Microsoft finances open-source NFS v4 implementation for Windows

Microsoft finances open-source NFS v4 implementation for Windows

Summary: Microsoft has forged a deal with a University of Michigan research unit to create an open-source version of the NFS (Network File System) version 4 protocol that will work with Windows.

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Microsoft has forged a deal with a University of Michigan research unit to create an open-source version of the NFS (Network File System) version 4 protocol that will work with Windows.

Microsoft already offers NFS support in Windows client and server, but for Version 3 only.

"NFS v3 is the only version anyone reallly is shipping commercially," said Gene Chellis, Group Program Manager for File Server with Microsoft's Storage Solutions Division. "We don't have announced plans on (NFS) v4. It's on our list of things to look at."

For customers in the high-performance-computing space, however, being able to access the data that lives on Unix and Linux NFS  servers is critical, Chellis acknowleded. In the same way that Microsoft is emphasizing interoperability between directories and authentication platforms, so too, is it planning to provide it in the file/data-access space, Chellis said.

"If you have data on NFS servers, you won't have to limit the kind of server you can use," he said. The NFS 4 interop means Windows servers won't be excluded from consideration, he added.

(Chellis cautioned that Microsoft's move here should not be interpreted as Microsoft dropping SMB file-sharing in favor of NFS. That is not the case, he said.)

The University of Michigan's Center for Information Technology Integration (CITI) research unit is the same group building an NFS v4 client for Linux. Version 4 of NFS adds several new capabilities, including support for file locking and the mount protocol, strong security, compound operations, client caching and internationalization, according to the CITI Web site.

Microsoft is providing the funding for the NFS v 4 Windows port. CITI "owns the schedule, development and release," Chellis said. "Our customers can get it from them when it's done," he said.

That said, Microsoft is not providing a public timetable for the NFS v4 Windows port. The Redmondians also are not committing to a specific version of Windows client and/or server into which NFS v4 support will be built-in. (The next logical ones would be Windows 8/Windows 8 Server, I'd think, as Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 include NFS v3 support.)

Topics: Windows, Microsoft, Servers

About

Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

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12 comments
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  • Microsoft finances open-source NFS v4 implementation for Windows

    Sounds like one more way to help migrate from linux to Microsoft Windows. If this is implemented pulling data from a linux server will be that much easier until the server is no longer needed. I'm liking this interoperability.
    Loverock Davidson
    • Oh they'll always need...

      ...Linux servers as long as with Windows you have to start the anti-virus, go to the website and check for updates, scan for malware, check that for updates, shut down your servers to keep safe until patch tuesday, debug everything that breaks on patch tuesday, clean the registry, defrag the hard drive, scan for ports that open themselves, run the cleanup utility....it just never ends.

      Its a wonder anyone bothers to use Windows servers in real business. Everyone knows they are just training toys for college students. At least this NFSv4 port will allow the college kids to learn how to connect to real servers.
      storm14k
  • Good for MS

    For once MS adapts to *nix instead of the other way around.
    urbandk
    • Really?

      MS has been adapting to *nix for years, yet claim it as innovation.
      zkiwi
      • Yup, do you remember the Windows Tools for Unix

        push they did (about) a couple of years ago?

        I'm sure they were testing the water there and must have been a little bit disappointed that nobody was interested.
        Amelioration
  • RE: Microsoft finances open-source NFS v4 implementation for Windows

    Don't bait LR. It's not worth it.
    urbandk
  • Muhahaha

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/8015623.stm
    Amelioration
    • How are you able to persevere

      after reading such disturbing news? On top of a ten year decline in stock value!
      http://talkback.zdnet.com/5208-12558-0.html?forumID=1&threadID=63706&messageID=1182802

      http://money.cnn.com/quote/quote.html?symb=MSFT&time=10yr

      Its enough to make Microserfs cry, eh?
      Ole Man
  • RE: Microsoft finances open-source NFS v4 implementation for Windows

    Hmmmm. Could this be another example of "Embrace, extend and extinguish (or exterminate)?"
    tdfunk@...
    • Make that "attempted"

      and you've got a ringer!
      Ole Man
  • RE: Microsoft finances open-source NFS v4 implementation for Windows

    Lol, it took them until 2011 to figure NFS is a great way to deal with storage? Lol. Better late than never.

    I love watching people deal with "LUN FAILURES" on "VMFS" when using vmware and iSCSI/FC/FCoE.

    I laugh as all my files are easily visible to me and they are exported using real file sharing protocol. I laugh at people sending block level IO across the network and seeing how they deal with failures and issues. HAHAHA.

    And CIFS? Lol, it took them until 2011 to figure NFS is a great way to deal with storage? Lol. Better late than never.

    I love watching people deal with "LUN FAILURES" on "VMFS" when using vmware and iSCSI/FC/FCoE.

    I laugh as all my files are easily visible to me and they are exported using real file sharing protocol. I laugh at people sending block level IO across the network and seeing how they deal with failures and issues. HAHAHA.

    Now if Windows handled storage correctly CIFS would be ok, but vmware doesnt even bother supporting it.
    mickrussom@...
  • RE: Microsoft finances open-source NFS v4 implementation for Windows

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