The DCE Distributed File System
(DCE/DFS) is the remote file access protocol used with the Distributed Computing Environment
. It was based on the AFS Version 3.0 protocol that was developed commercially by Transarc
Corporation. AFS Version 3.0 was in turn based on the Andrew File System
Version 2.0 protocol (also used by the Coda disconnected file system) originally developed at Carnegie Mellon University
DCE/DFS consisted of multiple cooperative components that provided a network file system with strong file system semantics, attempting to mimic the behavior of POSIX
local file systems while taking advantage of performance optimizations when possible. A DCE/DFS client system utilized a locally managed cache that would contain copies (or regions) of the original file. The client system would coordinate with a server system where the original copy of the file was stored to ensure that multiple clients accessing the same file would re-fetch a cached copy of the file data when the original file had changed.
The advantage of this approach is that it provided very good performance even over slow network connections because most of the file access was actually done to the local cached regions of the file. If the server failed, the client could continue making changes to the file locally, storing it back to the server when it became available again.
DCE/DFS also divorced the concept of logical... Read More