Friday, October 27, 2006

OSDL's NFSv4 Press Release

I got a question about the implications about this excerpt from OSDL's NFSv4 press release:

The Open Source Development Labs (OSDL), the global consortium dedicated to accelerating the adoption of Linux® and open source software, today announced that the Network File System v4 (NFSv4) for Linux is available in Red Hat Enterprise Linux from Red Hat and SUSE Linux Enterprise from Novell. This milestone reflects the maturity of NFSv4 for Linux in the enterprise and coincides with Network Appliance’s latest donation of $100,000 to the NFSv4 testing community.

''NFS testing has been a key priority for OSDL and the Linux development community, and we have passed a significant milestone for it to be ready for enterprise validation,'' said Stuart Cohen, CEO of OSDL.
First, this is all good news, and it is consistent with the claims I've made last year at SNIA and LISA that, unlike the history with NFSv3, Linux is not lagging the industry on NFSv4. There are several commerical NFS vendors that are behind Linux in NFSv4 support.

Second, given the juxtaposition of "test", "significant milestone" , "Enterprise", and "Linux", a reasonable reader might conclude that OSDL is stating that Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) and SUSE Linux Enterprise (SLE) have passed all of OSDL's NFSv4 tests, and OSDL is stating NFSv4 on the current releases of those two distributions are enterprise ready.

I asked around and apparently OSDL did its testing in Linux kernel code from kernel.org, and not RHEL or SLE. RHEL and SLE at the time this blog post was written did not have all the necessary NFSv4 updates. I'm told that RHEL and SLE will need several of updates from the mainline (kernel.org) code before both distributions have an NFSv4 implementation that is "ready for enterprise validation."

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