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Solaris 8 Administrator's Guide by Dr. Paul Andrew Watters

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Chapter 7. File Serving

Many Solaris services are based around a client/server architecture, where a centralized, high-capacity system is dedicated to perform such operations. One of the most common tasks provided by a Solaris server is distributed file serving, or the secure and reliable file access by remote clients to one or more servers. Since most modern computer systems have their own disk storage facilities (excluding thin clients such as Sun Rays), why are file servers necessary? Security, capacity, and reliability.

Local client systems typically have low levels of security and auditing associated with their filesystems, especially if the operating system does not require authentication to access files (such as some versions of Microsoft Windows). Companies requiring their files to be protected would generally invest in physical security (such as locked server rooms, accessible only by technical staff), as well as secure operating systems (such as Solaris) to provide access with host-, user-, and password-based authentication.

Servers also have larger logical disk capacities—not because they have physically larger disks, but because they can take advantage of Redundant Array of Inexpensive Disks (RAID) technology to extend the virtual size of an addressable partition. Thus, the disk space on two 9.1 Gb hard disks can be addressed as a single 18.2 Gb partition. This is very important for database applications, for example, where data files and rollback logs can become very ...

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