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NetApp Downshifting DAFS?

Teams with Sun to develop RDMA for NFS, into which NetApp plans to merge its DAFS protocol

Network Appliance Inc. (Nasdaq: NTAP) is teaming up with Sun Microsystems Inc. (Nasdaq: SUNW) to develop Remote Direct Memory Access (RDMA) capabilities for current and future versions of Network File System (NFS).

The two companies' collaborative work on RDMA for NFS promises to deliver low-latency file services to accelerate NAS services over 10-Gbit/s networks. NFS is the standard file access protocol used in Unix envrionments; RDMA is a technology that offloads data copy operations by allowing one computer to directly place data in another's memory with minimal demands on memory bus bandwidth and CPU processing overhead.

Put 'em together, and you have two great tastes in one candy bar!

"NFS is the de facto file sharing protocol -- if you want a wire-speed file-sharing protocol at some point in the future, you need to do RDMA over NFS," says David Dale, Industry Evangelist at NetApp [ed. note: a title that simply reeks of 1997].

Both Sun and NetApp say they will work together through the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) to establish the technology as an industry standard.

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