5sunnfs - Case Study - Sun's Network File System (NFS) NFS...

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Case Study -- Sun’s Network File System (NFS) NFS is popular and widely used. NFS was originally designed and implemented by Sun Microsystems for use on its UNIX-based workstations. Other manufacturers now support it as well, for both UNIX and other operating systems (including MS-DOS). NFS supports heterogeneous systems, for example, MS-DOS clients making use of UNIX servers. It is not even required that all the machines use the same hardware. It is common to find MS-DOS clients running on Intel 386 CPUs getting service from UNIX file servers running Motorola 68030 or Sun SPARC CPUs. Three aspects of NFS are of interest: architecture protocol implementation
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NFS Architecture The basic idea behind NFS is to allow an arbitrary collection of clients and servers to share a common file system. In most cases, all the clients and servers are on the same LAN. NFS allows every machine to be both a client and a server at the same time. Each NFS server exports one or more of its directories for access by remote clients. When a directory is made available, so are all of its sub-directories, so the entire directory tree is exported as a unit. The list of directories a server exports is maintained in the /etc/exports file, so these directories can be exported automatically whenever the server is booted. Clients access exported directories by mounting them. When a client mounts a directory, it becomes part of its directory hierarchy. A diskless workstation can mount a remote file system on its root directory, resulting in a file system that is supported entirely on a remote server. Those workstations that have a local disk can mount remote directories anywhere they wish. There is no difference between a remote file and a local file. If two or more clients mount the same directory at the same time, they can communicate by sharing files in their common directories.
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NFS Protocols (Mounting) A protocol is a set of requests sent by clients to servers, along with the corresponding replies sent by the servers back to the clients. As long as a server recognizes and can handle all the requests in the protocols, it need not know anything at all about its clients. Clients can treat servers as “black boxes” that accepts and process a specific set of requests. How they do it is their own business.
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This note was uploaded on 09/17/2009 for the course IT it771 taught by Professor Jenisha during the Fall '09 term at University of Advancing Technology.

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5sunnfs - Case Study - Sun's Network File System (NFS) NFS...

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