Tech-invite3GPPspecsGlossariesIETFRFCsGroupsSIPABNFs   Ti+SearchTech-invite World Map Symbol

RFC 5661


Network File System (NFS) Version 4 Minor Version 1 Protocol

Part 9 of 20, p. 228 to 277
Prev RFC Part       Next RFC Part


prevText      Top      Up      ToC       Page 228 
11.  Multi-Server Namespace

   NFSv4.1 supports attributes that allow a namespace to extend beyond
   the boundaries of a single server.  It is RECOMMENDED that clients
   and servers support construction of such multi-server namespaces.
   Use of such multi-server namespaces is OPTIONAL, however, and for
   many purposes, single-server namespaces are perfectly acceptable.
   Use of multi-server namespaces can provide many advantages, however,
   by separating a file system's logical position in a namespace from
   the (possibly changing) logistical and administrative considerations
   that result in particular file systems being located on particular

11.1.  Location Attributes

   NFSv4.1 contains RECOMMENDED attributes that allow file systems on
   one server to be associated with one or more instances of that file
   system on other servers.  These attributes specify such file system
   instances by specifying a server address target (either as a DNS name
   representing one or more IP addresses or as a literal IP address)
   together with the path of that file system within the associated
   single-server namespace.

   The fs_locations_info RECOMMENDED attribute allows specification of
   one or more file system instance locations where the data
   corresponding to a given file system may be found.  This attribute
   provides to the client, in addition to information about file system
   instance locations, significant information about the various file
   system instance choices (e.g., priority for use, writability,
   currency, etc.).  It also includes information to help the client
   efficiently effect as seamless a transition as possible among
   multiple file system instances, when and if that should be necessary.

Top      Up      ToC       Page 229 
   The fs_locations RECOMMENDED attribute is inherited from NFSv4.0 and
   only allows specification of the file system locations where the data
   corresponding to a given file system may be found.  Servers SHOULD
   make this attribute available whenever fs_locations_info is
   supported, but client use of fs_locations_info is to be preferred.

11.2.  File System Presence or Absence

   A given location in an NFSv4.1 namespace (typically but not
   necessarily a multi-server namespace) can have a number of file
   system instance locations associated with it (via the fs_locations or
   fs_locations_info attribute).  There may also be an actual current
   file system at that location, accessible via normal namespace
   operations (e.g., LOOKUP).  In this case, the file system is said to
   be "present" at that position in the namespace, and clients will
   typically use it, reserving use of additional locations specified via
   the location-related attributes to situations in which the principal
   location is no longer available.

   When there is no actual file system at the namespace location in
   question, the file system is said to be "absent".  An absent file
   system contains no files or directories other than the root.  Any
   reference to it, except to access a small set of attributes useful in
   determining alternate locations, will result in an error,
   NFS4ERR_MOVED.  Note that if the server ever returns the error
   NFS4ERR_MOVED, it MUST support the fs_locations attribute and SHOULD
   support the fs_locations_info and fs_status attributes.

   While the error name suggests that we have a case of a file system
   that once was present, and has only become absent later, this is only
   one possibility.  A position in the namespace may be permanently
   absent with the set of file system(s) designated by the location
   attributes being the only realization.  The name NFS4ERR_MOVED
   reflects an earlier, more limited conception of its function, but
   this error will be returned whenever the referenced file system is
   absent, whether it has moved or not.

   Except in the case of GETATTR-type operations (to be discussed
   later), when the current filehandle at the start of an operation is
   within an absent file system, that operation is not performed and the
   error NFS4ERR_MOVED is returned, to indicate that the file system is
   absent on the current server.

   Because a GETFH cannot succeed if the current filehandle is within an
   absent file system, filehandles within an absent file system cannot
   be transferred to the client.  When a client does have filehandles

Top      Up      ToC       Page 230 
   within an absent file system, it is the result of obtaining them when
   the file system was present, and having the file system become absent

   It should be noted that because the check for the current filehandle
   being within an absent file system happens at the start of every
   operation, operations that change the current filehandle so that it
   is within an absent file system will not result in an error.  This
   allows such combinations as PUTFH-GETATTR and LOOKUP-GETATTR to be
   used to get attribute information, particularly location attribute
   information, as discussed below.

   The RECOMMENDED file system attribute fs_status can be used to
   interrogate the present/absent status of a given file system.

11.3.  Getting Attributes for an Absent File System

   When a file system is absent, most attributes are not available, but
   it is necessary to allow the client access to the small set of
   attributes that are available, and most particularly those that give
   information about the correct current locations for this file system:
   fs_locations and fs_locations_info.

11.3.1.  GETATTR within an Absent File System

   As mentioned above, an exception is made for GETATTR in that
   attributes may be obtained for a filehandle within an absent file
   system.  This exception only applies if the attribute mask contains
   at least one attribute bit that indicates the client is interested in
   a result regarding an absent file system: fs_locations,
   fs_locations_info, or fs_status.  If none of these attributes is
   requested, GETATTR will result in an NFS4ERR_MOVED error.

   When a GETATTR is done on an absent file system, the set of supported
   attributes is very limited.  Many attributes, including those that
   are normally REQUIRED, will not be available on an absent file
   system.  In addition to the attributes mentioned above (fs_locations,
   fs_locations_info, fs_status), the following attributes SHOULD be
   available on absent file systems.  In the case of RECOMMENDED
   attributes, they should be available at least to the same degree that
   they are available on present file systems.

   change_policy:  This attribute is useful for absent file systems and
      can be helpful in summarizing to the client when any of the
      location-related attributes change.

Top      Up      ToC       Page 231 
   fsid:  This attribute should be provided so that the client can
      determine file system boundaries, including, in particular, the
      boundary between present and absent file systems.  This value must
      be different from any other fsid on the current server and need
      have no particular relationship to fsids on any particular
      destination to which the client might be directed.

   mounted_on_fileid:  For objects at the top of an absent file system,
      this attribute needs to be available.  Since the fileid is within
      the present parent file system, there should be no need to
      reference the absent file system to provide this information.

   Other attributes SHOULD NOT be made available for absent file
   systems, even when it is possible to provide them.  The server should
   not assume that more information is always better and should avoid
   gratuitously providing additional information.

   When a GETATTR operation includes a bit mask for one of the
   attributes fs_locations, fs_locations_info, or fs_status, but where
   the bit mask includes attributes that are not supported, GETATTR will
   not return an error, but will return the mask of the actual
   attributes supported with the results.

   Handling of VERIFY/NVERIFY is similar to GETATTR in that if the
   attribute mask does not include fs_locations, fs_locations_info, or
   fs_status, the error NFS4ERR_MOVED will result.  It differs in that
   any appearance in the attribute mask of an attribute not supported
   for an absent file system (and note that this will include some
   normally REQUIRED attributes) will also cause an NFS4ERR_MOVED

11.3.2.  READDIR and Absent File Systems

   A READDIR performed when the current filehandle is within an absent
   file system will result in an NFS4ERR_MOVED error, since, unlike the
   case of GETATTR, no such exception is made for READDIR.

   Attributes for an absent file system may be fetched via a READDIR for
   a directory in a present file system, when that directory contains
   the root directories of one or more absent file systems.  In this
   case, the handling is as follows:

   o  If the attribute set requested includes one of the attributes
      fs_locations, fs_locations_info, or fs_status, then fetching of
      attributes proceeds normally and no NFS4ERR_MOVED indication is
      returned, even when the rdattr_error attribute is requested.

Top      Up      ToC       Page 232 
   o  If the attribute set requested does not include one of the
      attributes fs_locations, fs_locations_info, or fs_status, then if
      the rdattr_error attribute is requested, each directory entry for
      the root of an absent file system will report NFS4ERR_MOVED as the
      value of the rdattr_error attribute.

   o  If the attribute set requested does not include any of the
      attributes fs_locations, fs_locations_info, fs_status, or
      rdattr_error, then the occurrence of the root of an absent file
      system within the directory will result in the READDIR failing
      with an NFS4ERR_MOVED error.

   o  The unavailability of an attribute because of a file system's
      absence, even one that is ordinarily REQUIRED, does not result in
      any error indication.  The set of attributes returned for the root
      directory of the absent file system in that case is simply
      restricted to those actually available.

11.4.  Uses of Location Information

   The location-bearing attributes (fs_locations and fs_locations_info),
   together with the possibility of absent file systems, provide a
   number of important facilities in providing reliable, manageable, and
   scalable data access.

   When a file system is present, these attributes can provide
   alternative locations, to be used to access the same data, in the
   event of server failures, communications problems, or other
   difficulties that make continued access to the current file system
   impossible or otherwise impractical.  Under some circumstances,
   multiple alternative locations may be used simultaneously to provide
   higher-performance access to the file system in question.  Provision
   of such alternate locations is referred to as "replication" although
   there are cases in which replicated sets of data are not in fact
   present, and the replicas are instead different paths to the same

   When a file system is present and becomes absent, clients can be
   given the opportunity to have continued access to their data, at an
   alternate location.  In this case, a continued attempt to use the
   data in the now-absent file system will result in an NFS4ERR_MOVED
   error and, at that point, the successor locations (typically only one
   although multiple choices are possible) can be fetched and used to
   continue access.  Transfer of the file system contents to the new
   location is referred to as "migration", but it should be kept in mind
   that there are cases in which this term can be used, like
   "replication", when there is no actual data migration per se.

Top      Up      ToC       Page 233 
   Where a file system was not previously present, specification of file
   system location provides a means by which file systems located on one
   server can be associated with a namespace defined by another server,
   thus allowing a general multi-server namespace facility.  A
   designation of such a location, in place of an absent file system, is
   called a "referral".

   Because client support for location-related attributes is OPTIONAL, a
   server may (but is not required to) take action to hide migration and
   referral events from such clients, by acting as a proxy, for example.
   The server can determine the presence of client support from the
   arguments of the EXCHANGE_ID operation (see Section 18.35.3).

11.4.1.  File System Replication

   The fs_locations and fs_locations_info attributes provide alternative
   locations, to be used to access data in place of or in addition to
   the current file system instance.  On first access to a file system,
   the client should obtain the value of the set of alternate locations
   by interrogating the fs_locations or fs_locations_info attribute,
   with the latter being preferred.

   In the event that server failures, communications problems, or other
   difficulties make continued access to the current file system
   impossible or otherwise impractical, the client can use the alternate
   locations as a way to get continued access to its data.  Depending on
   specific attributes of these alternate locations, as indicated within
   the fs_locations_info attribute, multiple locations may be used
   simultaneously, to provide higher performance through the
   exploitation of multiple paths between client and target file system.

   The alternate locations may be physical replicas of the (typically
   read-only) file system data, or they may reflect alternate paths to
   the same server or provide for the use of various forms of server
   clustering in which multiple servers provide alternate ways of
   accessing the same physical file system.  How these different modes
   of file system transition are represented within the fs_locations and
   fs_locations_info attributes and how the client deals with file
   system transition issues will be discussed in detail below.

   Multiple server addresses, whether they are derived from a single
   entry with a DNS name representing a set of IP addresses or from
   multiple entries each with its own server address, may correspond to
   the same actual server.  The fact that two addresses correspond to
   the same server is shown by a common so_major_id field within the
   eir_server_owner field returned by EXCHANGE_ID (see Section 18.35.3).

Top      Up      ToC       Page 234 
   For a detailed discussion of how server address targets interact with
   the determination of server identity specified by the server owner
   field, see Section 11.5.

