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We have a Linux server with a couple of NFS shares on our local network, and we want to be able to access the data on those shares from some remote machines outside of the LAN. What we are planning on doing is an cron job on the remote machines triggering rsync to keep the folder up to date.

Just wondering if there's some sort of less "hacked-together" solution, something along the lines of an NFS-mount but optimized for high-latency connections.

We're in a mostly Linux environment, so Linux-only solutions are fine, although of course something that would work cross-platform is always nice.


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up vote 2 down vote accepted

The best way I have found of doing this is with AFS :

N.B. It takes a bit of work to setup, but once its done right its well worth it.

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Great I'll look into this, now there's a good chance we end up deciding it's overkill and just doing rsync, but thanks for the tip. – wxs Aug 15 '10 at 19:50

There are a number of fuse-based filesystems that were designed with WANs in mind. They might not give you the speed of a previously-rsync'ed file, but perhaps they'll be good enough (and some may may be able to set up some sort of caching).

Promising candidates include curlftpfs (remote filesystem using FTP as the transport protocol), fusedav (WebDAV), sshfs (ssh). The first two give you the opportunity to insert a caching proxy between the server and the client.

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Yeah if I did one of these I'd definitely need to try out some sort of caching thing. I'll look into these, thanks. – wxs Aug 15 '10 at 19:53

Have you looked at Linux's network block device (nbd) driver? I don't know how well it handles high-latency (it's been years since I've played with it), but it may be worth looking at, assuming the project is still around.

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Hmm. Looks like an interesting project, but not really optimized for the particular use-case I'm looking at. – wxs Aug 15 '10 at 19:52

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