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NFS Version 4 Design Considerations
RFC 2624

Document type: RFC - Informational (June 1999; No errata)
Document stream: IETF
Last updated: 2013-03-02
Other versions: plain text, pdf, html

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IESG State: RFC 2624 (Informational)
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Network Working Group                                        S. Shepler
Request for Comments: 2624                       Sun Microsystems, Inc.
Category: Informational                                       June 1999

                  NFS Version 4 Design Considerations

Status of this Memo

   This memo provides information for the Internet community.  It does
   not specify an Internet standard of any kind.  Distribution of this
   memo is unlimited.

Copyright Notice

   Copyright (C) The Internet Society (1999).  All Rights Reserved.

Abstract

   The main task of the NFS version 4 working group is to create a
   protocol definition for a distributed file system that focuses on the
   following items: improved access and good performance on the
   Internet, strong security with negotiation built into the protocol,
   better cross-platform interoperability, and designed for protocol
   extensions.  NFS version 4 will owe its general design to the
   previous versions of NFS.  It is expected, however, that many
   features will be quite different in NFS version 4 than previous
   versions to facilitate the goals of the working group and to address
   areas that NFS version 2 and 3 have not.

   This design considerations document is meant to present more detail
   than the working group charter.  Specifically, it presents the areas
   that the working group will investigate and consider while developing
   a protocol specification for NFS version 4.  Based on this
   investigation the working group will decide the features of the new
   protocol based on the cost and benefits within the specific feature
   areas.

Key Words

   The key words "MUST", "MUST NOT", "REQUIRED", "SHALL", "SHALL NOT",
   "SHOULD", "SHOULD NOT", "RECOMMENDED", "MAY", and "OPTIONAL" in this
   document are to be interpreted as described in RFC 2119.

Shepler                      Informational                      [Page 1]
RFC 2624              NFSv4 Design Considerations              June 1999

Table of Contents

   1.  NFS Version 4 Design Considerations . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2
   2.  Ease of Implementation or Complexity of Protocol  . . . . . . 3
   2.1.  Extensibility / layering  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
   2.2.  Managed Extensions or Minor Versioning  . . . . . . . . . . 3
   2.3.  Relationship with Older Versions of NFS . . . . . . . . . . 4
   3.  Reliable and Available  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
   4.  Scalable Performance  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
   4.1.  Throughput and Latency via the Network  . . . . . . . . . . 6
   4.2.  Client Caching  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6
   4.3.  Disconnected Client Operation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7
   5.  Interoperability  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7
   5.1.  Platform Specific Behavior  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8
   5.2.  Additional or Extended Attributes . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8
   5.3.  Access Control Lists  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   9
   6.  RPC Mechanism and Security  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  10
   6.1.  User identification . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  10
   6.2.  Security  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  10
   6.2.1.  Transport Independence  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  11
   6.2.2.  Authentication  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  11
   6.2.3.  Data Integrity  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  11
   6.2.4.  Data Privacy  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  12
   6.2.5.  Security Negotiation  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  12
   6.3.  Summary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  12
   7.  Internet Accessibility  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  13
   7.1.  Congestion Control and Transport Selection  . . . . . . .  13
   7.2.  Firewalls and Proxy Servers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  14
   7.3.  Multiple RPCs and Latency . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  14
   8.  File locking / recovery . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  15
   9.  Internationalization  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  16
   10.  Security Considerations  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  17
   10.1.  Denial of Service  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  17
   11.  Bibliography . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  18
   12.  Acknowledgments  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  21
   13.  Author's Address . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  21
   14.  Full Copyright Statement . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  22

1.  NFS Version 4 Design Considerations

   As stated in the charter, the first deliverable for the NFS version 4
   working group is this design considerations document.  This document
   is to cover the "limitations and deficiencies of NFS version 3".

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