/net can be evil
By user12625760 on Jul 14, 2007
I've written before about what a fan I am of the automounter. However the curse of the automounter is laziness. Direct mounts I covered but the next topic is the “/net” mount point.
Like direct automount points “/net” has it's uses, however when it is used without thought it is evil. The thing that has to be thought about is that “/net” quickly leads you into some of the eight fallacies of distributed computing: which I reproduce here from Geoff Arnold's blog:
Essentially everyone, when they first build a distributed application, makes the following eight assumptions. All prove to be false in the long run and all cause big trouble and painful learning experiences.
The network is reliable
Latency is zero
Bandwidth is infinite
The network is secure
Topology doesn’t change
There is one administrator
Transport cost is zero
The network is homogeneous
Now since when using “/net” you are just a user not a developer that cuts you some slack with me. However if you are a engineer looking at crash dumps that are many gigabytes via “/net” or uploading from a local tape to and from an NFS server on the other side of the world, or even close but over a WAN, you need to be aware of fallacies 1,2,3 and 7. Then wonder if there is a better way, invariably there is a faster, less resource hungry way to do this if you can login to a system closer to the NFS server.
If that is the case then you should get yourself acquainted some of the options to ssh(1). Specifically compression, X11 forwarding and for the more adventurous agent forwarding.