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File Channel Based RPC for NAS Appliance Storage Management

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000246669D
Publication Date: 2016-Jun-24
Document File: 4 page(s) / 68K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Related People

Chuanbo Zheng: INVENTOR

Abstract

File channel based RPC (Remote Process Call) provides a simple but very effective way for the network share users to do advanced storage management operations. With this method, advanced operations can be granted to the share users by administrator of NAS (Network Attached Storage) Appliance in a very flexible and extensible way. The share users can take more storage control through the share.

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Page 01 of 4

File Channel Based RPC for NAS Appliance Storage Management

Chuanbo Zheng

Abstract

File channel based RPC (Remote Process Call) provides a simple but very effective way for the network share users to do advanced storage management operations. With this method, advanced operations can be granted to the share users by administrator of NAS (Network Attached Storage) Appliance in a very flexible and extensible way. The share users can take more storage control through the share.

Problem Statement

When the network shares (NFS, CIFS, FTP, etc.) were exported from NAS (Network Attached Storage) Appliance, the users have very limited control on the files on the share. Operations like disk space reservation set of file extent size and taking snapshots can only be done locally on filesystems by the administrator of the Appliance. These operations can be very useful for the share users for getting better performance or taking more control on the storage. It will give share users great flexibility if the NAS Appliance could provide some mechanism to allow users to do such advanced operations through the network share.

The NAS vendors can provide extended RPC (Remote Process Call) calls to allow the user to do such operations. The problem is these kind of extension are not flexible, and not easy to be extended. Both client and server will need binary and kernel change. Extension of RPC can bring security concerns, and might not be compliant with the share protocols like NFS. Also mostly these mechanisms are specific to certain share protocols, i.e. operations supported on NFS might not work on CIFS/FTP at all.

Publication Description

The idea of file channel based RPC is to provide a generic mechanism with file based channel for user to communicate with NAS Appliance

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through the network share, to do more advanced operations on the storage of the share. The implementation is simple: on the share create two files 'request' and 'response' in a hidden directory. The share user will write to the 'request' file to submit request (with certain format as defined by the NAS Appliance, i.e. SetExtent to pre-allocate file extent). The Appliance will have a daemon monitoring on the same 'request' file, do the operations on behalf of the client and write response to the file 'response'. Client user will get the response from the same file 'response' and operation is done.

This technique is unique because to achieve similar functionality, other vendors will have to extend their RPC protocol (i.e. NFS protocol) for specific operation, which is not good at flexibility, extension and security. The other way to do this is to provide RESTful APIs on the Appliance for the client to do specia...