Dataless clients, CacheFS, AutoFS, Soltice AutoClient

Dataless clients, CacheFS, AutoFS, Soltice AutoClient

Post by Don Turrenti » Wed, 06 Sep 1995 04:00:00

I am investigating ways to improve my network performance of my network.
I have a SS1000 with 4 CPUs, 128 MB RAM, and a SPARC Storage Array with
30 GB of disk space as my server. The server is mainly an NFS server not
a CPU server. I have 5 SPARC 20s, 15 SPARC 5's and 10 other various Sun
workstations that access the server. The server is also my NIS+ root master
server. I have most of my workstations setup as dataless clients which
makes it easier to install and administer. However this causes a lot of
network traffic. I am not currently running the automounter or CacheFS or
AutoClient. These are some items I am considering. I also plan on adding
a FastEthernet interface to the server. Here are some questions that I
am interested in hearing comments on:

1. What is the max number of diskless and dataless clients that a server
that I described should be expected to handle? I have 4 diskless clients
that I am contemplating order disks for. These clients are old - IPCs and

2. How good does CacheFS work alone (w/o AutoFS)? How safe is it?

3. How good does CacheFS work with AutoFS?

4. How does Soltice AutoClient work?

All the SPARC 5s and 20s have either 535 MB or 1 GB disks which I am
only currently using 300 MB of for local root and swap.

Any and all comments are welcome and appreciated. You may either e-mail
or post or both. I will post a summary report on all the replies.



Don Turrentine, Information Systems Specialist
UAB - Cardiac Rhythm Management Laboratory
Volker Hall G78A
1670 University Blvd
Birmingham, AL 35294-0019
205-975-4710 Voice
205-975-4720 Fax


Dataless clients, CacheFS, AutoFS, Soltice AutoClient

Post by Paul Egge » Thu, 21 Sep 1995 04:00:00

> How good does CacheFS work with AutoFS?

We've had our problems running cachefs over automounted filesystems
(Solaris 2.4, the usual patches).

Scenario: rlogin to server, no response, eventually rlogin times out.
(It's a bit painful to debug this problem, since you can't log in.)

Probable explanation: the login directory triggers the automounter,
which in turn triggers cachefs, which for some reason decides to run
fsck on the cache before it lets the mount succeed!  Needless to say,
if your cache has a nontrivial size you're in for a long wait....

Turning off cachefs fixes the problem.  Wish I had a better workaround.


1. CacheFS for diskless/dataless clients

The question is:  How do you specify the "-O" flag in /etc/vfstab?

I've been setting up a number of Sparc 5's that boot off of a Sparc 20
(all 2.4).  

Each have their own root, and all share the servers /usr (as expected)

The Sparc5's have 1GB disks locally, which are configured for

1) swap
2) /var/tmp
3) /cache

(2 and 3 could be combined, but that's semantics)

Basically, I'm using cachefs to cache /usr (and other nfs mount points)

here's the command I can do (and have put into /etc/init.d,etc)

mount -F cachefs -O -o backfstype=nfs,cachedir=/cache/local,ro server:/usr /usr

This works, but I have yet to find out how to get the vfstab entry to take the -O portion.
The "mount options" implies the "-o".  

here's the sample VFSTAB:

#device         device          mount           FS      fsck    mount   mount
#to mount       to fsck         point           type    pass    at boot options
server:/usr     /cache/local    /usr            cachefs 4       yes     backfstype=nfs,ro,cachedir=/cache/local

BTW: It does work well, but I'd like to have a clean /etc/vfstab that does it all...


Brian Gann

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