I don’t normally link and run but this is a good article on the Next Big Thing in NFS v4.1.

Written by 3 NetApp engineers, Garth Goodson, Sai Susarla, and Rahul Iyer, Standardizing Storage Clusters offers a good overview of what’s new. It’s on the ACM Queue web site.

If paragraphs like

protocol operations

The pNFS protocol adds a total of six operations to NFSv4. Four of them support layouts (i.e., getting, returning, recalling, and committing changes to file metadata). The two other operations aid in the naming of data servers (i.e., translating a data server ID into an address and getting a list of data servers). All the new operations are designed to be independent of the type of layouts and data-server names used. This is key to pNFS’s ability to support diverse back-end storage architectures.

get you interested the article is well worth a read.

The StorageMojo take
pNFS is going to commoditize parallel data access. In 5 years we won’t know how we got along without it.