[OpenAFS] afs vs nfs

Rodney M Dyer rmdyer@uncc.edu
Tue, 22 Nov 2005 12:19:22 -0500

At 11:24 AM 11/22/2005, David Thompson wrote:
>Read carefully.  I attended an NFSv4 presentation at a technical conference,
>and found out that some of the NFSv4 features were added specifically to
>compete with afs; however, the implementation is in the spec as "optional",
>and, in fact, none of the existing NFSv4 implementations have them.

Exactly.  And as I have said here before, I believe the biggest thing 
people seem to gloss over in this debate is AFS's volume location service 
providing global name space via a distributed manner.  The "client" makes 
the choice of which server to hit, spreading the network load out, somewhat 
like the world wide web.  You don't have a lot of clients hitting one 
master server for the tree.  As far as I know, this will never be part of 
NFSv4s spec.  I think this is the trump card for AFS over NFS.

But let's not lose perspective here.  AFS's intended use is large scale, 
and to be used over the wide area network.  As time progresses the 
distinction between wide area, local area, and server room is losing its 
meaning because bandwidth is so much better these days.  Clearly, because 
of the bandwidth increase, AFS feels the pressure from less ambitious 
protocols since their net can be cast much wider.  But again, AFS solves a 
number of other items that keeps it at the top of my list.


Rodney M. Dyer
Windows Systems Programmer
Mosaic Computing Group
William States Lee College of Engineering
University of North Carolina at Charlotte
Email: rmdyer@uncc.edu
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