network block device as replacement for NFS

Thomas Lovie tlovie at
Mon Apr 30 15:46:02 PDT 2001

Would the filesystem be read-only?  If so, it may make sense to use a
ramdisk and just tftp an image from the server in one of the boot scripts.


> -----Original Message-----
> From: beowulf-admin at [mailto:beowulf-admin at]On
> Behalf Of Chris Black
> Sent: Monday, April 30, 2001 5:12 PM
> To: beowulf at
> Subject: network block device as replacement for NFS
> We are trying to find the best way to share a small directory tree of
> files over the network from our head node to the compute nodes.
> There should
> be under a meg of data in this tree and most of it will be scripts and
> makefiles and such. We are considering using the linux kernel's network
> block device support instead of nfs. Is this a good idea? Would
> nfs be fine?
> What would the benefits of either approach be? Would NFS v3 help at all?
> I have never used NBD (network block device) stuff before and am not
> that familiar with how it works, but I get the impression that
> the nodes would
> just issue block read commands to the head node which would
> return the data.
> I don't know if/why/how this would be better than NFS in terms of load on
> the server and network. I do know there is quite a bit of
> overhead with NFS
> though.
> Please advise, thanks.
> Chris Black

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