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NFS Client/Server Operation Using Remote Procedure Calls (RPCs)
(Page 2 of 3)
RPC Operation and Transport Protocol Usage
When a client wants to perform some
type of action on a file on a particular machine, it uses RPC to make
a call to the NFS server on that machine. The server accepts the request
and performs the action required, then returns a result code and possibly
data back to the client, depending on the request. The result code indicates
if the action was successful. If it was, the client can assume that
whatever it asked to be done was completed. For example, in the case
of writing data, the client can assume the data has been successfully
written to long-term storage.
NFS can operate over any transport
mechanism that has a valid RPC implementation at the session layer.
Of course in TCP/IP we have two
transport protocols, UDP and TCP. It's
interesting to see that NFS has seen an evolution of sorts in its use
of transport protocol. The NFSv2 standard says that it operates normally
using UDP, and this is still a common way that NFS information is carried.
NFSv3 says that either UDP or TCP may be used, but NFSv4 specifies TCP
to carry data. The nominal registered port number for use by NFS is
2049, but in fact other port numbers are sometimes used for NFS, through
the use of RPC's port mapper capability.
Key Concept: NFS does not use a dedicated message format, like most other protocols do. Instead, clients and servers use the Remote Procedure Call (RPC) protocol to exchange file operation requests and data.
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Version 3.0 - Version Date: September 20, 2005
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