5.9.4. Network-Accessible Storage Under Red Hat Enterprise Linux

There are two major technologies used for implementing network-accessible storage under Red Hat Enterprise Linux:
  • NFS
  • SMB
The following sections describe these technologies.

5.9.4.1. NFS

As the name implies, the Network File System (more commonly known as NFS) is a file system that may be accessed via a network connection. With other file systems, the storage device must be directly attached to the local system. However, with NFS this is not a requirement, making possible a variety of different configurations, from centralized file system servers to entirely diskless computer systems.
However, unlike the other file systems, NFS does not dictate a specific on-disk format. Instead, it relies on the server operating system's native file system support to control the actual I/O to local disk drive(s). NFS then makes the file system available to any operating system running a compatible NFS client.
While primarily a Linux and UNIX technology, it is worth noting that NFS client implementations exist for other operating systems, making NFS a viable technique to share files with a variety of different platforms.
The file systems an NFS server makes available to clients is controlled by the configuration file /etc/exports. For more information, see the exports(5) man page and the System Administrators Guide.