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NSDI '04, March 29-31, 2004, Grand Hyatt, San Francisco, California
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BOF Schedule (as of March 29, 2004)

Parallel NFS (pNFS)
Wednesday, 12:30–2:00 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, 12:30–2:00 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,, 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
Filename: draft-gibson-pnfs-problem-statement-00.txt
Pages: 12
Date: 2004-2-9

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:

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Last changed: 29 March 2004 ch