Configuring Netgear READYNAS for VMware ESXi 5.x

While preparing for my VMware VCAP-DCA exam, I have being using a number of virtual NFS and iSCSI devices but a few weeks ago I bought a Netgear ReadyNAS to form part of my lab environment.

Though I have found a number of articles/blogs regarding setup, what I found is that Netgear’s firmware updates have made all the screen not mesh while trying to complete the setup. This is my attempt at showing how to do the setup and hopefully avoiding the mistakes and frustrations along the way.

So to make things clear, I am using the Netgear ReadyNAS 104 with firmware 6.2.2


So, firstly we need to create the NFS share on the ReadyNAS.

This is done via the ReadyNAS webclient. Once you have logged in, click [Shares] and you should see a screen similar to the one below. Once you do, click the [New Folder] button and follow the prompts:


Give your new folder that is going to store for new VMware datastore a meaningful name and some description so you know what it is for. Select the [NFS] option, as this is what we will be used for connecting our ESXi hosts to it. If you want to access in parallel via other means select the other options you wish but the [NFS] option is mandatory for this exercise.


When you are ready, select [Create]


Success! Select [OK] to complete the folder setup.

We will now give your VMware hosts access to the new NFS folder by selecting the folder from the list, and then selecting [Settings]


Select the plus icon to add the VMware hosts you want to give access to the folder


Add in the IP address of the ALL the VMware hosts to access this NFS folder. And then select [Add]


The IP address should now be listed in the list.

NB. You must select [READ/WRITE] and [ROOT ACCESS] or when adding the NFS folder in VMware you will encounter and error and not be able to mount the datastore. Select [Ok] when you are done this.


That’s the ReadyNAS NFS folders all setup! Step 1 complete!

Let us now switch to our VMware host.

On the host, select [Configuration], [Storage] and then [Add Storage]


Select [Network File System] from the options, and [Next]


Type the IP address of your ReadyNAS in the [Server] window

The folder should also include the volume name and not just the share. Go back to your ReadyNAS webclient to confirm this. In my case the volume name is “Data” and my folder is called “ESXiDatastore”. Back in the VMware NFS wizard, the format should then be in my case “/data/ESXiDatstore”


Lastly, give the datastore a name. This is what will show in vCenter, so make it meaningful to yourself. Since I only have one NFS share, my lack of imagination called it “NFS”. Once this is complete select [Next]


Congratulations, you now have your NFS Datastore attached to the host and can be used for virtual machine storage, ISO repository any other VMware storage uses you may have.


The process will need to be repeated for all hosts in your environment.

I hope that this is been helpful to you… And as this is my first real blog, I hope it makes sense!


  1. Tony said:

    Great article.

    Just to note a had a issue with this at first, it was that the share name is case sensitive. So I needed to enter /data/ESX not /data/esx

    • Crispyire said:

      Thanks Tony! Great catch.

  2. Steve said:

    What did you do about your network? I am looking at using both nics on the readynas for shared storage and I have two nics on my esx box for storage. I am not sure if I want to team the nics and round robin them or leave them on there own wiht round robin on the host server?

    I have done both but I am only getting about 40MB transfer of a possible 100MB

    • Crispyire said:

      Hi Steve, I did some testing when I set it up (Over a year ago now) and I found that teaming the NICs gave me the best performance… My current lab setup has the two NICs separate and split across two VLANS so I can use it has shared storage for both my lab and personal life.

  3. Steve said:

    Teaming is giving the slight better through put but it is not great think I am expecting too much from a cheap solution. I currently have both nics teamed in the same Storage VLAN with jumbo packets set to 9000, writing to a striped SSD bu the write is not great. I might just use the readynas as my personal storage and build my own NAS

  4. Jon Johnson said:

    Nice work; I was following a tutorial on “youtube” today that “left this step out” completely!!! I happen to come across your blog which gave me the answer I needed for access.


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