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Concluding Remarks

In this paper, we use NFS and iSCSI as specific instantiations of file- and block-access protocols and experimentally compare their performance in environments where storage is not shared across client machines. Our results demonstrate that the two are comparable for data-intensive workloads, while the former outperforms the latter by a factor of 2 or more for meta-data intensive workloads. We identify aggressive meta-data caching and update aggregation allowed by iSCSI to be the primary reasons for this performance difference. We propose enhancements to NFS to improve its meta-data performance and present preliminary results that show its effectiveness. As part of future work, we plan to implement this enhancement in NFS v4 and study its performance for real application workloads.