A network file system (NFS) is a mechanism that enables storage and retrieval of data from multiple hard drives and directories across a shared network, enabling local users to access remote data as if it was on the user’s own computer.
The NFS protocol is one of several distributed file system standards for network-attached storage (NAS). It was originally developed in the 1980s by Sun Microsystems, and is now managed by the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF).
NFS is generally implemented in computing environments where centralized management of data and resources is critical. Network file system works on all IP-based networks. Depending on the version in use, TCP and UDP are used for data access and delivery.
The NFS protocol is independent of the computer, operating system, network architecture, and transport protocol, which means systems using the NFS service may be manufactured by different vendors, use different operating systems, and be connected to networks with different architectures. These differences are transparent to the NFS application, and the user.