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DAFS (Direct Access File System)

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Note: Many topics at this site are reduced versions of the text in "The Encyclopedia of Networking and Telecommunications." Search results will not be as extensive as a search of the book's CD-ROM.

DAFS is a new fast-and-simple way of accessing data from file servers. It is designed for use in SANs (Storage Area Networks) environments and NAS (Network Attached Storage) devices. DAFS is tied to the Virtual Interface architecture (VI architecture), which provides fast data transport in a local environment, such as data centers. VI architecture was originally designed for SANs. DAFS provides a performance gain that makes NAS (Network Attached Storage) devices suitable for high-volume transactions.

DAFS was developed by Network Appliance, Intel, Oracle and Seagate Technology. The DAFS Collaborative Web site (listed on the related entries page) notes that application servers can benefit from using DAFS. An example is a set of diskless Web servers connected to one or more file servers that store Web information. Another example is a cluster of diskless servers running a highly available shared database that uses a file server to store database information. DAFS is primarily designed for clustered, shared-file network environments, in which a limited number of server-class clients connect to a set of file servers via a dedicated high-speed network.

This topic continues in "The Encyclopedia of Networking and Telecommunications" with a discussion of the following:

  • Traditional file transfer techniques compared to DAFS
  • DAFS direct virtual interface
  • Bulk data transfers (block mode)
  • VI architecture
  • DAFS in the SAN (storage area network) envrironment

Also see "IP Storage." The IETF IP Storage (ips) Working Group is developing technologies that transport block storage traffic across IP-based networks. The idea is to transport protocols such as SCSI and Fibre Channel in IP packets.

Copyright (c) 2001 Tom Sheldon and Big Sur Multimedia.
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