Distributed file systems belong to the network file systems and allow access to files stored in file servers. With them, the administrator can build a single, network-wide file system. Such a file system can contain the various shares for the individual servers.
Overview of Distributed File SystemsDistributed file systems support mirroring, replication, and backup ofdata and files to hard disks and tape drives. In addition, user access rights to specific directories can be assigned in a dedicated manner. This allows the respective user to edit his files, delete them or save changes.
There are various distributed file systems that differ in application, by interface and protocol, and by various functionalities such as caching, journaling, multipathing, and use in local area networks. Among the better known distributed file systems are the Distributed File System (DFS), Andrew File System (AFS) and the Network File System (NFS). Furthermore, the Server Message Block (SMB) and the further development of the Common Internet File System (CIFS) as well as the Direct Access File System (DAFS) should be mentioned.
Since the data throughput of distributed file systems for clusters is extremely low, there are special cluster file systems with transfer rates of over 100 MB/s for these applications. These include the Global File System (GFS) and the proprietary General Parallel File System (GPFS).