Create OCI file storage and mount it on multiple instances

by Akash Tyagi, Oracle Applications Database Administrator , Rackspace Technology


This post covers Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI) File storage services. 

Oracle® Storage Cloud Services provides multiple types of storage services based on your requirements so you can choose one service over another. The requirements can vary from:


  • Persistent versus nonpersistent: Which type of storage do you want, persistent or nonpersistent? 
  • Types of Data: Which types of data do you want to store, such as text, database, videos, audios,  images, and so on?
  • Performance: What type of performance you are looking at, such as maximum capacity, IOPS, throughputs, and so on?
  • Durability: How many copies of data do you need?
  • Connectivity: How the app accesses the data such as locally or across the network.
  • Protocol: What type of protocol you plan to use, such as block, file, or  HTTPS?

Depending on your requirements, OCI has the following offerings: 

  • Block volume storage
  • Local NVMe
  • File storage
  • Object storage
  • Archive storage

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What is File Storage?

File Storage is a hierarchical collection of documents organized into named directories, which are themselves structured files. Distributed file systems make distributed look exactly like local file systems.

File Storage Services (FSS)

According to Oracle Cloud Infrastructure Documentation "Oracle Cloud Infrastructure File Storage service provides a durable, scalable, distributed, enterprise-grade network file system that scales up in the cloud without any upfront provisioning. You can connect to a File Storage service file system from any bare metal, virtual machine, or container instance in your Virtual Cloud Network (VCN). You can also access a file system from outside the VCN using Oracle Cloud Infrastructure FastConnect and Internet Protocol security (IPSec) virtual private network (VPN). The File Storage service supports the Network File System version 3.0 (NFSv3) protocol. The service supports the Network Lock Manager (NLM) protocol for file locking functionality."

 Key characteristics of OCI FSS:
According to the Case Study: Using OCI File Storage Service (FSS) for PeopleSoft OCI FSS characteristics include the following:

  • NFS v.3 with NLM for POXIS
  • AD-local service available in all OCI regions
  • Predictable pricing for capacity stored
  • Elastic performance where throughput grows with the capacity stored, is best suited for parallel workloads

Use cases for OCI FSS include: 

The case study: Using OCI File Storage Service (FSS) for PeopleSoft mentions the following use cases:

  • On-demand scaling for shared access and capacity
  • Lift-and-shift applications
  • Backup in the cloud
  • Storing structured or unstructured data for big data and analytics
  • Testing and development
  • Big Data and analytics
  • High-Performance Computing (HPC)


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How to create FSS in OCI

Before discussing the details of creating FSS in OCI, you need to understand some important concepts to use during FFS creation. 

The following subsections come directly from Oracle Cloud Infrastructure Documentation


"A private network that you set up in the Oracle data centers, with firewall rules and specific types of communication gateways that you can choose to use."


"Subdivisions you define in a VCN (for example, and Subnets contain virtual network interface cards (VNICs), which attach to instances. A subnet can span a region or exist in a single availability domain. A subnet consists of a contiguous range of IP addresses that do not overlap with other subnets in the VCN. For each subnet, you specify the routing rules and security lists that apply to it."


"Virtual firewall rules for your VCN. Your VCN comes with a default security list, and you can add more. These security lists provide ingress and egress rules that specify the types of traffic allowed in and out of the instances. You can choose whether a given rule is stateful or stateless. Security list rules must be set up so that clients can connect to file system mount targets."

Mount Target

"A mount target is an NFS endpoint that lives in a VCN subnet of your choice and provides network access for file systems. The mount target provides the IP address or DNS name that is used together with a unique export path to mount the file system." A single mount target can export many file systems.


"Exports control how NFS clients access file systems when they connect to a mount target. File systems are exported (made available) through mount targets. Each mount target maintains an export set that contains one or many exports. A file system must have at least one export in one mount target" for instances to mount the file system.


"Collection of one or more exports that control what file systems the mount target exports using NFSv3 protocol and how those file systems are found using the NFS mount protocol. Each mount target has an export set. Each file system associated with the mount target has at least one export in the export set."


"A path that is specified when an export is created. It uniquely identifies the file system within the mount target, letting you associate up to one hundred file systems to a single mount target. This path is unrelated to any path within the file system itself, or the client mount point path."

Setup overview

You need to create a setup, as shown in the following image. You need to create one virtual cloud network (VCN) in one AD and two subnets (public and private) under one VCN. You use a private subnet for a mount target and a public subnet for an NFS client. Each subnet has its own security rules and routing tables to allow the traffic in and out.

