Comparison of NFS, Samba and AFS
By making use of a distributed file system, users of physically distributed computers are allowed to share data and storage resources. This paper compares three distributed filesystems: the Sun NFS filesystem, Samba and OpenAFS. The emphasis of the comparison is on the functionality, management and performance of these three file systems in a heterogenous network. The iozone filesystem benchmark tool was used to gathered information about how well these filesystems performs read/write operations, in order to numerically characterize the performance. Analyzing and properly understanding the data gathered from the measurements, reveals that Samba and NFS perform almost equally on windows machines equipped with different Operating Systems and hardware. On a client running SuSE9.1 NFS has the best performance for both read and write operations. OpenAFS had the lowest performance on windows machines and on the client running it performed as well as Samba. The paper concludes with a recommendation for which distributed filesystem best suits which computing environment.