Browse Prior Art Database

Single System Image with Network File System

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000107856D
Original Publication Date: 1992-Mar-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Mar-22
Document File: 2 page(s) / 77K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Carpenter, ER: AUTHOR

Abstract

Disclosed is a method of establishing a Single System Image with the Network File System (NFS). It uses the capability of directory mounts and symbolic links to simulate file over file mounts which are not supported in NFS.

This text was extracted from an ASCII text file.
This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 52% of the total text.

Single System Image with Network File System

       Disclosed is a method of establishing a Single System
Image with the Network File System (NFS).  It uses the capability of
directory mounts and symbolic links to simulate file over file mounts
which are not supported in NFS.

      Single System Image is the concept of generalizing access to
system resources through a virtual machine concept.  Basically, a
user can login to any workstation in an SSI network and get the same
view of the system's resources.  This concept can be applied through
both hardware and software.

      The invention disclosed addresses the software side of Single
System Image.  Since NFS does provide directory mounts, much of an
SSI can be accomplished by mounting user directories and other shared
directories across each machine in a network.  For example, if each
user has a workstation with a home directory residing locally, a
partial SSI can be accomplished by each workstation mounting every
other workstation's home directory.  This allows every user to login
to any workstation and have his home directory accessible.

      This disclosure describes how to share files as well as
directories with NFS.  There is a product that works hand in hand
with NFS called NIS (Network Information Services), formerly known as
Yellow Pages, that provides a means to share a  finite set of
administrative files.  The most important of these files are the
/etc/passwd file and the /etc/hosts file.  If these are the only
files that one needs to share, NIS is a viable solution, considering
the following limitations:
           -    Administration must happen from one "MASTER" machine
in the network.
           -    Cannot share important files such as /etc/profile,
/etc/motd, /.kshrc, ....etc...

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