Up to now, we have created a small group of machines that are networked together. Each one has its own disk, which is used for local storage. This means that if a machine needs to access data residing on any of the other servers, the data will have to be copied manually.
Although time-consuming, this may not be a common task and so won't cause problems in many companies; in fact, the data may actually need to be segregated for some other reason. If, on the other hand, the data needs to be accessed often, this setup can prove very problematic.
In this chapter, we'll look at three related pieces of software that can be used to get around these issues and accomplish the task. These are NFS, DFS, and Autofs.