important to note, when talking about NFS, that there was Sun's NFS
and everyone else's NFS. Sun ran their entire company on NFS. /usr/dist
was where all the software that was not part of SunOS lived, it was an
NFS mounted volume (that was replicated to each subnet). It was heavily
used as were a lot of other things. The automounter at Sun just worked,
wanted to see your buddies stuff? You just cd-ed to it and it worked.
Much like mmap, NFS did not export well to other companies. When I went
to SGI I actually had a principle engineer (like Suns distinguished
engineer) tell me "nobody trusts NFS, use rcp if you care about your
data". What. The. Fuck. At Sun, NFS just worked. All the time.
The idea that it would not work was unthinkable and if it ever did
not work it got fixed right away.
Other companies, it was a checkbox thing, it sorta worked. That was
an eye opener for me. mmap was the same way, Sun got it right and
other companies sort of did.
I remember the days of NFS Connect-a-thons where all the different
vendors would get together and see if they all interoperated. It was
interesting to see who worked and who didn’t. And all the hacking to
fix your implementation to talk to vendor X while not breaking it working
with vendor Y.
Good times indeed.
It is funny you mention this - someone mentioned RedHat is doing
something similar to this in Boston next week: