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2 definitions found
 for Nightmare File System
From The Jargon File (version 4.4.7, 29 Dec 2003) :

  Nightmare File System
   n.
  
      Pejorative hackerism for Sun's Network File System (NFS). In any nontrivial
      network of Suns where there is a lot of NFS cross-mounting, when one Sun
      goes down, the others often freeze up. Some machine tries to access the
      down one, and (getting no response) repeats indefinitely. This causes it to
      appear dead to some messages (what is actually happening is that it is
      locked up in what should have been a brief excursion to a higher spl
      level). Then another machine tries to reach either the down machine or the
      pseudo-down machine, and itself becomes pseudo-down. The first machine to
      discover the down one is now trying both to access the down one and to
      respond to the pseudo-down one, so it is even harder to reach. This
      situation snowballs very quickly, and soon the entire network of machines
      is frozen ? worst of all, the user can't even abort the file access that
      started the problem! Many of NFS's problems are excused by partisans as
      being an inevitable result of its statelessness, which is held to be a
      great feature (critics, of course, call it a great misfeature). (ITS
      partisans are apt to cite this as proof of Unix's alleged bogosity; ITS had
      a working NFS-like shared file system with none of these problems in the
      early 1970s.) See also broadcast storm.
  

From The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing (30 December 2018) :

  Nightmare File System
  
     Pejorative hackerism for Sun's Network File System (NFS).
     In any nontrivial network of Suns where there is a lot of NFS
     cross-mounting, when one Sun goes down, the others often
     freeze up.  Some machine tries to access the down one, and
     (getting no response) repeats indefinitely.  This causes it to
     appear dead to some messages (what is actually happening is
     that it is locked up in what should have been a brief
     excursion to a higher spl level).  Then another machine
     tries to reach either the down machine or the pseudo-down
     machine, and itself becomes pseudo-down.  The first machine to
     discover the down one is now trying both to access the down
     one and to respond to the pseudo-down one, so it is even
     harder to reach.  This situation snowballs very quickly, and
     soon the entire network of machines is frozen - worst of
     all, the user can't even abort the file access that started
     the problem!
  
     Many of NFS's problems are excused by partisans as being an
     inevitable result of its statelessness, which is held to be
     a great feature (critics, of course, call it a great
     misfeature).  ITS partisans are apt to cite this as proof
     of Unix's alleged bogosity; ITS had a working NFS-like
     shared file system with none of these problems in the early
     1970s.  See also broadcast storm.
  
     [{Jargon File]
  

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