Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Red Hat Releases RHEL 6.2 with pNFS support

Hat Tip to Trond Mylkelbust, the Official NFS Client maintainer for Linux.

Today the NFS Industry received an early Christmas present from Red Hat.

Today Red Hat announced the availability of RHEL 6.2.

The RHEL 6.2 Features list from RedHat explicitly mentions pNFS (for the files layout only) as supported in RHEL 6.2.

This pNFS client capability complements NetApp's release last month of its Data ONTAP pNFS server.

Note that the Linux community has achieved a first here: this is the first time a Linux vendor of an enterprise-class distribution beat all other commericial operating systems to market with an NFS client. Historically, Linux was way behind commercial operating systems in delivering NFSv3 and NFSv4.0 (by 5 to 10 years). Note that this was acheived slightly less than 3 years after the NFSv4.1 and pNFS standards were ratified, and less than two years after those standards were published as RFC5661.

I want to extend my congratulations and thanks to Trond, Red Hat, the NetApp Linux NFS client engineering team, and Linux development community for the hard work of the past several years that went into this milestone.

Monday, November 21, 2011

NetApp has shipped its pNFS server

This week is Thanksgiving in the USA, and today the NFS industry has much to be thankful. Because today, Release Candidate 2 of Data ONTAP 8.1 was posted to NetApp's now.netapp.com site and is available for download now. Release Candidate 2 introduces NetApp's pNFS server for Data ONTAP Cluster Mode, as well as the NFSv4.1 server necessary to enable pNFS functionality. This pNFS server supports the files-based layout type, aka LAYOUT4_NFSV4_1_FILES.

As described in Red Hat's documentation, the RHEL 6.2 beta release includes a tech preview of RedHat's upcoming pNFS client for Linux. You can also go the Fedora route.

Two questions that we often get about our pNFS server are:
  1. Is there is a single pNFS metadata server? Answer: no, every node in a Data ONTAP 8 Cluster Mode storage cluster is capable of being a metadata server. The NFSv4.1 client simply NFS mounts a volume via any node of the storage cluster, and that node acts as a metadata server.
  2. What happens when a node hosting a metadata server encounters a failure? The Data ONTAP 8 Cluster Mode system is designed to be fault tolerant if there are two or more nodes in the cluster. Another node will be assigned the network interfaces (essentially, IP addresses) of the failed node, and the NFSv4.1 client will re-connect to the new node, discovering that there has been a metadata server failure, and if necessary, obtain new layouts to any open files that were being accessed over pNFS.
Enjoy NetApp's pNFS server, and have a great Thanksgiving.

Friday, September 30, 2011

www.nasconf.com and www.nfsconf.com offline, material available at nfsv4bat.org

I've received inquiries about nasconf.com (formerly nfsconf.com) going off line.

Via the wayback machine, Tom Haynes has restored hopefully all of the material, which is mostly presentations made at this valuable, but unfortunately now defunct, conference between the years 2000 and 2005, inclusive.

Tom, thank you, for providing this community service. I hope the time you spent qualifies under NetApp's volunteer benefit.

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Will be blogging about NFS here for a while

NetApp is going in a different direction with corporate blogging, and until that gets resolved with respect to the NFS blog I used to post there, I will be posting here. If the blog location changes I again, I will delete this post, and replace it with one that links to the new spot.

I am working on getting the posts that used to be at blogs.netapp.com/eisler back on line.

Thanks in advance for your understanding.

pNFS client is now part of Fedora 15

Trond Myklebust, the official Linux NFS client maintainer, told me today:

FYI: as of this morning, Fedora 15 is shipping with 'kernel-2.6.40' which is basically a renamed 3.0 kernel (presumably to avoid trouble with shell scripts that check for the '2.6.x').

The kernel is shipping with both 'files' and 'objects' pNFS modules.


Tuesday, September 11, 2007

VMware over NFS?

Nick Triantos of NetApp blogs about blocks-based storage protocols and the NetApp perspective. In as much as I am a public face of NFS zealotry for NetApp, Nick as assumed a similar role for NetApp's blocks protocols. I've been busy with the NFS track (more in another post coming up) at the SNIA conference this week, but just read Nick's blog post about using NFS over VMware, where he makes a strong case for using VMware over NFS.

There is also a presentation at VMworld from Peter Learmonth and Kim Weller of NetApp, and Bud James of BEA that delves more deeply into this notion. The presentation is password protected, but the web page that presented the link to the presentation also provided this password information:

user name: cbv_rep
password: cbvfor9v9r
If the link and password don't work, you can get to the presentation by:


Search for Learmonth in the Speaker Name field.


The actual presentation will be Wednesday, September 12, 2007 at the Moscone convention center in San Francisco.

Friday, August 31, 2007

NFSv4.1 at the SNIA Developers Conference

NetApp's PR department issued a press release telling the world I, and my co-editors, Dave Noveck of NetApp and Spencer Shepler of Sun, will be presenting the NFSv4.1 protocol at SNIA's Storage Developer's Conference on September 11, 2007.

That's my signal to finish up some slides. :-)

Thursday, July 26, 2007

An NFSv4 ACL editor

Let's say you have to use NFSv3 but need Access Control Lists (ACLs). Let's say your NFSv3 server does not support one of many proprietary Draft POSIX ACL protocols, but your server does have NFSv4 support and NFSv4 ACLs. Let's also say that an NFSv4 ACL on your server is enforced on NFSv3 access. Is there a way to use NFSv4 ACLs without having an NFSv4 client?

Yes. The idea is to use a user-level NFSv4 client that implements enough of the NFS protocol to read and write NFSv4 ACLs.

A while back I wrote such a beast and it is available at:

It has been ported to Solaris and Linux.

The user interface isn't as nice as I'd like, nor does it support Kerberos V5 authentication. But rather than wait for such things to get done in my "ample spare time", I think it is worthwhile to make it more widely know this software exists. Feedback welcome. If this proves popular, I'll find time to add requested features and bug fixes.