11.4.2.  File System Migration

   When a file system is present and becomes absent, clients can be
   given the opportunity to have continued access to their data, at an
   alternate location, as specified by the fs_locations or
   fs_locations_info attribute.  Typically, a client will be accessing
   the file system in question, get an NFS4ERR_MOVED error, and then use
   the fs_locations or fs_locations_info attribute to determine the new
   location of the data.  When fs_locations_info is used, additional
   information will be available that will define the nature of the
   client's handling of the transition to a new server.

   Such migration can be helpful in providing load balancing or general
   resource reallocation.  The protocol does not specify how the file
   system will be moved between servers.  It is anticipated that a
   number of different server-to-server transfer mechanisms might be
   used with the choice left to the server implementor.  The NFSv4.1
   protocol specifies the method used to communicate the migration event
   between client and server.

   The new location may be an alternate communication path to the same
   server or, in the case of various forms of server clustering, another
   server providing access to the same physical file system.  The
   client's responsibilities in dealing with this transition depend on
   the specific nature of the new access path as well as how and whether
   data was in fact migrated.  These issues will be discussed in detail

   When multiple server addresses correspond to the same actual server,
   as shown by a common value for the so_major_id field of the
   eir_server_owner field returned by EXCHANGE_ID, the location or
   locations may designate alternate server addresses in the form of
   specific server network addresses.  These can be used to access the
   file system in question at those addresses and when it is no longer
   accessible at the original address.

   Although a single successor location is typical, multiple locations
   may be provided, together with information that allows priority among
   the choices to be indicated, via information in the fs_locations_info
   attribute.  Where suitable, clustering mechanisms make it possible to
   provide multiple identical file systems or paths to them; this allows
   the client the opportunity to deal with any resource or
   communications issues that might limit data availability.

Top      Up      ToC       Page 235 
   When an alternate location is designated as the target for migration,
   it must designate the same data (with metadata being the same to the
   degree indicated by the fs_locations_info attribute).  Where file
   systems are writable, a change made on the original file system must
   be visible on all migration targets.  Where a file system is not
   writable but represents a read-only copy (possibly periodically
   updated) of a writable file system, similar requirements apply to the
   propagation of updates.  Any change visible in the original file
   system must already be effected on all migration targets, to avoid
   any possibility that a client, in effecting a transition to the
   migration target, will see any reversion in file system state.

11.4.3.  Referrals

   Referrals provide a way of placing a file system in a location within
   the namespace essentially without respect to its physical location on
   a given server.  This allows a single server or a set of servers to
   present a multi-server namespace that encompasses file systems
   located on multiple servers.  Some likely uses of this include
   establishment of site-wide or organization-wide namespaces, or even
   knitting such together into a truly global namespace.

   Referrals occur when a client determines, upon first referencing a
   position in the current namespace, that it is part of a new file
   system and that the file system is absent.  When this occurs,
   typically by receiving the error NFS4ERR_MOVED, the actual location
   or locations of the file system can be determined by fetching the
   fs_locations or fs_locations_info attribute.

   The locations-related attribute may designate a single file system
   location or multiple file system locations, to be selected based on
   the needs of the client.  The server, in the fs_locations_info
   attribute, may specify priorities to be associated with various file
   system location choices.  The server may assign different priorities
   to different locations as reported to individual clients, in order to
   adapt to client physical location or to effect load balancing.  When
   both read-only and read-write file systems are present, some of the
   read-only locations might not be absolutely up-to-date (as they would
   have to be in the case of replication and migration).  Servers may
   also specify file system locations that include client-substituted
   variables so that different clients are referred to different file
   systems (with different data contents) based on client attributes
   such as CPU architecture.

   When the fs_locations_info attribute indicates that there are
   multiple possible targets listed, the relationships among them may be
   important to the client in selecting which one to use.  The same
   rules specified in Section 11.4.1 defining the appropriate standards

Top      Up      ToC       Page 236 
   for the data propagation apply to these multiple replicas as well.
   For example, the client might prefer a writable target on a server
   that has additional writable replicas to which it subsequently might
   switch.  Note that, as distinguished from the case of replication,
   there is no need to deal with the case of propagation of updates made
   by the current client, since the current client has not accessed the
   file system in question.

   Use of multi-server namespaces is enabled by NFSv4.1 but is not
   required.  The use of multi-server namespaces and their scope will
   depend on the applications used and system administration

   Multi-server namespaces can be established by a single server
   providing a large set of referrals to all of the included file
   systems.  Alternatively, a single multi-server namespace may be
   administratively segmented with separate referral file systems (on
   separate servers) for each separately administered portion of the
   namespace.  The top-level referral file system or any segment may use
   replicated referral file systems for higher availability.

   Generally, multi-server namespaces are for the most part uniform, in
   that the same data made available to one client at a given location
   in the namespace is made available to all clients at that location.
   However, there are facilities provided that allow different clients
   to be directed to different sets of data, so as to adapt to such
   client characteristics as CPU architecture.

11.5.  Location Entries and Server Identity

   As mentioned above, a single location entry may have a server address
   target in the form of a DNS name that may represent multiple IP
   addresses, while multiple location entries may have their own server
   address targets that reference the same server.  Whether two IP
   addresses designate the same server is indicated by the existence of
   a common so_major_id field within the eir_server_owner field returned
   by EXCHANGE_ID (see Section 18.35.3), subject to further verification
   (for details see Section 2.10.5).

   When multiple addresses for the same server exist, the client may
   assume that for each file system in the namespace of a given server
   network address, there exist file systems at corresponding namespace
   locations for each of the other server network addresses.  It may do
   this even in the absence of explicit listing in fs_locations and
   fs_locations_info.  Such corresponding file system locations can be
   used as alternate locations, just as those explicitly specified via
   the fs_locations and fs_locations_info attributes.  Where these
   specific addresses are explicitly designated in the fs_locations_info

Top      Up      ToC       Page 237 
   attribute, the conditions of use specified in this attribute (e.g.,
   priorities, specification of simultaneous use) may limit the client's
   use of these alternate locations.

   If a single location entry designates multiple server IP addresses,
   the client cannot assume that these addresses are multiple paths to
   the same server.  In most cases, they will be, but the client MUST
   verify that before acting on that assumption.  When two server
   addresses are designated by a single location entry and they
   correspond to different servers, this normally indicates some sort of
   misconfiguration, and so the client should avoid using such location
   entries when alternatives are available.  When they are not, clients
   should pick one of IP addresses and use it, without using others that
   are not directed to the same server.

11.6.  Additional Client-Side Considerations

   When clients make use of servers that implement referrals,
   replication, and migration, care should be taken that a user who
   mounts a given file system that includes a referral or a relocated
   file system continues to see a coherent picture of that user-side
   file system despite the fact that it contains a number of server-side
   file systems that may be on different servers.

   One important issue is upward navigation from the root of a server-
   side file system to its parent (specified as ".." in UNIX), in the
   case in which it transitions to that file system as a result of
   referral, migration, or a transition as a result of replication.
   When the client is at such a point, and it needs to ascend to the
   parent, it must go back to the parent as seen within the multi-server
   namespace rather than sending a LOOKUPP operation to the server,
   which would result in the parent within that server's single-server
   namespace.  In order to do this, the client needs to remember the
   filehandles that represent such file system roots and use these
   instead of sending a LOOKUPP operation to the current server.  This
   will allow the client to present to applications a consistent
   namespace, where upward navigation and downward navigation are

   Another issue concerns refresh of referral locations.  When referrals
   are used extensively, they may change as server configurations
   change.  It is expected that clients will cache information related
   to traversing referrals so that future client-side requests are
   resolved locally without server communication.  This is usually
   rooted in client-side name look up caching.  Clients should
   periodically purge this data for referral points in order to detect
   changes in location information.  When the change_policy attribute

Top      Up      ToC       Page 238 
   changes for directories that hold referral entries or for the
   referral entries themselves, clients should consider any associated
   cached referral information to be out of date.

11.7.  Effecting File System Transitions

   Transitions between file system instances, whether due to switching
   between replicas upon server unavailability or to server-initiated
   migration events, are best dealt with together.  This is so even
   though, for the server, pragmatic considerations will normally force
   different implementation strategies for planned and unplanned
   transitions.  Even though the prototypical use cases of replication
   and migration contain distinctive sets of features, when all
   possibilities for these operations are considered, there is an
   underlying unity of these operations, from the client's point of
   view, that makes treating them together desirable.

   A number of methods are possible for servers to replicate data and to
   track client state in order to allow clients to transition between
   file system instances with a minimum of disruption.  Such methods
   vary between those that use inter-server clustering techniques to
   limit the changes seen by the client, to those that are less
   aggressive, use more standard methods of replicating data, and impose
   a greater burden on the client to adapt to the transition.

   The NFSv4.1 protocol does not impose choices on clients and servers
   with regard to that spectrum of transition methods.  In fact, there
   are many valid choices, depending on client and application
   requirements and their interaction with server implementation
   choices.  The NFSv4.1 protocol does define the specific choices that
   can be made, how these choices are communicated to the client, and
   how the client is to deal with any discontinuities.

   In the sections below, references will be made to various possible
   server implementation choices as a way of illustrating the transition
   scenarios that clients may deal with.  The intent here is not to
   define or limit server implementations but rather to illustrate the
   range of issues that clients may face.

   In the discussion below, references will be made to a file system
   having a particular property or to two file systems (typically the
   source and destination) belonging to a common class of any of several
   types.  Two file systems that belong to such a class share some
   important aspects of file system behavior that clients may depend
   upon when present, to easily effect a seamless transition between
   file system instances.  Conversely, where the file systems do not

Top      Up      ToC       Page 239 
   belong to such a common class, the client has to deal with various
   sorts of implementation discontinuities that may cause performance or
   other issues in effecting a transition.

   Where the fs_locations_info attribute is available, such file system
   classification data will be made directly available to the client
   (see Section 11.10 for details).  When only fs_locations is
   available, default assumptions with regard to such classifications
   have to be inferred (see Section 11.9 for details).

   In cases in which one server is expected to accept opaque values from
   the client that originated from another server, the servers SHOULD
   encode the "opaque" values in big-endian byte order.  If this is
   done, servers acting as replicas or immigrating file systems will be
   able to parse values like stateids, directory cookies, filehandles,
   etc., even if their native byte order is different from that of other
   servers cooperating in the replication and migration of the file

11.7.1.  File System Transitions and Simultaneous Access

   When a single file system may be accessed at multiple locations,
   either because of an indication of file system identity as reported
   by the fs_locations or fs_locations_info attributes or because two
   file system instances have corresponding locations on server
   addresses that connect to the same server (as indicated by a common
   so_major_id field in the eir_server_owner field returned by
   EXCHANGE_ID), the client will, depending on specific circumstances as
   discussed below, either:

   o  Access multiple instances simultaneously, each of which represents
      an alternate path to the same data and metadata.

   o  Access one instance (or set of instances) and then transition to
      an alternative instance (or set of instances) as a result of
      network issues, server unresponsiveness, or server-directed
      migration.  The transition may involve changes in filehandles,
      fileids, the change attribute, and/or locking state, depending on
      the attributes of the source and destination file system
      instances, as specified in the fs_locations_info attribute.

   Which of these choices is possible, and how a transition is effected,
   is governed by equivalence classes of file system instances as
   reported by the fs_locations_info attribute, and for file system
   instances in the same location within a multi-homed single-server
   namespace, as indicated by the value of the so_major_id field of the
   eir_server_owner field returned by EXCHANGE_ID.

