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Managing NFS and NIS, 2nd Edition by Hal Stern, Ricardo Labiaga, Mike Eisler

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Chapter 13. Network Diagnostic and Administrative Tools

Distributed computing architectures rely on a well-conditioned network and properly configured servers for their adequate performance and operation. NFS and NIS client performance degrades if your network is congested or your servers are unreliable. Retransmitted requests add to the noise level on the network or to the request backlog on the server, generally exacerbating any performance problems.

Whenever you make a change, you run the risk of affecting more than just one machine. If you add a new NFS client, for example, you should consider all possible impacts on the computing environment: network bandwidth consumed by traffic to and from this node, or the incremental workload imposed on any servers used by the client. Similarly, when upgrading server resources you must identify those areas that are the tightest constraints: CPU speed, disk speed, or aggregate disk space. Adding another server to a network may not be as economical or beneficial as upgrading to faster disks, adding CPUs to an expandable server or offloading other tasks, such as web service to another host.

This portion of the book focuses on network analysis, debugging, and performance tuning. Its goal is to present the tools, procedures, and evaluation criteria used for analyzing network, NFS, or NIS problems. In addition to tuning and administration, these techniques can be used to evaluate proposals for expanding an existing network with additional clients ...

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