NFS sensitivity to high performance networks

Richard P. Martin, David E. Culler

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


This paper examines NFS sensitivity to performance characteristics of emerging networks. We adopt an unusual method of inserting controlled delays into live systems to measure sensitivity to basic network parameters. We develop a simple queuing model of an NFS server and show that it reasonably characterizes our two live systems running the SPECsfs benchmark. Using the techniques in this work, we can infer the structure of servers from published SPEC results. Our results show that NFS servers are most sensitive to processor overhead; it can be the limiting factor with even a modest number of disks. Continued reductions in processor overhead will be necessary to realize performance gains from future multi-gigabit networks. NFS can tolerate network latency in the regime of newer LANs and IP switches. Due to NFS's historic high mix of small metadata operations. NFS is quite insensitive to network bandwidth. Finally, we find that the protocol enhancements in NFS version 3 tolerate high latencies better than version 2 of the protocol.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)71-82
Number of pages12
JournalPerformance Evaluation Review
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jun 1999
Externally publishedYes
EventProceedings of the 1999 International Conference on Measurement and Modeling of Computer Systems, ACM SIGMETRICS '99 - Atlata, GA, USA
Duration: May 1 1999May 4 1999

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Software
  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Computer Networks and Communications

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