While NFS and other network based file systems have been around for several decades, most of them suffer from being a funnel to all the hosts and clients to which it serves. As capacity and performance needs grow, NFS clients need to be remapped to multiple NFS servers in order to take advantage of additional storage and/or throughput requirements. This becomes extremely challenging in larger environments as NFS clients need to be mapped and remapped across multiple NFS servers in order achieve the desired results. pNFS solves this problem by aggregating multiple NFS servers and presenting this as a singular mountpoint. This solves not only the capacity scaling issue, but also the performance scaling needs of an enterprise. NFS clients no longer need to be mapped or remapped across multiple NFS servers. Instead, they can all mount a singular NFS namespace, and the underlying pNFS storage system will intelligently spread the capacity and load across the available pNFS nodes.
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