Nightmare File System: N. Pejorative Hackerism For Sun's Network File System (NFS).

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:Nightmare File System: n. Pejorative hackerism for Sun's Network
File System (NFS). In any nontrivial network of Suns where there
is a lot of NFS cross-mounting, when one Sun goes down, the others
often freeze up. Some machine tries to access the down one, and
(getting no response) repeats indefinitely. This causes it to
appear dead to some messages (what is actually happening is that it
is locked up in what should have been a brief excursion to a higher
{spl} level). Then another machine tries to reach either the
down machine or the pseudo-down machine, and itself becomes
pseudo-down. The first machine to discover the down one is now
trying both to access the down one and to respond to the
pseudo-down one, so it is even harder to reach. This situation
snowballs very quickly, and soon the entire network of machines is
frozen --- worst of all, the user can't even abort the file access
that started the problem! Many of NFS's problems are excused by
partisans as being an inevitable result of its statelessness, which
is held to be a great feature (critics, of course, call it a great
{misfeature}). (ITS partisans are apt to cite this as proof of
UNIX's alleged bogosity; ITS had a working NFS-like shared file
system with none of these problems in the early 1970s.) See also
{broadcast storm}.
-- The AI Hackers Dictionary