Top      Up      ToC       Page 240 
11.7.2.  Simultaneous Use and Transparent Transitions

   When two file system instances have the same location within their
   respective single-server namespaces and those two server network
   addresses designate the same server (as indicated by the same value
   of the so_major_id field of the eir_server_owner field returned in
   response to EXCHANGE_ID), those file system instances can be treated
   as the same, and either used together simultaneously or serially with
   no transition activity required on the part of the client.  In this
   case, we refer to the transition as "transparent", and the client in
   transferring access from one to the other is acting as it would in
   the event that communication is interrupted, with a new connection
   and possibly a new session being established to continue access to
   the same file system.

   Whether simultaneous use of the two file system instances is valid is
   controlled by whether the fs_locations_info attribute shows the two
   instances as having the same simultaneous-use class.  See
   Section 11.10.1 for information about the definition of the various
   use classes, including the simultaneous-use class.

   Note that for two such file systems, any information within the
   fs_locations_info attribute that indicates the need for special
   transition activity, i.e., the appearance of the two file system
   instances with different handle, fileid, write-verifier, change, and
   readdir classes, indicates a serious problem.  The client, if it
   allows transition to the file system instance at all, must not treat
   this as a transparent transition.  The server SHOULD NOT indicate
   that these instances belong to different handle, fileid, write-
   verifier, change, and readdir classes, whether or not the two
   instances are shown belonging to the same simultaneous-use class.

   Where these conditions do not apply, a non-transparent file system
   instance transition is required with the details depending on the
   respective handle, fileid, write-verifier, change, and readdir
   classes of the two file system instances, and whether the two
   servers' addresses in question have the same eir_server_scope value
   as reported by EXCHANGE_ID.  Simultaneous Use of File System Instances

   When the conditions in Section 11.7.2 hold, in either of the
   following two cases, the client may use the two file system instances

   o  The fs_locations_info attribute does not contain separate per-
      network-address entries for file system instances at the distinct
      network addresses.  This includes the case in which the

Top      Up      ToC       Page 241 
      fs_locations_info attribute is unavailable.  In this case, the
      fact that the two server addresses connect to the same server (as
      indicated by the two addresses sharing the same the so_major_id
      value and subsequently confirmed as described in Section 2.10.5)
      justifies simultaneous use, and there is no fs_locations_info
      attribute information contradicting that.

   o  The fs_locations_info attribute indicates that two file system
      instances belong to the same simultaneous-use class.

   In this case, the client may use both file system instances
   simultaneously, as representations of the same file system, whether
   that happens because the two network addresses connect to the same
   physical server or because different servers connect to clustered
   file systems and export their data in common.  When simultaneous use
   is in effect, any change made to one file system instance must be
   immediately reflected in the other file system instance(s).  Locks
   are treated as part of a common lease, associated with a common
   client ID.  Depending on the details of the eir_server_owner returned
   by EXCHANGE_ID, the two server instances may be accessed by different
   sessions or a single session in common.  Transparent File System Transitions

   When the conditions in Section hold and the
   fs_locations_info attribute explicitly shows the file system
   instances for these distinct network addresses as belonging to
   different simultaneous-use classes, the file system instances should
   not be used by the client simultaneously.  Rather, they should be
   used serially with one being used unless and until communication
   difficulties, lack of responsiveness, or an explicit migration event
   causes another file system instance (or set of file system instances
   sharing a common simultaneous-use class) to be used.

   When a change of file system instance is to be done, the client will
   use the same client ID already in effect.  If the client already has
   connections to the new server address, these will be used.
   Otherwise, new connections to existing sessions or new sessions
   associated with the existing client ID are established as indicated
   by the eir_server_owner returned by EXCHANGE_ID.

   In all such transparent transition cases, the following apply:

   o  If filehandles are persistent, they stay the same.  If filehandles
      are volatile, they either stay the same or expire, but the reason
      for expiration is not due to the file system transition.

   o  Fileid values do not change across the transition.

Top      Up      ToC       Page 242 
   o  The file system will have the same fsid in both the old and new

   o  Change attribute values are consistent across the transition and
      do not have to be refetched.  When change attributes indicate that
      a cached object is still valid, it can remain cached.

   o  Client and state identifiers retain their validity across the
      transition, except where their staleness is recognized and
      reported by the new server.  Except where such staleness requires
      it, no lock reclamation is needed.  Any such staleness is an
      indication that the server should be considered to have restarted
      and is reported as discussed in Section 8.4.2.

   o  Write verifiers are presumed to retain their validity and can be
      used to compare with verifiers returned by COMMIT on the new
      server.  If COMMIT on the new server returns an identical
      verifier, then it is expected that the new server has all of the
      data that was written unstably to the original server and has
      committed that data to stable storage as requested.

   o  Readdir cookies are presumed to retain their validity and can be
      presented to subsequent READDIR requests together with the readdir
      verifier with which they are associated.  When the verifier is
      accepted as valid, the cookie will continue the READDIR operation
      so that the entire directory can be obtained by the client.

11.7.3.  Filehandles and File System Transitions

   There are a number of ways in which filehandles can be handled across
   a file system transition.  These can be divided into two broad
   classes depending upon whether the two file systems across which the
   transition happens share sufficient state to effect some sort of
   continuity of file system handling.

   When there is no such cooperation in filehandle assignment, the two
   file systems are reported as being in different handle classes.  In
   this case, all filehandles are assumed to expire as part of the file
   system transition.  Note that this behavior does not depend on the
   fh_expire_type attribute and supersedes the specification of the
   FH4_VOL_MIGRATION bit, which only affects behavior when
   fs_locations_info is not available.

   When there is cooperation in filehandle assignment, the two file
   systems are reported as being in the same handle classes.  In this
   case, persistent filehandles remain valid after the file system

Top      Up      ToC       Page 243 
   transition, while volatile filehandles (excluding those that are only
   volatile due to the FH4_VOL_MIGRATION bit) are subject to expiration
   on the target server.

11.7.4.  Fileids and File System Transitions

   In NFSv4.0, the issue of continuity of fileids in the event of a file
   system transition was not addressed.  The general expectation had
   been that in situations in which the two file system instances are
   created by a single vendor using some sort of file system image copy,
   fileids will be consistent across the transition, while in the
   analogous multi-vendor transitions they will not.  This poses
   difficulties, especially for the client without special knowledge of
   the transition mechanisms adopted by the server.  Note that although
   fileid is not a REQUIRED attribute, many servers support fileids and
   many clients provide APIs that depend on fileids.

   It is important to note that while clients themselves may have no
   trouble with a fileid changing as a result of a file system
   transition event, applications do typically have access to the fileid
   (e.g., via stat).  The result is that an application may work
   perfectly well if there is no file system instance transition or if
   any such transition is among instances created by a single vendor,
   yet be unable to deal with the situation in which a multi-vendor
   transition occurs at the wrong time.

   Providing the same fileids in a multi-vendor (multiple server
   vendors) environment has generally been held to be quite difficult.
   While there is work to be done, it needs to be pointed out that this
   difficulty is partly self-imposed.  Servers have typically identified
   fileid with inode number, i.e. with a quantity used to find the file
   in question.  This identification poses special difficulties for
   migration of a file system between vendors where assigning the same
   index to a given file may not be possible.  Note here that a fileid
   is not required to be useful to find the file in question, only that
   it is unique within the given file system.  Servers prepared to
   accept a fileid as a single piece of metadata and store it apart from
   the value used to index the file information can relatively easily
   maintain a fileid value across a migration event, allowing a truly
   transparent migration event.

   In any case, where servers can provide continuity of fileids, they
   should, and the client should be able to find out that such
   continuity is available and take appropriate action.  Information
   about the continuity (or lack thereof) of fileids across a file
   system transition is represented by specifying whether the file
   systems in question are of the same fileid class.

Top      Up      ToC       Page 244 
   Note that when consistent fileids do not exist across a transition
   (either because there is no continuity of fileids or because fileid
   is not a supported attribute on one of instances involved), and there
   are no reliable filehandles across a transition event (either because
   there is no filehandle continuity or because the filehandles are
   volatile), the client is in a position where it cannot verify that
   files it was accessing before the transition are the same objects.
   It is forced to assume that no object has been renamed, and, unless
   there are guarantees that provide this (e.g., the file system is
   read-only), problems for applications may occur.  Therefore, use of
   such configurations should be limited to situations where the
   problems that this may cause can be tolerated.

11.7.5.  Fsids and File System Transitions

   Since fsids are generally only unique within a per-server basis, it
   is likely that they will change during a file system transition.  One
   exception is the case of transparent transitions, but in that case we
   have multiple network addresses that are defined as the same server
   (as specified by a common value of the so_major_id field of
   eir_server_owner).  Clients should not make the fsids received from
   the server visible to applications since they may not be globally
   unique, and because they may change during a file system transition
   event.  Applications are best served if they are isolated from such
   transitions to the extent possible.

   Although normally a single source file system will transition to a
   single target file system, there is a provision for splitting a
   single source file system into multiple target file systems, by
   specifying the FSLI4F_MULTI_FS flag.  File System Splitting

   When a file system transition is made and the fs_locations_info
   indicates that the file system in question may be split into multiple
   file systems (via the FSLI4F_MULTI_FS flag), the client SHOULD do
   GETATTRs to determine the fsid attribute on all known objects within
   the file system undergoing transition to determine the new file
   system boundaries.

   Clients may maintain the fsids passed to existing applications by
   mapping all of the fsids for the descendant file systems to the
   common fsid used for the original file system.

   Splitting a file system may be done on a transition between file
   systems of the same fileid class, since the fact that fileids are
   unique within the source file system ensure they will be unique in
   each of the target file systems.

Top      Up      ToC       Page 245 
11.7.6.  The Change Attribute and File System Transitions

   Since the change attribute is defined as a server-specific one,
   change attributes fetched from one server are normally presumed to be
   invalid on another server.  Such a presumption is troublesome since
   it would invalidate all cached change attributes, requiring
   refetching.  Even more disruptive, the absence of any assured
   continuity for the change attribute means that even if the same value
   is retrieved on refetch, no conclusions can be drawn as to whether
   the object in question has changed.  The identical change attribute
   could be merely an artifact of a modified file with a different
   change attribute construction algorithm, with that new algorithm just
   happening to result in an identical change value.

   When the two file systems have consistent change attribute formats,
   and this fact is communicated to the client by reporting in the same
   change class, the client may assume a continuity of change attribute
   construction and handle this situation just as it would be handled
   without any file system transition.

11.7.7.  Lock State and File System Transitions

   In a file system transition, the client needs to handle cases in
   which the two servers have cooperated in state management and in
   which they have not.  Cooperation by two servers in state management
   requires coordination of client IDs.  Before the client attempts to
   use a client ID associated with one server in a request to the server
   of the other file system, it must eliminate the possibility that two
   non-cooperating servers have assigned the same client ID by accident.
   The client needs to compare the eir_server_scope values returned by
   each server.  If the scope values do not match, then the servers have
   not cooperated in state management.  If the scope values match, then
   this indicates the servers have cooperated in assigning client IDs to
   the point that they will reject client IDs that refer to state they
   do not know about.  See Section 2.10.4 for more information about the
   use of server scope.

