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TCP/IP Network File System (NFS)
and resource sharing protocols are important
because they let users seamlessly share files over a network. Due to
the dominance of Microsoft operating systems in the industry, many people
are familiar with the way Microsoft Networking can be used in this way.
However, Microsoft is somewhat of a Johnny come lately to
file sharing protocols. Long before Microsoft Windows even existed,
the Network File System (NFS) was letting users share files over
a network using the UNIX operating system.
In this section, I provide a brief
look at the operation of NFS. I begin with an overview and history of
the protocol, and discussion of its common versions and standards. I
describe the architecture of NFS and the three components that comprise
it. I then describe the NFS file system model, and how data is encoded
using the External Data Representation (XDR) standard. I explain the
client/server operation of NFS using Remote Procedure Calls (RPCs).
I then list the procedures and operations used in NFS, and conclude
with a description of the separate NFS Mount protocol, used to attach
network resources to a device.
Note: As I said above, NFS was originally developed specifically for the UNIX operating system, and is still most closely associated with UNIX. As with all protocol descriptions, I have attempted to keep my discussion of NFS OS-independent as much as possible, but in some places in this section, it is not entirely possible.
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The TCP/IP Guide (http://www.TCPIPGuide.com)
Version 3.0 - Version Date: September 20, 2005
© Copyright 2001-2005 Charles M. Kozierok. All Rights Reserved.
Not responsible for any loss resulting from the use of this site.