Network file system (NFS)
Network File System(NFS) is a server/client architecture developed by Sun Microsystems in 1984 to support sharing on local area networks. It is a mechanism for sharing files that allow retrieving data from multiple disks and directories across a shared network. Clients can view, store, and update files over a remote computer the same way as on their local computers. Today we mainly use NFSv3, NFSv4, and NFSv4.1. for client and server-side local file sharing.
- Clients shares file on the network which eliminates the need for a local disk and hence reduces the cost of data storage.
- NFS is easy to manage and affordable file-sharing solution that requires NFS mounting support on the client side.
- Every user can access the same files, hence data remain updated.
- The process of mounting the file system is transparent to all users.
- Security is the first and foremost concern, given that NFS is based on RPCs which are inherently insecure and must be used only on a trusted network behind a firewall.
- The NFS protocol requires a complex establishment before data transfer. The NFS protocol requires various steps to read and write data, which equates to a ton of overhead for someone actively interacting with today’s AI/ML/DL workloads that consume an extensive number of small files.
- A maximum of 1MB of data can be transferred during one read or write request with the current Network File System protocol. During 1984, 1MB was considered to be a large amount of data, but that’s not the case today.