Hi sirozha - below is purely my personal opinion on this based on my own setup:
The key issue with both CIFS and AFP is that you manually mount (or via the usual tricks) a share to a specific mount-point as a specific user
. If another user of the same machine wishes to access the same share, they mount that share again but as a different user and to a different mountpoint
Where you are running a server which uses the NAS for storage, this is not usually the desired behaviour. What is prefered is that a share is mounted to a single mount point, whether a user is logged in or not (so that services can also access that share); when a user does require access to the share they can do so via that same mount point but according to their login credentials (ie not according to the credentials of whoever mounted the share). This is fundamentally how NFS differs to CIFS and AFP - it acts more as a transparent extension to the local file system, at least from a user perspective.
The other key capability to note is the automounter, which is primarily used with NFS. NFS shares are NOT advertised so they appear in the finder sidebar - even if you setup bonjour to explicitly advertise NFS mounted shares, finder won't show them in the sidebar - I've tried! Again, as a transparent extension to the local file system, shares simply appear as folders (which you can add links to in finder sidebar if you wish) which is better when supporting server applications where you typically set the application to use a particular folder and then leave it to run. The automounter allows me to mount a share at any mountpoint I choose, is done automatically even if a user is not logged in, and also reconnects should the NAS connection be lost eg due to a reboot for a firmware update, or a scheduled powerdown. Apple has a great whitepaper somewhere on their site on support for 'autofs' which is umbrella term for the automounter.EDIT: Found the Apple doc here - http://images.apple.com/business/docs/Autofs.pdf - autofs can be used to mount over AFP and CIFS, but you are still limited to mounting a share with a specific user's credentials or allowing full guest access - see page 14 of the doc
As a test - If you have NFS turned on and enabled for your shares, go to terminal and type:
- Code: Select all
ls -al /net/<nas>.local/c
where <nas> is the name of your nas - without having to do anything on your mac you should see, and be able to access, all your NFS-enabled shares.
Add to all this that NFS is the native networking protocol to unix derived OS'es such as Linux and OSX which usually means it is the fastest protocol to use - at least on the x86 boxes, not true on the Sparc boxes - and allows you simple control of permissions (if you sync the UIDs and GIDs on NAS and clients), I find it a good option even for applications beyond server type applications where I'm regularly accessing a specific folder on the NAS.
It's not the solution for all applications - eg iSCSI is great for TimeMachine as mentioned - but it definately has its place. AFP is still my preferred access protocol when I want to get to some data "randomly" - a document, a video file etc. because it's easier due to finder integration and I don't tend to use CIFS as I don't use Windows (often), just linux and OSX. But applications that always access the same data I tend to setup to use NFS and then hardly even think about the fact that they are using the NAS - data access just happens
I have plenty of examples I can share if needed, but this post is already long enough