Network Filesystems – Overview

24 June, 2005 at 01:38 Leave a comment

Just a little Introduction to various implementations of a remote filesystem.

First of all, I’ll talk a little about what kind of file system I’m looking for. I need a remote filesystem for an unmanaged Local Area Network, no central servers, just a bunch of machines connected through a hub. Everybody should be able to publish a folder on the network, and the other users should browse these Folders. It should be fast enough, to conviniently share movies, mp3s and stuff like this. A Filesystem for the Home-Desktop basically, and of course it should run under Linux. Discovery of Network Shares is not that important in the Moment, I’ll use a mDNS Responder for this later on. It should be small in Implementation, fast in Operation, and shouldn’t have any unnecessary Features.

Coda and AFS are Distributed Filesystems, that seems to be overkill in my application, and Coda supports even disconnected Operation. In case it’s not possible to strip these Filesystems down to the desired amount of Features, I won’t consider them any more.
FunFS allows massive Caching, but is lacking write support, however this is not that neccessary in our usage scenario. It supports large on Disk Caching and claims to be optimized for latency. Its unclear whether it’s still maintained, but it looks interesting.
Samba’s CIFS looks interesting too, but since it’s based on Microsoft Protocols, it comes propably with a lot of overhead, and without support for common semantics in Linux Filesystems, like the execute-bit.
And at last there is NFS, it seemes to be quiet a rudementary technologie, not connection based, and without special measures concerning caching, but I believe it should be down to some kind of benchmark about how it compares to FunFS.

Most likely I’ll make an in depth comparison between NFS and FunFS, do some benchmarking and tuning, and then I’ll decide whether I’d choose on or the other.


Entry filed under: Computers/ICT, Research, WebXP.

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