[TUHS] RFS was: Re: UNIX of choice these days?

Arthur Krewat krewat at kilonet.net
Mon Sep 25 08:08:01 AEST 2017

Also, Clem when you say "function shipping" - that sounds like RPC.

On 9/24/2017 3:54 PM, Clem Cole wrote:
> On Sun, Sep 24, 2017 at 1:51 PM, Arthur Krewat <krewat at kilonet.net 
> <mailto:krewat at kilonet.net>> wrote:
>     Where does RFS (AT&T System III) fit in all of this?
> ​Well it was not in PWB 3.0 - aka System ​III.
>     ​....
>     Just looking for history on RFS if any.
> David Arnovitz's work -- Dave worked for us at Masscomp in Atlanta​ 
> afterwards.  IIRC Summit pushed it out via System V, it was not part 
> of System III (David did not even work for BTL when System II was 
> released).
> RFS was based on ideas Peter had used in Eighth Edition file system. 
> When we did EFS @ Masscomp,Perry Flinn and I were both aware of 
> Peter's work (I had talked to him a few times).  As we finished it, we 
> hired Dave in Atlanta and told me about us a little about RFS although 
> it had not yet been released.   If you look, my EFS paper was the 
> alternate paper given against Rusty's when the NFS paper published - 
> difference - Masscomp would not give away EFS - different story].
> Anyway, Dave's RFS used Peter's file system switch that was in 
> Eighth Edition.  I used something similar for EFS. Which was not as 
> clean as Steve Klieman's VFS layer; which I think Sun did right.   But 
> NFS got the whole stateless thing wrong which I was pleased over the 
> years to see I was right (the whole point of the EFS paper was if it's 
> a real UNIX file system, then their will be shared state and its how 
> do you recover from an error).
> RFS, EFS and Weinberger's FS all did stateful recovery.  RFS used a 
> function ship model IIRC.  I did not get to look at the code until 
> long after it was released so I never studied it in detail and I never 
> ran it.   But he had Peter's work available to him, so I suspect there 
> is a lot common ideas.  I think Peter used function shipping also.   
>  [EFS did not, it was more ad hoc as what we shipped and what we did 
> not.   That was a performance thing for us as we had Apollo down the 
> street and were very, very concerned with what Ageis/Domain could do].
> That said, NFS had a really simple model, which (in practice) was good 
> enough for many things and more importantly, Sun gave the code away 
> and made it a standard.  So the old less is more; Christensen 
> disruption theory of technology came through.
> Masscomp (and Apollo with Domain) both had 'better' distributed file 
> systems, but 'lost' because (like DEC were many of their people - 
> particularly in marketing - came) - did not get it.   Tried to keep to 
> closed like VMS et al... and it ultimately died.  NFS was 'free' and 
> did the job.   What was there not to like.
> In hindsight, I wish I could have understood that then.  Cudo's the 
> Kleiman for what he did!
> Clem

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