NFS. Not… Dead… Yet…


NFS may just never die. I’ve seen many an xsan covert to NFS-based storage with dedicated pipes and less infrastructure requirements. I’m rarely concerned about debating the merits of technology but usually interested in mapping out a nice workflow despite said merits. So in the beginning… there is rpc. Why? Because before we establish a connection to an nfs share, we first want to check that we can talk to the system hosting it. Do so with rpcinfo:

rpcinfo server.pretendco.com

Now that we’ve established that we can actually communicate with the system, let’s use the mount command (for more on creating mounts see `man exports`). Here, we’ll 

mount -t nfs nfs://server.pretendco.com/bigfileshare /Network/Servers/server.pretendco.com/bigfileshare

ncctl is a one-stop shop for manipulating kerberized NFS. Ish. You also have ncinit, ncdestroy, and nclist. So almost a one-stop shop. First, let’s check the list of shares you have and how you’re authoring to each:

nclist -v

ncctl list can also be used. The output will be similar to the following:

/Network/Servers/server.pretendco.com/bigfileshare       : No credentials are set

We should probably authenticate into that share. Now let’s actually set our username (assuming you’ve already kerberized via kinit or a gui somewheres):

ncctl set -p krypted@me.com

Now that spiffy nclist command should return something like the following:

/Network/Servers/server.pretendco.com/bigfileshare: krypted@me.com

Finally, ncdestroy is used to terminate your connection. So let’s just turn off the share for the evening:

ncctl destroy

Or ncdestroy is quicker to type. And viola, you’ve got a functional nfs again. Ish. 

Now that you’re connected, nfsstat should show you how the system is performing. For more on using that, see: 

man nfsstat