What is NFS in the Computer Network?

NFS stands for the network file system. It is a type of file system mechanism that enables data storage and retrieval from multiple disks and directories across a shared network.

A Network file system is implemented in a client/server computing model. An NFS server manages the authentication, authorisation and management of clients and all the data shared within a specific file system. Once authorised, users can view and access the data through their local systems, much like they should access it from an internal disk drive.

Network File System is a protocol that operates on all networks IP-based. It is implemented in that client/server application in which the server of NFS manages the authorization, authentication, and clients. This protocol is used with Apple Mac OS, UNIX, and Unix-like operating systems such as Solaris, Linux, FreeBSD, and AIX.

It is equivalent to NFS. Using the SMB protocol allows a customer to access files or other resources at a small server. While there are many equalities between SMB and NFS like the opportunity for shared create to documents, printers, and serial ports between nodes on a web there are some notable differences, too.

NFS can arise to send documents in a local directory, enabling users’ systems to approach remote data as a local folder. The users can pass through subdirectories, look up file permissions, and read, write, and generate files. NFS interprets the document paths and file commands to work with the equivalent file system.

The NFS protocol supports a set of RPCs for remote services such as lookup, create, rename, getattr, setattr, read, write, delete, mkdir, etc. The processes can be conjured just after a file manager for the remotely mounted directory has been created. NFS servers are stateless servers.

A stateless file server prevents keeping state data by creating each request self-included. That is, each request recognizes the file and the location of the file in complete. Therefore, the server requires not to save a file pointer.

It requires not to create or remove a connection by opening a file or closing a file, respectively. For reading a directory, NFS does not employ any file pointer, it operates a magic cookie.

Benefits of NFS

The benefits of NFS are as follows −

  • NFS supports central management.

  • NFS allows for a customer to log into any server and have access to their files transparently.

  • There is no manual refresh needed for new files.

  • It can secure it with firewalls and Kerberos.

Updated on: 05-May-2021


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