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Steps to create FSS in OCI

1. Create a VCN 
Go to menu > Networking > Virtual Cloud Networks. Provide the name of the VCN you want, pick the IP in CIDR BLOCK, and click Create Virtual Cloud Network.
Now, you created the VCN, but the VCN has no subnet or Internet gateway available.

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2. Create a subnet 

Create two subnets, public and private.

Click Create Subnet, enter the following details, and click Create Subnet.

  • Name of the subnet
  • IP Address of Subnet
  • Route Table Name
  • Subnet Access
  • Security List

3. Create a file system

Use the following steps to create a file system:

First: Create file storage
Go to the menu, click File Storage and then File Systems. Now, create a
Mount Target. Select the VCN and SUBNET you created earlier. Leave the IP addresses
section blank. The System automatically populates. Click Create.

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Second: Create a file system 

To create the file system, on the File System tab, click Create File System, enter the following details, and click Create tab

  • Name of the file system that you want.
  • Export Path
  • Mount Target Information

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Before mounting this file system, you need to configure the security list you created earlier. If you do not do this, your instance cannot access this file system. You need to configure a security list to allow traffic on the mount target subnet.

Note: You can create your own private security list from the console and assign it to the subnet. You can use two security lists. Use the private subnet for the mount target. The public subnet is a default security list, which you use for the NFS client. You need not make any changes to the default security list, but you need to configure egress and ingress rules for the private security list as shown in the following sections.

Third: Add ingress rules

Go to the mount target, click on Subnet > Security Lists, and click on PrivateSL > Add Ingress Rules

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Add the following ingress rule allowing TCP traffic:

Ingress Rule 1
Source CIDR:
IP Protocol: TCP
Source Port Range: All
Destination Port Range: 2048-2050 

Ingress Rule 2:
Source CIDR:
IP Protocol: TCP
Source Port Range: All
Destination Port Range: 111

Ingress Rule 3:
Source CIDR:
IP Protocol: UDP
Source Port Range: All
Destination Port Range: 111

Ingress Rule 4:
Source CIDR:
IP Protocol: UDP
Source Port Range: All
Destination Port Range: 2048

Fourth: Add egress rules

Now add egress rules:

Egress Rule 1:
Destination CIDR:
IP Protocol: TCP
Destination Port Range: All
Source Port Range: 2048-2050

Egress Rule 2:
Destination CIDR:
IP Protocol: TCP
Destination Port Range: All
Source Port Range: 111

Egress Rule 3:
Destination CIDR:
IP Protocol: UDP
Destination Port Range: All
Source Port Range: 111 

 Fifth: Assign to private subnet
You have configured the private security list with ingress and egress rules assigned to the Private subnet. Next, create two compute instances (FSS1 and FSS2) to test the file system you created.

Now, move on to mounting the file system with compute instances.

Mount the file system

Here is a quick overview of how to mount the filesystem with the NFS client:

  • Launch the OCI Instance from the console.
  • Use the NFSv3 protocol to mount the FSS volume.
  • Install `nfs-utils` (Oracle Linux® and CentOS&®) or `nfs-common` (Ubuntu® operating system) in your Linux system. 
  • Create the directory.
  • On the FSS console, click Mount Targets

Use the private IP address information to mount the volume by using the `nfs` command.

Here are the steps:

Go to menu > Compute > Instances > Create Instance, enter the following details, and click create

  • Name your Instance: FSS1
  • Virtual Cloud Network: FSSVCN (Created earlier)
  • Subnet: Compute subnet (Default for Linux machine)
  • SSH Key: Copy it from the local machine from which you want to access the OCI Linux machine. 

       $ cd ~/.ssh
        $ ls
         authorized_keys  id_rsa   known_hosts
        $ cat

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Step 2 

Now that the compute instance FSS1 is running, follow the same steps to create FSS2. Then, ssh to the FSS1 from a local machine by using the following commands:

    ssh opc@PublicIP_Address
    ssh opc@

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  ssh opc@

Use the following steps and execute these commands on the terminal session you just started
to mount the file system. Perform these steps for both compute instances FSS1 and FSS2.

Step 3

Install the NFS utilities on the compute instance.

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Step 4 

Create the local mount point to mount the File system.

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Step 5 

Mount the file system.

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Run the same commands on another compute instance, FSS2.

File system testing 

To test the file system, perform the following tests:


    $ cd <Local mount> 
    $ sudo vi <File Name> (Create any file with some text)


   $ cd <Local mount>
    $ ls 

This command displays the file that you created on FSS1.


As your usage scales, the File Storage service provisioning is fully managed and automatic. File Storage also provides highly persistent, secure, and durable storage for Oracle Cloud Infrastructure data.  Built on a distributed architecture, File Storage provides scaling for your data and access to that data. 

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