• United States

Conference goes beyond NFS

Sep 16, 20043 mins
Data CenterSAN

* NFS conference is now NAS Industry Conference

This year’s NAS Industry Conference (formerly the NFS Industry Conference) begins Oct. 12 in Santa Clara. Whereas in past years this was an NFS-only gathering, this year it includes tracks on the Unix File System, Network Data Management Protocol, Microsoft’s Common Internet File System, Kerberos, performance improvement, and other NAS technology issues in addition to its NFS topics.

The changed name reflects broadened industry expectations for NFS, and it is obvious that the conference has expanded in several respects. To support the broader subject matter, the meetings have now grown from a two-and-a-half day gathering to a full three days (one day for tutorials, then two days of general sessions and panel discussions). More importantly, it now addresses topics that should be of interest to all admins who have responsibilities that include file management.

For many of you, the most important tutorials will be the several sessions on NFS security. The conference provides a chance to learn about NFS security from the ground up, including how to deploy the Kerberos authentication infrastructure we spoke about last time.

Those of you interested in file systems will of course have plenty of other things to look at. Look for sessions on evolving file models, on the future of NFS, on benchmarking file system and NFS client performance, and on several other topics.

At least two sessions are planned to cover high-performance computing with a protocol extension that provides direct, parallel I/O capabilities to NFS. With parallel NFS, files are distributed over several storage devices so that a client can access a file using concurrent I/O operations. Users access storage devices directly, bypassing NFS servers. The result is that clients can get more bandwidth to a file than a single storage device can deliver.

If you are feeling feisty, look for the presentation titled “CIFS to the UNIX Desktop (or the Death of NFS)”, which will look at a remote file system to compete with NFS for the desktop.

File systems of course are of interest to NAS users. Several sessions address NAS-related issues, including NDMP.

These meetings have been going on for several years now, and have gotten some good reviews from the attendees I know. Certainly these sessions are not for the technologically faint of heart, but many folks will find the trip out to Santa Clara well worth the effort.

If you have an interested in distributed file services, check out the schedule of events at:

Have fun.