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What's the difference: NFS vs iSCSI

by Matthew Mister, on Aug 6, 2019 9:19:13 AM

What is NFS?

NFS (Network File System) is a protocol that is used to serve and share files on a network.  Similar protocols include SMB (Server Message Block) and AFP (Apple Filing Protocol).

What is iSCSI?

iSCSI is a transport layer protocol that describes how Small Computer System Interface (SCSI) packets are transferred over a network. It works by transporting data between a server and a storage device. 

What is different about NFS and iSCSI?

NFS and iSCSI are fundamentally different ways of data sharing. NFS is built for data sharing among multiple client machines. On the opposite end, iSCSI is a block protocol which supports a single client for each volume on the server. While it does permit applications running on a single client machine to share remote data, it is not the best for sharing data across machines. It is possible to run iSCSI in a shared multi-client environment but requires designing a distributed file system that accesses data from a block server.


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