   In the case of migration, the servers involved in the migration of a
   file system SHOULD transfer all server state from the original to the
   new server.  When this is done, it must be done in a way that is
   transparent to the client.  With replication, such a degree of common
   state is typically not the case.  Clients, however, should use the
   information provided by the eir_server_scope returned by EXCHANGE_ID
   (as modified by the validation procedures described in
   Section 2.10.4) to determine whether such sharing may be in effect,
   rather than making assumptions based on the reason for the

Top      Up      ToC       Page 246 
   This state transfer will reduce disruption to the client when a file
   system transition occurs.  If the servers are successful in
   transferring all state, the client can attempt to establish sessions
   associated with the client ID used for the source file system
   instance.  If the server accepts that as a valid client ID, then the
   client may use the existing stateids associated with that client ID
   for the old file system instance in connection with that same client
   ID in connection with the transitioned file system instance.  If the
   client in question already had a client ID on the target system, it
   may interrogate the stateid values from the source system under that
   new client ID, with the assurance that if they are accepted as valid,
   then they represent validly transferred lock state for the source
   file system, which has been transferred to the target server.

   When the two servers belong to the same server scope, it does not
   mean that when dealing with the transition, the client will not have
   to reclaim state.  However, it does mean that the client may proceed
   using its current client ID when establishing communication with the
   new server, and the new server will either recognize the client ID as
   valid or reject it, in which case locks must be reclaimed by the

   File systems cooperating in state management may actually share state
   or simply divide the identifier space so as to recognize (and reject
   as stale) each other's stateids and client IDs.  Servers that do
   share state may not do so under all conditions or at all times.  If
   the server cannot be sure when accepting a client ID that it reflects
   the locks the client was given, the server must treat all associated
   state as stale and report it as such to the client.

   When the two file system instances are on servers that do not share a
   server scope value, the client must establish a new client ID on the
   destination, if it does not have one already, and reclaim locks if
   allowed by the server.  In this case, old stateids and client IDs
   should not be presented to the new server since there is no assurance
   that they will not conflict with IDs valid on that server.  Note that
   in this case, lock reclaim may be attempted even when the servers
   involved in the transfer have different server scope values (see
   Section for the contrary case of reclaim after server
   reboot).  Servers with different server scope values may cooperate to
   allow reclaim for locks associated with the transfer of a file system
   even if they do not cooperate sufficiently to share a server scope.

   In either case, when actual locks are not known to be maintained, the
   destination server may establish a grace period specific to the given
   file system, with non-reclaim locks being rejected for that file
   system, even though normal locks are being granted for other file

Top      Up      ToC       Page 247 
   systems.  Clients should not infer the absence of a grace period for
   file systems being transitioned to a server from responses to
   requests for other file systems.

   In the case of lock reclamation for a given file system after a file
   system transition, edge conditions can arise similar to those for
   reclaim after server restart (although in the case of the planned
   state transfer associated with migration, these can be avoided by
   securely recording lock state as part of state migration).  Unless
   the destination server can guarantee that locks will not be
   incorrectly granted, the destination server should not allow lock
   reclaims and should avoid establishing a grace period.

   Once all locks have been reclaimed, or there were no locks to
   reclaim, the client indicates that there are no more reclaims to be
   done for the file system in question by sending a RECLAIM_COMPLETE
   operation with the rca_one_fs parameter set to true.  Once this has
   been done, non-reclaim locking operations may be done, and any
   subsequent request to do reclaims will be rejected with the error

   Information about client identity may be propagated between servers
   in the form of client_owner4 and associated verifiers, under the
   assumption that the client presents the same values to all the
   servers with which it deals.

   Servers are encouraged to provide facilities to allow locks to be
   reclaimed on the new server after a file system transition.  Often,
   however, in cases in which the two servers do not share a server
   scope value, such facilities may not be available and the client
   should be prepared to re-obtain locks, even though it is possible
   that the client may have its LOCK or OPEN request denied due to a
   conflicting lock.

   The consequences of having no facilities available to reclaim locks
   on the new server will depend on the type of environment.  In some
   environments, such as the transition between read-only file systems,
   such denial of locks should not pose large difficulties in practice.
   When an attempt to re-establish a lock on a new server is denied, the
   client should treat the situation as if its original lock had been
   revoked.  Note that when the lock is granted, the client cannot
   assume that no conflicting lock could have been granted in the
   interim.  Where change attribute continuity is present, the client
   may check the change attribute to check for unwanted file
   modifications.  Where even this is not available, and the file system
   is not read-only, a client may reasonably treat all pending locks as
   having been revoked.

Top      Up      ToC       Page 248  Leases and File System Transitions

   In the case of lease renewal, the client may not be submitting
   requests for a file system that has been transferred to another
   server.  This can occur because of the lease renewal mechanism.  The
   client renews the lease associated with all file systems when
   submitting a request on an associated session, regardless of the
   specific file system being referenced.

   In order for the client to schedule renewal of its lease where there
   is locking state that may have been relocated to the new server, the
   client must find out about lease relocation before that lease expire.
   To accomplish this, the SEQUENCE operation will return the status bit
   SEQ4_STATUS_LEASE_MOVED if responsibility for any of the renewed
   locking state has been transferred to a new server.  This will
   continue until the client receives an NFS4ERR_MOVED error for each of
   the file systems for which there has been locking state relocation.

   When a client receives an SEQ4_STATUS_LEASE_MOVED indication from a
   server, for each file system of the server for which the client has
   locking state, the client should perform an operation.  For
   simplicity, the client may choose to reference all file systems, but
   what is important is that it must reference all file systems for
   which there was locking state where that state has moved.  Once the
   client receives an NFS4ERR_MOVED error for each such file system, the
   server will clear the SEQ4_STATUS_LEASE_MOVED indication.  The client
   can terminate the process of checking file systems once this
   indication is cleared (but only if the client has received a reply
   for all outstanding SEQUENCE requests on all sessions it has with the
   server), since there are no others for which locking state has moved.

   A client may use GETATTR of the fs_status (or fs_locations_info)
   attribute on all of the file systems to get absence indications in a
   single (or a few) request(s), since absent file systems will not
   cause an error in this context.  However, it still must do an
   operation that receives NFS4ERR_MOVED on each file system, in order
   to clear the SEQ4_STATUS_LEASE_MOVED indication.

   Once the set of file systems with transferred locking state has been
   determined, the client can follow the normal process to obtain the
   new server information (through the fs_locations and
   fs_locations_info attributes) and perform renewal of that lease on
   the new server, unless information in the fs_locations_info attribute
   shows that no state could have been transferred.  If the server has
   not had state transferred to it transparently, the client will
   receive NFS4ERR_STALE_CLIENTID from the new server, as described
   above, and the client can then reclaim locks as is done in the event
   of server failure.

Top      Up      ToC       Page 249  Transitions and the Lease_time Attribute

   In order that the client may appropriately manage its lease in the
   case of a file system transition, the destination server must
   establish proper values for the lease_time attribute.

   When state is transferred transparently, that state should include
   the correct value of the lease_time attribute.  The lease_time
   attribute on the destination server must never be less than that on
   the source, since this would result in premature expiration of a
   lease granted by the source server.  Upon transitions in which state
   is transferred transparently, the client is under no obligation to
   refetch the lease_time attribute and may continue to use the value
   previously fetched (on the source server).

   If state has not been transferred transparently, either because the
   associated servers are shown as having different eir_server_scope
   strings or because the client ID is rejected when presented to the
   new server, the client should fetch the value of lease_time on the
   new (i.e., destination) server, and use it for subsequent locking
   requests.  However, the server must respect a grace period of at
   least as long as the lease_time on the source server, in order to
   ensure that clients have ample time to reclaim their lock before
   potentially conflicting non-reclaimed locks are granted.

11.7.8.  Write Verifiers and File System Transitions

   In a file system transition, the two file systems may be clustered in
   the handling of unstably written data.  When this is the case, and
   the two file systems belong to the same write-verifier class, write
   verifiers returned from one system may be compared to those returned
   by the other and superfluous writes avoided.

   When two file systems belong to different write-verifier classes, any
   verifier generated by one must not be compared to one provided by the
   other.  Instead, it should be treated as not equal even when the
   values are identical.

11.7.9.  Readdir Cookies and Verifiers and File System Transitions

   In a file system transition, the two file systems may be consistent
   in their handling of READDIR cookies and verifiers.  When this is the
   case, and the two file systems belong to the same readdir class,
   READDIR cookies and verifiers from one system may be recognized by
   the other and READDIR operations started on one server may be validly
   continued on the other, simply by presenting the cookie and verifier
   returned by a READDIR operation done on the first file system to the

Top      Up      ToC       Page 250 
   When two file systems belong to different readdir classes, any
   READDIR cookie and verifier generated by one is not valid on the
   second, and must not be presented to that server by the client.  The
   client should act as if the verifier was rejected.

11.7.10.  File System Data and File System Transitions

   When multiple replicas exist and are used simultaneously or in
   succession by a client, applications using them will normally expect
   that they contain either the same data or data that is consistent
   with the normal sorts of changes that are made by other clients
   updating the data of the file system (with metadata being the same to
   the degree indicated by the fs_locations_info attribute).  However,
   when multiple file systems are presented as replicas of one another,
   the precise relationship between the data of one and the data of
   another is not, as a general matter, specified by the NFSv4.1
   protocol.  It is quite possible to present as replicas file systems
   where the data of those file systems is sufficiently different that
   some applications have problems dealing with the transition between
   replicas.  The namespace will typically be constructed so that
   applications can choose an appropriate level of support, so that in
   one position in the namespace a varied set of replicas will be
   listed, while in another only those that are up-to-date may be
   considered replicas.  The protocol does define four special cases of
   the relationship among replicas to be specified by the server and
   relied upon by clients:

   o  When multiple server addresses correspond to the same actual
      server, as indicated by a common so_major_id field within the
      eir_server_owner field returned by EXCHANGE_ID, the client may
      depend on the fact that changes to data, metadata, or locks made
      on one file system are immediately reflected on others.

   o  When multiple replicas exist and are used simultaneously by a
      client (see the FSLIB4_CLSIMUL definition within
      fs_locations_info), they must designate the same data.  Where file
      systems are writable, a change made on one instance must be
      visible on all instances, immediately upon the earlier of the
      return of the modifying requester or the visibility of that change
      on any of the associated replicas.  This allows a client to use
      these replicas simultaneously without any special adaptation to
      the fact that there are multiple replicas.  In this case, locks
      (whether share reservations or byte-range locks) and delegations
      obtained on one replica are immediately reflected on all replicas,
      even though these locks will be managed under a set of client IDs.

Top      Up      ToC       Page 251 
   o  When one replica is designated as the successor instance to
      another existing instance after return NFS4ERR_MOVED (i.e., the
      case of migration), the client may depend on the fact that all
      changes written to stable storage on the original instance are
      written to stable storage of the successor (uncommitted writes are
      dealt with in Section 11.7.8).

   o  Where a file system is not writable but represents a read-only
      copy (possibly periodically updated) of a writable file system,
      clients have similar requirements with regard to the propagation
      of updates.  They may need a guarantee that any change visible on
      the original file system instance must be immediately visible on
      any replica before the client transitions access to that replica,
      in order to avoid any possibility that a client, in effecting a
      transition to a replica, will see any reversion in file system
      state.  The specific means of this guarantee varies based on the
      value of the fss_type field that is reported as part of the
      fs_status attribute (see Section 11.11).  Since these file systems
      are presumed to be unsuitable for simultaneous use, there is no
      specification of how locking is handled; in general, locks
      obtained on one file system will be separate from those on others.
      Since these are going to be read-only file systems, this is not
      expected to pose an issue for clients or applications.

11.8.  Effecting File System Referrals

   Referrals are effected when an absent file system is encountered and
   one or more alternate locations are made available by the
   fs_locations or fs_locations_info attributes.  The client will
   typically get an NFS4ERR_MOVED error, fetch the appropriate location
   information, and proceed to access the file system on a different
   server, even though it retains its logical position within the
   original namespace.  Referrals differ from migration events in that
   they happen only when the client has not previously referenced the
   file system in question (so there is nothing to transition).
   Referrals can only come into effect when an absent file system is
   encountered at its root.

   The examples given in the sections below are somewhat artificial in
   that an actual client will not typically do a multi-component look
   up, but will have cached information regarding the upper levels of
   the name hierarchy.  However, these example are chosen to make the
   required behavior clear and easy to put within the scope of a small
   number of requests, without getting unduly into details of how
   specific clients might choose to cache things.

Top      Up      ToC       Page 252 
11.8.1.  Referral Example (LOOKUP)

   Let us suppose that the following COMPOUND is sent in an environment
   in which /this/is/the/path is absent from the target server.  This
   may be for a number of reasons.  It may be that the file system has
   moved, or it may be that the target server is functioning mainly, or
   solely, to refer clients to the servers on which various file systems
   are located.


   o  LOOKUP "this"

   o  LOOKUP "is"

   o  LOOKUP "the"

   o  LOOKUP "path"

   o  GETFH

   o  GETATTR (fsid, fileid, size, time_modify)

   Under the given circumstances, the following will be the result.

   o  PUTROOTFH --> NFS_OK.  The current fh is now the root of the

   o  LOOKUP "this" --> NFS_OK.  The current fh is for /this and is
      within the pseudo-fs.

   o  LOOKUP "is" --> NFS_OK.  The current fh is for /this/is and is
      within the pseudo-fs.

   o  LOOKUP "the" --> NFS_OK.  The current fh is for /this/is/the and
      is within the pseudo-fs.

   o  LOOKUP "path" --> NFS_OK.  The current fh is for /this/is/the/path
      and is within a new, absent file system, but ... the client will
      never see the value of that fh.

   o  GETFH --> NFS4ERR_MOVED.  Fails because current fh is in an absent
      file system at the start of the operation, and the specification
      makes no exception for GETFH.

   o  GETATTR (fsid, fileid, size, time_modify).  Not executed because
      the failure of the GETFH stops processing of the COMPOUND.

Top      Up      ToC       Page 253 
   Given the failure of the GETFH, the client has the job of determining
   the root of the absent file system and where to find that file
   system, i.e., the server and path relative to that server's root fh.
   Note that in this example, the client did not obtain filehandles and
   attribute information (e.g., fsid) for the intermediate directories,
   so that it would not be sure where the absent file system starts.  It
   could be the case, for example, that /this/is/the is the root of the
   moved file system and that the reason that the look up of "path"
   succeeded is that the file system was not absent on that operation
   but was moved between the last LOOKUP and the GETFH (since COMPOUND
   is not atomic).  Even if we had the fsids for all of the intermediate
   directories, we could have no way of knowing that /this/is/the/path
   was the root of a new file system, since we don't yet have its fsid.

   In order to get the necessary information, let us re-send the chain
   of LOOKUPs with GETFHs and GETATTRs to at least get the fsids so we
   can be sure where the appropriate file system boundaries are.  The
   client could choose to get fs_locations_info at the same time but in
   most cases the client will have a good guess as to where file system
   boundaries are (because of where NFS4ERR_MOVED was, and was not,
   received) making fetching of fs_locations_info unnecessary.


   -  Current fh is root of pseudo-fs.

   OP02:  GETATTR(fsid) --> NFS_OK

   -  Just for completeness.  Normally, clients will know the fsid of
      the pseudo-fs as soon as they establish communication with a

   OP03:  LOOKUP "this" --> NFS_OK

   OP04:  GETATTR(fsid) --> NFS_OK

   -  Get current fsid to see where file system boundaries are.  The
      fsid will be that for the pseudo-fs in this example, so no

   OP05:  GETFH --> NFS_OK

   -  Current fh is for /this and is within pseudo-fs.

   OP06:  LOOKUP "is" --> NFS_OK

   -  Current fh is for /this/is and is within pseudo-fs.

Top      Up      ToC       Page 254 
   OP07:  GETATTR(fsid) --> NFS_OK

   -  Get current fsid to see where file system boundaries are.  The
      fsid will be that for the pseudo-fs in this example, so no

   OP08:  GETFH --> NFS_OK

   -  Current fh is for /this/is and is within pseudo-fs.

   OP09:  LOOKUP "the" --> NFS_OK

   -  Current fh is for /this/is/the and is within pseudo-fs.

   OP10:  GETATTR(fsid) --> NFS_OK

   -  Get current fsid to see where file system boundaries are.  The
      fsid will be that for the pseudo-fs in this example, so no

   OP11:  GETFH --> NFS_OK

   -  Current fh is for /this/is/the and is within pseudo-fs.

   OP12:  LOOKUP "path" --> NFS_OK

   -  Current fh is for /this/is/the/path and is within a new, absent
      file system, but ...

   -  The client will never see the value of that fh.

   OP13:  GETATTR(fsid, fs_locations_info) --> NFS_OK

   -  We are getting the fsid to know where the file system boundaries
      are.  In this operation, the fsid will be different than that of
      the parent directory (which in turn was retrieved in OP10).  Note
      that the fsid we are given will not necessarily be preserved at
      the new location.  That fsid might be different, and in fact the
      fsid we have for this file system might be a valid fsid of a
      different file system on that new server.

   -  In this particular case, we are pretty sure anyway that what has
      moved is /this/is/the/path rather than /this/is/the since we have
      the fsid of the latter and it is that of the pseudo-fs, which
      presumably cannot move.  However, in other examples, we might not
      have this kind of information to rely on (e.g., /this/is/the might
      be a non-pseudo file system separate from /this/is/the/path), so
      we need to have other reliable source information on the boundary

Top      Up      ToC       Page 255 
      of the file system that is moved.  If, for example, the file
      system /this/is had moved, we would have a case of migration
      rather than referral, and once the boundaries of the migrated file
      system was clear we could fetch fs_locations_info.

   -  We are fetching fs_locations_info because the fact that we got an
      NFS4ERR_MOVED at this point means that it is most likely that this
      is a referral and we need the destination.  Even if it is the case
      that /this/is/the is a file system that has migrated, we will
      still need the location information for that file system.


   -  Fails because current fh is in an absent file system at the start
      of the operation, and the specification makes no exception for
      GETFH.  Note that this means the server will never send the client
      a filehandle from within an absent file system.

   Given the above, the client knows where the root of the absent file
   system is (/this/is/the/path) by noting where the change of fsid
   occurred (between "the" and "path").  The fs_locations_info attribute
   also gives the client the actual location of the absent file system,
   so that the referral can proceed.  The server gives the client the
   bare minimum of information about the absent file system so that
   there will be very little scope for problems of conflict between
   information sent by the referring server and information of the file
   system's home.  No filehandles and very few attributes are present on
   the referring server, and the client can treat those it receives as
   transient information with the function of enabling the referral.

11.8.2.  Referral Example (READDIR)

   Another context in which a client may encounter referrals is when it
   does a READDIR on a directory in which some of the sub-directories
   are the roots of absent file systems.

   Suppose such a directory is read as follows:


   o  LOOKUP "this"

   o  LOOKUP "is"

   o  LOOKUP "the"

   o  READDIR (fsid, size, time_modify, mounted_on_fileid)

Top      Up      ToC       Page 256 
   In this case, because rdattr_error is not requested,
   fs_locations_info is not requested, and some of the attributes cannot
   be provided, the result will be an NFS4ERR_MOVED error on the
   READDIR, with the detailed results as follows:

   o  PUTROOTFH --> NFS_OK.  The current fh is at the root of the

   o  LOOKUP "this" --> NFS_OK.  The current fh is for /this and is
      within the pseudo-fs.

   o  LOOKUP "is" --> NFS_OK.  The current fh is for /this/is and is
      within the pseudo-fs.

   o  LOOKUP "the" --> NFS_OK.  The current fh is for /this/is/the and
      is within the pseudo-fs.

   o  READDIR (fsid, size, time_modify, mounted_on_fileid) -->
      NFS4ERR_MOVED.  Note that the same error would have been returned
      if /this/is/the had migrated, but it is returned because the
      directory contains the root of an absent file system.

   So now suppose that we re-send with rdattr_error:


   o  LOOKUP "this"

   o  LOOKUP "is"

   o  LOOKUP "the"

   o  READDIR (rdattr_error, fsid, size, time_modify, mounted_on_fileid)

   The results will be:

   o  PUTROOTFH --> NFS_OK.  The current fh is at the root of the

   o  LOOKUP "this" --> NFS_OK.  The current fh is for /this and is
      within the pseudo-fs.

   o  LOOKUP "is" --> NFS_OK.  The current fh is for /this/is and is
      within the pseudo-fs.

   o  LOOKUP "the" --> NFS_OK.  The current fh is for /this/is/the and
      is within the pseudo-fs.

Top      Up      ToC       Page 257 
   o  READDIR (rdattr_error, fsid, size, time_modify, mounted_on_fileid)
      --> NFS_OK.  The attributes for directory entry with the component
      named "path" will only contain rdattr_error with the value
      NFS4ERR_MOVED, together with an fsid value and a value for

   So suppose we do another READDIR to get fs_locations_info (although
   we could have used a GETATTR directly, as in Section 11.8.1).


   o  LOOKUP "this"

   o  LOOKUP "is"

   o  LOOKUP "the"

   o  READDIR (rdattr_error, fs_locations_info, mounted_on_fileid, fsid,
      size, time_modify)

   The results would be:

   o  PUTROOTFH --> NFS_OK.  The current fh is at the root of the

   o  LOOKUP "this" --> NFS_OK.  The current fh is for /this and is
      within the pseudo-fs.

   o  LOOKUP "is" --> NFS_OK.  The current fh is for /this/is and is
      within the pseudo-fs.

   o  LOOKUP "the" --> NFS_OK.  The current fh is for /this/is/the and
      is within the pseudo-fs.

   o  READDIR (rdattr_error, fs_locations_info, mounted_on_fileid, fsid,
      size, time_modify) --> NFS_OK.  The attributes will be as shown

   The attributes for the directory entry with the component named
   "path" will only contain:

   o  rdattr_error (value: NFS_OK)

   o  fs_locations_info

   o  mounted_on_fileid (value: unique fileid within referring file

Top      Up      ToC       Page 258 
   o  fsid (value: unique value within referring server)

   The attributes for entry "path" will not contain size or time_modify
   because these attributes are not available within an absent file

11.9.  The Attribute fs_locations

   The fs_locations attribute is structured in the following way:

   struct fs_location4 {
           utf8str_cis     server<>;
           pathname4       rootpath;

   struct fs_locations4 {
           pathname4       fs_root;
           fs_location4    locations<>;

   The fs_location4 data type is used to represent the location of a
   file system by providing a server name and the path to the root of
   the file system within that server's namespace.  When a set of
   servers have corresponding file systems at the same path within their
   namespaces, an array of server names may be provided.  An entry in
   the server array is a UTF-8 string and represents one of a
   traditional DNS host name, IPv4 address, IPv6 address, or a zero-
   length string.  An IPv4 or IPv6 address is represented as a universal
   address (see Section 3.3.9 and [15]), minus the netid, and either
   with or without the trailing ".p1.p2" suffix that represents the port
   number.  If the suffix is omitted, then the default port, 2049,
   SHOULD be assumed.  A zero-length string SHOULD be used to indicate
   the current address being used for the RPC call.  It is not a
   requirement that all servers that share the same rootpath be listed
   in one fs_location4 instance.  The array of server names is provided
   for convenience.  Servers that share the same rootpath may also be
   listed in separate fs_location4 entries in the fs_locations

   The fs_locations4 data type and fs_locations attribute contain an
   array of such locations.  Since the namespace of each server may be
   constructed differently, the "fs_root" field is provided.  The path
   represented by fs_root represents the location of the file system in
   the current server's namespace, i.e., that of the server from which
   the fs_locations attribute was obtained.  The fs_root path is meant
   to aid the client by clearly referencing the root of the file system

Top      Up      ToC       Page 259 
   whose locations are being reported, no matter what object within the
   current file system the current filehandle designates.  The fs_root
   is simply the pathname the client used to reach the object on the
   current server (i.e., the object to which the fs_locations attribute

   When the fs_locations attribute is interrogated and there are no
   alternate file system locations, the server SHOULD return a zero-
   length array of fs_location4 structures, together with a valid

   As an example, suppose there is a replicated file system located at
   two servers (servA and servB).  At servA, the file system is located
   at path /a/b/c.  At, servB the file system is located at path /x/y/z.
   If the client were to obtain the fs_locations value for the directory
   at /a/b/c/d, it might not necessarily know that the file system's
   root is located in servA's namespace at /a/b/c.  When the client
   switches to servB, it will need to determine that the directory it
   first referenced at servA is now represented by the path /x/y/z/d on
   servB.  To facilitate this, the fs_locations attribute provided by
   servA would have an fs_root value of /a/b/c and two entries in
   fs_locations.  One entry in fs_locations will be for itself (servA)
   and the other will be for servB with a path of /x/y/z.  With this
   information, the client is able to substitute /x/y/z for the /a/b/c
   at the beginning of its access path and construct /x/y/z/d to use for
   the new server.

   Note that there is no requirement that the number of components in
   each rootpath be the same; there is no relation between the number of
   components in rootpath or fs_root, and none of the components in a
   rootpath and fs_root have to be the same.  In the above example, we
   could have had a third element in the locations array, with server
   equal to "servC" and rootpath equal to "/I/II", and a fourth element
   in locations with server equal to "servD" and rootpath equal to

   The relationship between fs_root to a rootpath is that the client
   replaces the pathname indicated in fs_root for the current server for
   the substitute indicated in rootpath for the new server.

   For an example of a referred or migrated file system, suppose there
   is a file system located at serv1.  At serv1, the file system is
   located at /az/buky/vedi/glagoli.  The client finds that object at
   glagoli has migrated (or is a referral).  The client gets the
   fs_locations attribute, which contains an fs_root of /az/buky/vedi/
   glagoli, and one element in the locations array, with server equal to

Top      Up      ToC       Page 260 
   serv2, and rootpath equal to /izhitsa/fita.  The client replaces /az/
   buky/vedi/glagoli with /izhitsa/fita, and uses the latter pathname on

   Thus, the server MUST return an fs_root that is equal to the path the
   client used to reach the object to which the fs_locations attribute
   applies.  Otherwise, the client cannot determine the new path to use
   on the new server.

   Since the fs_locations attribute lacks information defining various
   attributes of the various file system choices presented, it SHOULD
   only be interrogated and used when fs_locations_info is not
   available.  When fs_locations is used, information about the specific
   locations should be assumed based on the following rules.

   The following rules are general and apply irrespective of the

   o  All listed file system instances should be considered as of the
      same handle class, if and only if, the current fh_expire_type
      attribute does not include the FH4_VOL_MIGRATION bit.  Note that
      in the case of referral, filehandle issues do not apply since
      there can be no filehandles known within the current file system,
      nor is there any access to the fh_expire_type attribute on the
      referring (absent) file system.

   o  All listed file system instances should be considered as of the
      same fileid class if and only if the fh_expire_type attribute
      indicates persistent filehandles and does not include the
      FH4_VOL_MIGRATION bit.  Note that in the case of referral, fileid
      issues do not apply since there can be no fileids known within the
      referring (absent) file system, nor is there any access to the
      fh_expire_type attribute.

   o  All file system instances servers should be considered as of
      different change classes.

   For other class assignments, handling of file system transitions
   depends on the reasons for the transition:

   o  When the transition is due to migration, that is, the client was
      directed to a new file system after receiving an NFS4ERR_MOVED
      error, the target should be treated as being of the same write-
      verifier class as the source.

Top      Up      ToC       Page 261 
   o  When the transition is due to failover to another replica, that
      is, the client selected another replica without receiving an
      NFS4ERR_MOVED error, the target should be treated as being of a
      different write-verifier class from the source.

   The specific choices reflect typical implementation patterns for
   failover and controlled migration, respectively.  Since other choices
   are possible and useful, this information is better obtained by using
   fs_locations_info.  When a server implementation needs to communicate
   other choices, it MUST support the fs_locations_info attribute.

   See Section 21 for a discussion on the recommendations for the
   security flavor to be used by any GETATTR operation that requests the
   "fs_locations" attribute.

11.10.  The Attribute fs_locations_info

   The fs_locations_info attribute is intended as a more functional
   replacement for fs_locations that will continue to exist and be
   supported.  Clients can use it to get a more complete set of
   information about alternative file system locations.  When the server
   does not support fs_locations_info, fs_locations can be used to get a
   subset of the information.  A server that supports fs_locations_info
   MUST support fs_locations as well.

   There is additional information present in fs_locations_info, that is
   not available in fs_locations:

   o  Attribute continuity information.  This information will allow a
      client to select a location that meets the transparency
      requirements of the applications accessing the data and to
      leverage optimizations due to the server guarantees of attribute
      continuity (e.g., if between multiple server locations the change
      attribute of a file of the file system is continuous, the client
      does not have to invalidate the file's cache if the change
      attribute is the same among all locations).

   o  File system identity information that indicates when multiple
      replicas, from the client's point of view, correspond to the same
      target file system, allowing them to be used interchangeably,
      without disruption, as multiple paths to the same thing.

   o  Information that will bear on the suitability of various replicas,
      depending on the use that the client intends.  For example, many
      applications need an absolutely up-to-date copy (e.g., those that
      write), while others may only need access to the most up-to-date
      copy reasonably available.

Top      Up      ToC       Page 262 
   o  Server-derived preference information for replicas, which can be
      used to implement load-balancing while giving the client the
      entire file system list to be used in case the primary fails.

   The fs_locations_info attribute is structured similarly to the
   fs_locations attribute.  A top-level structure (fs_locations_info4)
   contains the entire attribute including the root pathname of the file
   system and an array of lower-level structures that define replicas
   that share a common rootpath on their respective servers.  The lower-
   level structure in turn (fs_locations_item4) contains a specific
   pathname and information on one or more individual server replicas.
   For that last lowest-level, fs_locations_info has an
   fs_locations_server4 structure that contains per-server-replica
   information in addition to the server name.  This per-server-replica
   information includes a nominally opaque array, fls_info, in which
   specific pieces of information are located at the specific indices
   listed below.

   The attribute will always contain at least a single
   fs_locations_server entry.  Typically, this will be an entry with the
   FS4LIGF_CUR_REQ flag set, although in the case of a referral there
   will be no entry with that flag set.

   It should be noted that fs_locations_info attributes returned by
   servers for various replicas may differ for various reasons.  One
   server may know about a set of replicas that are not known to other
   servers.  Further, compatibility attributes may differ.  Filehandles
   might be of the same class going from replica A to replica B but not
   going in the reverse direction.  This might happen because the
   filehandles are the same, but replica B's server implementation might
   not have provision to note and report that equivalence.

   The fs_locations_info attribute consists of a root pathname
   (fli_fs_root, just like fs_root in the fs_locations attribute),
   together with an array of fs_location_item4 structures.  The
   fs_location_item4 structures in turn consist of a root pathname
   (fli_rootpath) together with an array (fli_entries) of elements of
   data type fs_locations_server4, all defined as follows.

Top      Up      ToC       Page 263 
    * Defines an individual server replica
   struct  fs_locations_server4 {
           int32_t         fls_currency;
           opaque          fls_info<>;
           utf8str_cis     fls_server;

    * Byte indices of items within
    * fls_info: flag fields, class numbers,
    * bytes indicating ranks and orders.
   const FSLI4BX_GFLAGS            = 0;
   const FSLI4BX_TFLAGS            = 1;
   const FSLI4BX_CLSIMUL           = 2;
   const FSLI4BX_CLHANDLE          = 3;
   const FSLI4BX_CLFILEID          = 4;
   const FSLI4BX_CLWRITEVER        = 5;
   const FSLI4BX_CLCHANGE          = 6;
   const FSLI4BX_CLREADDIR         = 7;

   const FSLI4BX_READRANK          = 8;
   const FSLI4BX_WRITERANK         = 9;
   const FSLI4BX_READORDER         = 10;
   const FSLI4BX_WRITEORDER        = 11;

    * Bits defined within the general flag byte.
   const FSLI4GF_WRITABLE          = 0x01;
   const FSLI4GF_CUR_REQ           = 0x02;
   const FSLI4GF_ABSENT            = 0x04;
   const FSLI4GF_GOING             = 0x08;
   const FSLI4GF_SPLIT             = 0x10;

Top      Up      ToC       Page 264 
    * Bits defined within the transport flag byte.
   const FSLI4TF_RDMA              = 0x01;

    * Defines a set of replicas sharing
    * a common value of the rootpath
    * with in the corresponding
    * single-server namespaces.
   struct  fs_locations_item4 {
           fs_locations_server4    fli_entries<>;
           pathname4               fli_rootpath;

    * Defines the overall structure of
    * the fs_locations_info attribute.
   struct  fs_locations_info4 {
           uint32_t                fli_flags;
           int32_t                 fli_valid_for;
           pathname4               fli_fs_root;
           fs_locations_item4      fli_items<>;

    * Flag bits in fli_flags.
   const FSLI4IF_VAR_SUB           = 0x00000001;

   typedef fs_locations_info4 fattr4_fs_locations_info;

   As noted above, the fs_locations_info attribute, when supported, may
   be requested of absent file systems without causing NFS4ERR_MOVED to
   be returned.  It is generally expected that it will be available for
   both present and absent file systems even if only a single
   fs_locations_server4 entry is present, designating the current
   (present) file system, or two fs_locations_server4 entries
   designating the previous location of an absent file system (the one
   just referenced) and its successor location.  Servers are strongly
   urged to support this attribute on all file systems if they support
   it on any file system.

Top      Up      ToC       Page 265 
   The data presented in the fs_locations_info attribute may be obtained
   by the server in any number of ways, including specification by the
   administrator or by current protocols for transferring data among
   replicas and protocols not yet developed.  NFSv4.1 only defines how
   this information is presented by the server to the client.

11.10.1.  The fs_locations_server4 Structure

   The fs_locations_server4 structure consists of the following items:

   o  An indication of how up-to-date the file system is (fls_currency)
      in seconds.  This value is relative to the master copy.  A
      negative value indicates that the server is unable to give any
      reasonably useful value here.  A value of zero indicates that the
      file system is the actual writable data or a reliably coherent and
      fully up-to-date copy.  Positive values indicate how out-of-date
      this copy can normally be before it is considered for update.
      Such a value is not a guarantee that such updates will always be
      performed on the required schedule but instead serves as a hint
      about how far the copy of the data would be expected to be behind
      the most up-to-date copy.

   o  A counted array of one-byte values (fls_info) containing
      information about the particular file system instance.  This data
      includes general flags, transport capability flags, file system
      equivalence class information, and selection priority information.
      The encoding will be discussed below.

   o  The server string (fls_server).  For the case of the replica
      currently being accessed (via GETATTR), a zero-length string MAY
      be used to indicate the current address being used for the RPC
      call.  The fls_server field can also be an IPv4 or IPv6 address,
      formatted the same way as an IPv4 or IPv6 address in the "server"
      field of the fs_location4 data type (see Section 11.9).

   Data within the fls_info array is in the form of 8-bit data items
   with constants giving the offsets within the array of various values
   describing this particular file system instance.  This style of
   definition was chosen, in preference to explicit XDR structure
   definitions for these values, for a number of reasons.

   o  The kinds of data in the fls_info array, representing flags, file
      system classes, and priorities among sets of file systems
      representing the same data, are such that 8 bits provide a quite
      acceptable range of values.  Even where there might be more than
      256 such file system instances, having more than 256 distinct
      classes or priorities is unlikely.

Top      Up      ToC       Page 266 
   o  Explicit definition of the various specific data items within XDR
      would limit expandability in that any extension within a
      subsequent minor version would require yet another attribute,
      leading to specification and implementation clumsiness.

   o  Such explicit definitions would also make it impossible to propose
      Standards Track extensions apart from a full minor version.

   This encoding scheme can be adapted to the specification of multi-
   byte numeric values, even though none are currently defined.  If
   extensions are made via Standards Track RFCs, multi-byte quantities
   will be encoded as a range of bytes with a range of indices, with the
   byte interpreted in big-endian byte order.  Further, any such index
   assignments are constrained so that the relevant quantities will not
   cross XDR word boundaries.

   The set of fls_info data is subject to expansion in a future minor
   version, or in a Standards Track RFC, within the context of a single
   minor version.  The server SHOULD NOT send and the client MUST NOT
   use indices within the fls_info array that are not defined in
   Standards Track RFCs.

   The fls_info array contains:

   o  Two 8-bit flag fields, one devoted to general file-system
      characteristics and a second reserved for transport-related

   o  Six 8-bit class values that define various file system equivalence
      classes as explained below.

   o  Four 8-bit priority values that govern file system selection as
      explained below.

   The general file system characteristics flag (at byte index
   FSLI4BX_GFLAGS) has the following bits defined within it:

   o  FSLI4GF_WRITABLE indicates that this file system target is
      writable, allowing it to be selected by clients that may need to
      write on this file system.  When the current file system instance
      is writable and is defined as of the same simultaneous use class
      (as specified by the value at index FSLI4BX_CLSIMUL) to which the
      client was previously writing, then it must incorporate within its
      data any committed write made on the source file system instance.
      See Section 11.7.8, which discusses the write-verifier class.
      While there is no harm in not setting this flag for a file system
      that turns out to be writable, turning the flag on for a read-only

Top      Up      ToC       Page 267 
      file system can cause problems for clients that select a migration
      or replication target based on the flag and then find themselves
      unable to write.

   o  FSLI4GF_CUR_REQ indicates that this replica is the one on which
      the request is being made.  Only a single server entry may have
      this flag set and, in the case of a referral, no entry will have

   o  FSLI4GF_ABSENT indicates that this entry corresponds to an absent
      file system replica.  It can only be set if FSLI4GF_CUR_REQ is
      set.  When both such bits are set, it indicates that a file system
      instance is not usable but that the information in the entry can
      be used to determine the sorts of continuity available when
      switching from this replica to other possible replicas.  Since
      this bit can only be true if FSLI4GF_CUR_REQ is true, the value
      could be determined using the fs_status attribute, but the
      information is also made available here for the convenience of the
      client.  An entry with this bit, since it represents a true file
      system (albeit absent), does not appear in the event of a
      referral, but only when a file system has been accessed at this
      location and has subsequently been migrated.

   o  FSLI4GF_GOING indicates that a replica, while still available,
      should not be used further.  The client, if using it, should make
      an orderly transfer to another file system instance as
      expeditiously as possible.  It is expected that file systems going
      out of service will be announced as FSLI4GF_GOING some time before
      the actual loss of service.  It is also expected that the
      fli_valid_for value will be sufficiently small to allow clients to
      detect and act on scheduled events, while large enough that the
      cost of the requests to fetch the fs_locations_info values will
      not be excessive.  Values on the order of ten minutes seem

      When this flag is seen as part of a transition into a new file
      system, a client might choose to transfer immediately to another
      replica, or it may reference the current file system and only
      transition when a migration event occurs.  Similarly, when this
      flag appears as a replica in the referral, clients would likely
      avoid being referred to this instance whenever there is another

   o  FSLI4GF_SPLIT indicates that when a transition occurs from the
      current file system instance to this one, the replacement may
      consist of multiple file systems.  In this case, the client has to
      be prepared for the possibility that objects on the same file
      system before migration will be on different ones after.  Note

Top      Up      ToC       Page 268 
      that FSLI4GF_SPLIT is not incompatible with the file systems
      belonging to the same fileid class since, if one has a set of
      fileids that are unique within a file system, each subset assigned
      to a smaller file system after migration would not have any
      conflicts internal to that file system.

      A client, in the case of a split file system, will interrogate
      existing files with which it has continuing connection (it is free
      to simply forget cached filehandles).  If the client remembers the
      directory filehandle associated with each open file, it may
      proceed upward using LOOKUPP to find the new file system
      boundaries.  Note that in the event of a referral, there will not
      be any such files and so these actions will not be performed.
      Instead, a reference to a portion of the original file system now
      split off into other file systems will encounter an fsid change
      and possibly a further referral.

      Once the client recognizes that one file system has been split
      into two, it can prevent the disruption of running applications by
      presenting the two file systems as a single one until a convenient
      point to recognize the transition, such as a restart.  This would
      require a mapping from the server's fsids to fsids as seen by the
      client, but this is already necessary for other reasons.  As noted
      above, existing fileids within the two descendant file systems
      will not conflict.  Providing non-conflicting fileids for newly
      created files on the split file systems is the responsibility of
      the server (or servers working in concert).  The server can encode
      filehandles such that filehandles generated before the split event
      can be discerned from those generated after the split, allowing
      the server to determine when the need for emulating two file
      systems as one is over.

      Although it is possible for this flag to be present in the event
      of referral, it would generally be of little interest to the
      client, since the client is not expected to have information
      regarding the current contents of the absent file system.

   The transport-flag field (at byte index FSLI4BX_TFLAGS) contains the
   following bits related to the transport capabilities of the specific
   file system.

   o  FSLI4TF_RDMA indicates that this file system provides NFSv4.1 file
      system access using an RDMA-capable transport.

   Attribute continuity and file system identity information are
   expressed by defining equivalence relations on the sets of file
   systems presented to the client.  Each such relation is expressed as
   a set of file system equivalence classes.  For each relation, a file

Top      Up      ToC       Page 269 
   system has an 8-bit class number.  Two file systems belong to the
   same class if both have identical non-zero class numbers.  Zero is
   treated as non-matching.  Most often, the relevant question for the
   client will be whether a given replica is identical to / continuous
   with the current one in a given respect, but the information should
   be available also as to whether two other replicas match in that
   respect as well.

   The following fields specify the file system's class numbers for the
   equivalence relations used in determining the nature of file system
   transitions.  See Section 11.7 and its various subsections for
   details about how this information is to be used.  Servers may assign
   these values as they wish, so long as file system instances that
   share the same value have the specified relationship to one another;
   conversely, file systems that have the specified relationship to one
   another share a common class value.  As each instance entry is added,
   the relationships of this instance to previously entered instances
   can be consulted, and if one is found that bears the specified
   relationship, that entry's class value can be copied to the new
   entry.  When no such previous entry exists, a new value for that byte
   index (not previously used) can be selected, most likely by
   incrementing the value of the last class value assigned for that

   o  The field with byte index FSLI4BX_CLSIMUL defines the
      simultaneous-use class for the file system.

   o  The field with byte index FSLI4BX_CLHANDLE defines the handle
      class for the file system.

   o  The field with byte index FSLI4BX_CLFILEID defines the fileid
      class for the file system.

   o  The field with byte index FSLI4BX_CLWRITEVER defines the write-
      verifier class for the file system.

   o  The field with byte index FSLI4BX_CLCHANGE defines the change
      class for the file system.

   o  The field with byte index FSLI4BX_CLREADDIR defines the readdir
      class for the file system.

   Server-specified preference information is also provided via 8-bit
   values within the fls_info array.  The values provide a rank and an
   order (see below) to be used with separate values specifiable for the
   cases of read-only and writable file systems.  These values are
   compared for different file systems to establish the server-specified
   preference, with lower values indicating "more preferred".

Top      Up      ToC       Page 270 
   Rank is used to express a strict server-imposed ordering on clients,
   with lower values indicating "more preferred".  Clients should
   attempt to use all replicas with a given rank before they use one
   with a higher rank.  Only if all of those file systems are
   unavailable should the client proceed to those of a higher rank.
   Because specifying a rank will override client preferences, servers
   should be conservative about using this mechanism, particularly when
   the environment is one in which client communication characteristics
   are neither tightly controlled nor visible to the server.

   Within a rank, the order value is used to specify the server's
   preference to guide the client's selection when the client's own
   preferences are not controlling, with lower values of order
   indicating "more preferred".  If replicas are approximately equal in
   all respects, clients should defer to the order specified by the
   server.  When clients look at server latency as part of their
   selection, they are free to use this criterion but it is suggested
   that when latency differences are not significant, the server-
   specified order should guide selection.

   o  The field at byte index FSLI4BX_READRANK gives the rank value to
      be used for read-only access.

   o  The field at byte index FSLI4BX_READORDER gives the order value to
      be used for read-only access.

   o  The field at byte index FSLI4BX_WRITERANK gives the rank value to
      be used for writable access.

   o  The field at byte index FSLI4BX_WRITEORDER gives the order value
      to be used for writable access.

   Depending on the potential need for write access by a given client,
   one of the pairs of rank and order values is used.  The read rank and
   order should only be used if the client knows that only reading will
   ever be done or if it is prepared to switch to a different replica in
   the event that any write access capability is required in the future.

11.10.2.  The fs_locations_info4 Structure

   The fs_locations_info4 structure, encoding the fs_locations_info
   attribute, contains the following:

   o  The fli_flags field, which contains general flags that affect the
      interpretation of this fs_locations_info4 structure and all
      fs_locations_item4 structures within it.  The only flag currently
      defined is FSLI4IF_VAR_SUB.  All bits in the fli_flags field that
      are not defined should always be returned as zero.

Top      Up      ToC       Page 271 
   o  The fli_fs_root field, which contains the pathname of the root of
      the current file system on the current server, just as it does in
      the fs_locations4 structure.

   o  An array called fli_items of fs_locations4_item structures, which
      contain information about replicas of the current file system.
      Where the current file system is actually present, or has been
      present, i.e., this is not a referral situation, one of the
      fs_locations_item4 structures will contain an fs_locations_server4
      for the current server.  This structure will have FSLI4GF_ABSENT
      set if the current file system is absent, i.e., normal access to
      it will return NFS4ERR_MOVED.

   o  The fli_valid_for field specifies a time in seconds for which it
      is reasonable for a client to use the fs_locations_info attribute
      without refetch.  The fli_valid_for value does not provide a
      guarantee of validity since servers can unexpectedly go out of
      service or become inaccessible for any number of reasons.  Clients
      are well-advised to refetch this information for an actively
      accessed file system at every fli_valid_for seconds.  This is
      particularly important when file system replicas may go out of
      service in a controlled way using the FSLI4GF_GOING flag to
      communicate an ongoing change.  The server should set
      fli_valid_for to a value that allows well-behaved clients to
      notice the FSLI4GF_GOING flag and make an orderly switch before
      the loss of service becomes effective.  If this value is zero,
      then no refetch interval is appropriate and the client need not
      refetch this data on any particular schedule.  In the event of a
      transition to a new file system instance, a new value of the
      fs_locations_info attribute will be fetched at the destination.
      It is to be expected that this may have a different fli_valid_for
      value, which the client should then use in the same fashion as the
      previous value.

   The FSLI4IF_VAR_SUB flag within fli_flags controls whether variable
   substitution is to be enabled.  See Section 11.10.3 for an
   explanation of variable substitution.

11.10.3.  The fs_locations_item4 Structure

   The fs_locations_item4 structure contains a pathname (in the field
   fli_rootpath) that encodes the path of the target file system
   replicas on the set of servers designated by the included
   fs_locations_server4 entries.  The precise manner in which this
   target location is specified depends on the value of the
   FSLI4IF_VAR_SUB flag within the associated fs_locations_info4

Top      Up      ToC       Page 272 
   If this flag is not set, then fli_rootpath simply designates the
   location of the target file system within each server's single-server
   namespace just as it does for the rootpath within the fs_location4
   structure.  When this bit is set, however, component entries of a
   certain form are subject to client-specific variable substitution so
   as to allow a degree of namespace non-uniformity in order to
   accommodate the selection of client-specific file system targets to
   adapt to different client architectures or other characteristics.

   When such substitution is in effect, a variable beginning with the
   string "${" and ending with the string "}" and containing a colon is
   to be replaced by the client-specific value associated with that
   variable.  The string "unknown" should be used by the client when it
   has no value for such a variable.  The pathname resulting from such
   substitutions is used to designate the target file system, so that
   different clients may have different file systems, corresponding to
   that location in the multi-server namespace.

   As mentioned above, such substituted pathname variables contain a
   colon.  The part before the colon is to be a DNS domain name, and the
   part after is to be a case-insensitive alphanumeric string.

   Where the domain is "", only variable names defined in this
   document or subsequent Standards Track RFCs are subject to such
   substitution.  Organizations are free to use their domain names to
   create their own sets of client-specific variables, to be subject to
   such substitution.  In cases where such variables are intended to be
   used more broadly than a single organization, publication of an
   Informational RFC defining such variables is RECOMMENDED.

   The variable ${} is used to denote that the CPU
   architecture object files are compiled.  This specification does not
   limit the acceptable values (except that they must be valid UTF-8
   strings), but such values as "x86", "x86_64", and "sparc" would be
   expected to be used in line with industry practice.

   The variable ${} is used to denote the operating
   system, and thus the kernel and library APIs, for which code might be
   compiled.  This specification does not limit the acceptable values
   (except that they must be valid UTF-8 strings), but such values as
   "linux" and "freebsd" would be expected to be used in line with
   industry practice.

   The variable ${} is used to denote the operating
   system version, and thus the specific details of versioned
   interfaces, for which code might be compiled.  This specification
   does not limit the acceptable values (except that they must be valid
   UTF-8 strings).  However, combinations of numbers and letters with

Top      Up      ToC       Page 273 
   interspersed dots would be expected to be used in line with industry
   practice, with the details of the version format depending on the
   specific value of the variable ${} with which it is

   Use of these variables could result in the direction of different
   clients to different file systems on the same server, as appropriate
   to particular clients.  In cases in which the target file systems are
   located on different servers, a single server could serve as a
   referral point so that each valid combination of variable values
   would designate a referral hosted on a single server, with the
   targets of those referrals on a number of different servers.

   Because namespace administration is affected by the values selected
   to substitute for various variables, clients should provide
   convenient means of determining what variable substitutions a client
   will implement, as well as, where appropriate, providing means to
   control the substitutions to be used.  The exact means by which this
   will be done is outside the scope of this specification.

   Although variable substitution is most suitable for use in the
   context of referrals, it may be used in the context of replication
   and migration.  If it is used in these contexts, the server must
   ensure that no matter what values the client presents for the
   substituted variables, the result is always a valid successor file
   system instance to that from which a transition is occurring, i.e.,
   that the data is identical or represents a later image of a writable
   file system.

   Note that when fli_rootpath is a null pathname (that is, one with
   zero components), the file system designated is at the root of the
   specified server, whether or not the FSLI4IF_VAR_SUB flag within the
   associated fs_locations_info4 structure is set.

11.11.  The Attribute fs_status

   In an environment in which multiple copies of the same basic set of
   data are available, information regarding the particular source of
   such data and the relationships among different copies can be very
   helpful in providing consistent data to applications.

   enum fs4_status_type {
           STATUS4_FIXED = 1,
           STATUS4_UPDATED = 2,
           STATUS4_VERSIONED = 3,
           STATUS4_WRITABLE = 4,
           STATUS4_REFERRAL = 5

Top      Up      ToC       Page 274 
   struct fs4_status {
           bool            fss_absent;
           fs4_status_type fss_type;
           utf8str_cs      fss_source;
           utf8str_cs      fss_current;
           int32_t         fss_age;
           nfstime4        fss_version;

   The boolean fss_absent indicates whether the file system is currently
   absent.  This value will be set if the file system was previously
   present and becomes absent, or if the file system has never been
   present and the type is STATUS4_REFERRAL.  When this boolean is set
   and the type is not STATUS4_REFERRAL, the remaining information in
   the fs4_status reflects that last valid when the file system was

   The fss_type field indicates the kind of file system image
   represented.  This is of particular importance when using the version
   values to determine appropriate succession of file system images.
   When fss_absent is set, and the file system was previously present,
   the value of fss_type reflected is that when the file was last
   present.  Five values are distinguished:

   o  STATUS4_FIXED, which indicates a read-only image in the sense that
      it will never change.  The possibility is allowed that, as a
      result of migration or switch to a different image, changed data
      can be accessed, but within the confines of this instance, no
      change is allowed.  The client can use this fact to cache

   o  STATUS4_VERSIONED, which indicates that the image, like the
      STATUS4_UPDATED case, is updated externally, but it provides a
      guarantee that the server will carefully update an associated
      version value so that the client can protect itself from a
      situation in which it reads data from one version of the file
      system and then later reads data from an earlier version of the
      same file system.  See below for a discussion of how this can be

   o  STATUS4_UPDATED, which indicates an image that cannot be updated
      by the user writing to it but that may be changed externally,
      typically because it is a periodically updated copy of another
      writable file system somewhere else.  In this case, version
      information is not provided, and the client does not have the
      responsibility of making sure that this version only advances upon
      a file system instance transition.  In this case, it is the
      responsibility of the server to make sure that the data presented

Top      Up      ToC       Page 275 
      after a file system instance transition is a proper successor
      image and includes all changes seen by the client and any change
      made before all such changes.

   o  STATUS4_WRITABLE, which indicates that the file system is an
      actual writable one.  The client need not, of course, actually
      write to the file system, but once it does, it should not accept a
      transition to anything other than a writable instance of that same
      file system.

   o  STATUS4_REFERRAL, which indicates that the file system in question
      is absent and has never been present on this server.

   Note that in the STATUS4_UPDATED and STATUS4_VERSIONED cases, the
   server is responsible for the appropriate handling of locks that are
   inconsistent with external changes to delegations.  If a server gives
   out delegations, they SHOULD be recalled before an inconsistent
   change is made to the data, and MUST be revoked if this is not
   possible.  Similarly, if an OPEN is inconsistent with data that is
   and the data is changed), that OPEN SHOULD be considered
   administratively revoked.

   The opaque strings fss_source and fss_current provide a way of
   presenting information about the source of the file system image
   being present.  It is not intended that the client do anything with
   this information other than make it available to administrative
   tools.  It is intended that this information be helpful when
   researching possible problems with a file system image that might
   arise when it is unclear if the correct image is being accessed and,
   if not, how that image came to be made.  This kind of diagnostic
   information will be helpful, if, as seems likely, copies of file
   systems are made in many different ways (e.g., simple user-level
   copies, file-system-level point-in-time copies, clones of the
   underlying storage), under a variety of administrative arrangements.
   In such environments, determining how a given set of data was
   constructed can be very helpful in resolving problems.

   The opaque string fss_source is used to indicate the source of a
   given file system with the expectation that tools capable of creating
   a file system image propagate this information, when possible.  It is
   understood that this may not always be possible since a user-level
   copy may be thought of as creating a new data set and the tools used
   may have no mechanism to propagate this data.  When a file system is
   initially created, it is desirable to associate with it data
   regarding how the file system was created, where it was created, who
   created it, etc.  Making this information available in this attribute

Top      Up      ToC       Page 276 
   in a human-readable string will be helpful for applications and
   system administrators and will also serve to make it available when
   the original file system is used to make subsequent copies.

   The opaque string fss_current should provide whatever information is
   available about the source of the current copy.  Such information
   includes the tool creating it, any relevant parameters to that tool,
   the time at which the copy was done, the user making the change, the
   server on which the change was made, etc.  All information should be
   in a human-readable string.

   The field fss_age provides an indication of how out-of-date the file
   system currently is with respect to its ultimate data source (in case
   of cascading data updates).  This complements the fls_currency field
   of fs_locations_server4 (see Section 11.10) in the following way: the
   information in fls_currency gives a bound for how out of date the
   data in a file system might typically get, while the value in fss_age
   gives a bound on how out-of-date that data actually is.  Negative
   values imply that no information is available.  A zero means that
   this data is known to be current.  A positive value means that this
   data is known to be no older than that number of seconds with respect
   to the ultimate data source.  Using this value, the client may be
   able to decide that a data copy is too old, so that it may search for
   a newer version to use.

   The fss_version field provides a version identification, in the form
   of a time value, such that successive versions always have later time
   values.  When the fs_type is anything other than STATUS4_VERSIONED,
   the server may provide such a value, but there is no guarantee as to
   its validity and clients will not use it except to provide additional
   information to add to fss_source and fss_current.

   When fss_type is STATUS4_VERSIONED, servers SHOULD provide a value of
   fss_version that progresses monotonically whenever any new version of
   the data is established.  This allows the client, if reliable image
   progression is important to it, to fetch this attribute as part of
   each COMPOUND where data or metadata from the file system is used.

   When it is important to the client to make sure that only valid
   successor images are accepted, it must make sure that it does not
   read data or metadata from the file system without updating its sense
   of the current state of the image.  This is to avoid the possibility
   that the fs_status that the client holds will be one for an earlier
   image, which would cause the client to accept a new file system
   instance that is later than that but still earlier than the updated
   data read by the client.

Top      Up      ToC       Page 277 
   In order to accept valid images reliably, the client must do a
   GETATTR of the fs_status attribute that follows any interrogation of
   data or metadata within the file system in question.  Often this is
   most conveniently done by appending such a GETATTR after all other
   operations that reference a given file system.  When errors occur
   between reading file system data and performing such a GETATTR, care
   must be exercised to make sure that the data in question is not used
   before obtaining the proper fs_status value.  In this connection,
   when an OPEN is done within such a versioned file system and the
   associated GETATTR of fs_status is not successfully completed, the
   open file in question must not be accessed until that fs_status is

   The procedure above will ensure that before using any data from the
   file system the client has in hand a newly-fetched current version of
   the file system image.  Multiple values for multiple requests in
   flight can be resolved by assembling them into the required partial
   order (and the elements should form a total order within the partial
   order) and using the last.  The client may then, when switching among
   file system instances, decline to use an instance that does not have
   an fss_type of STATUS4_VERSIONED or whose fss_version field is
   earlier than the last one obtained from the predecessor file system

(page 277 continued on part 10)

Next RFC Part