XenCenter. Right-click your Xen and choose New Storage…

Select NFS VHD and choose Next

Here you put a Name: of your choice and the Share Name: is <IP>:/NFS where NFS is the share name you called it. Press Scan and it should not fail.

Common errormessaged you can get when pressing Scan or Finish could be:

  • There was an error while attempting to mount the NFS share
  • General backend error

This usually means that you misconfigured the NFS settings. Other sites also suggested turning off the 2008 R2 Windows Firewall or changing the NTFS security settings. This was not needed for me. Someone also mentioned that the following security policy: Local Security Policy –> Local Policies –> Security Options –> Network access: Let Everyone permissions apply to anonymous users should be enabled.

Press Finish and it should add the NFS share to your storage. Right-click and choose Set as Default so all VMs by default will be stored here.