Parallel NFS (pNFS)
Wednesday, 12:302:00 p.m., Dolores Room
Announcing a public Birds-of-a-Feather meeting for those
interested in bringing into existence a Parallel NFS (pNFS)
standard for network attached storage.
This BOF is to be held between USENIX's NSDI and FAST conferences, 12:302:00 p.m., Wednesday, March 31, 2004, in
the Dolores room of the Grand Hyatt hotel in San Francisco.
A simple box lunch for the first 50 attendees will be provided
by Panasas, Inc.
Speakers at this BoF will include Peter Corbett, Network Appliance;
David Black, EMC; Julian Satran, IBM; Peter Honeyman, CITI;
Sumanta Chatterjee, Oracle; and Brent Welch, Panasas.
Background materials from the organizers of this BoF can be
found in the proceedings of a recent workshop, NFS Extensions
for Parallel Storage, www.citi.umich.edu/NEPS/agenda.html, held
by the Center for Information Technology Integration at the
University of Michigan. Participants of that workshop
summarized a statement of the problem pNFS might
address in the following recent informational internet draft:
Title: pNFS Problem Statement
Author(s): Garth Gibson, Panasas & CMU, Peter Corbett, Network Appliance
This draft considers the problem of limited bandwidth to
NFS servers. The bandwidth limitation exists because an
NFS server has limited network, CPU, memory and disk
I/O resources. Yet, access to any one file system through
the NFSv4 protocol requires that a single server be accessed. While NFSv4 allows file system migration, it does not provide
a mechanism that supports multiple servers simultaneously
exporting a single writable file system.
This problem has become aggravated in recent years with
the advent of very cheap and easily expanded clusters
of application servers that are also NFS clients. The
aggregate bandwidth demands of such clustered clients,
typically working on a shared data set preferentially
stored in a single file system, can increase much more
quickly than the bandwidth of any server. The proposed
solution is to provide for the parallelization of file services,
by enhancing NFSv4 in a minor version.
A URL for this Internet-Draft is: