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Versions: (draft-haynes-nfsv4-versioning) 00 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 RFC 8178

NFSv4                                                          D. Noveck
Internet-Draft                                                        HP
Updates: 5661 (if approved)                             October 10, 2015
Intended status: Standards Track
Expires: April 12, 2016


                        NFSv4 Version Management
                     draft-ietf-nfsv4-versioning-02

Abstract

   This document describes the management of versioning within the NFSv4
   family of protocols.  It covers the creation of minor versions, the
   addition of optional features to existing minor versions, and the
   correction of flaws in features already published as Proposed
   Standards.  The rules relating to the construction of minor versions
   and the interaction of minor version implementations that appear in
   this document supersede the minor versioning rules in RFC5661.

Status of This Memo

   This Internet-Draft is submitted in full conformance with the
   provisions of BCP 78 and BCP 79.

   Internet-Drafts are working documents of the Internet Engineering
   Task Force (IETF).  Note that other groups may also distribute
   working documents as Internet-Drafts.  The list of current Internet-
   Drafts is at http://datatracker.ietf.org/drafts/current/.

   Internet-Drafts are draft documents valid for a maximum of six months
   and may be updated, replaced, or obsoleted by other documents at any
   time.  It is inappropriate to use Internet-Drafts as reference
   material or to cite them other than as "work in progress."

   This Internet-Draft will expire on April 12, 2016.

Copyright Notice

   Copyright (c) 2015 IETF Trust and the persons identified as the
   document authors.  All rights reserved.

   This document is subject to BCP 78 and the IETF Trust's Legal
   Provisions Relating to IETF Documents
   (http://trustee.ietf.org/license-info) in effect on the date of
   publication of this document.  Please review these documents
   carefully, as they describe your rights and restrictions with respect
   to this document.  Code Components extracted from this document must



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   include Simplified BSD License text as described in Section 4.e of
   the Trust Legal Provisions and are provided without warranty as
   described in the Simplified BSD License.

Table of Contents

   1.  Introduction  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   3
     1.1.  Existing Minor Versions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   4
     1.2.  Updated NFSv4 Version Management Framework  . . . . . . .   4
   2.  Terminology . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   5
     2.1.  Use of Keywords Defined in RFC2119  . . . . . . . . . . .   6
     2.2.  Use of Feature Statuses . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   7
     2.3.  NFSv4 Versions  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   8
   3.  Consolidation of Version Management Rules . . . . . . . . . .   9
   4.  XDR Considerations  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  10
     4.1.  XDR Extension . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  10
       4.1.1.  XDR Extension in General  . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  11
       4.1.2.  Particulars of XDR Extension within NFSv4 . . . . . .  12
       4.1.3.  Rules for XDR Extension within NFSv4  . . . . . . . .  12
     4.2.  Handling of Protocol Elements . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  13
     4.3.  Organization of Protocol Elements . . . . . . . . . . . .  14
     4.4.  Inter-version Interoperability  . . . . . . . . . . . . .  14
       4.4.1.  Requirements for Knowledge of Protocol Elements . . .  14
       4.4.2.  Establishing Interoperability . . . . . . . . . . . .  16
       4.4.3.  Determining Knowledge of Protocol Elements  . . . . .  17
       4.4.4.  Interoperability Between Version Groups . . . . . . .  18
   5.  Other NFSv4 Protocol Changes  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  18
     5.1.  Non-XDR Protocol Changes  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  19
       5.1.1.  Field Interpretation and Use  . . . . . . . . . . . .  19
       5.1.2.  Behavioral Changes  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  20
       5.1.3.  Rules for non-XDR changes . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  20
     5.2.  Specification of Associated Protocols . . . . . . . . . .  21
       5.2.1.  Associated Protocols via pNFS Mapping Types . . . . .  22
       5.2.2.  Additional Forms of Associated Protocols  . . . . . .  22
   6.  NFSv4 Protocol Features . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  23
     6.1.  Previous Uses of the Feature Concept  . . . . . . . . . .  24
     6.2.  Rules for Protocol Feature Construction . . . . . . . . .  25
     6.3.  Statuses of Features  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  25
     6.4.  Statuses of Protocol Elements Within Features . . . . . .  26
     6.5.  Determining Protocol Element Support  . . . . . . . . . .  28
     6.6.  Feature Discovery . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  29
   7.  Documentation of Protocol Changes . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  31
     7.1.  Documentation Approach  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  31
     7.2.  Indexing material . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  31
     7.3.  Feature Specification Documents . . . . . . . . . . . . .  32
     7.4.  Feature Incorporation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  34
     7.5.  XDR File Considerations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  34
   8.  Extensions within Minor Versions  . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  35



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   9.  Adding Features to Extensible Minor Versions  . . . . . . . .  36
     9.1.  Use of Feature Specification Documents  . . . . . . . . .  36
     9.2.  Compatibility Issues  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  37
       9.2.1.  Compatibility Issues for Messages Sent to Servers . .  37
       9.2.2.  Compatibility Issues for Messages Sent to Clients . .  38
     9.3.  Additional Documents to be Produced . . . . . . . . . . .  39
       9.3.1.  Minor Version Indexing Document . . . . . . . . . . .  39
       9.3.2.  Consolidated XDR Document . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  40
       9.3.3.  XDR Assignment Document . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  40
       9.3.4.  Transition of Documents to RFC's  . . . . . . . . . .  41
     9.4.  Relationship Between Minor Versioning and Extensions
           within a Minor Version  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  42
   10. Minor Versions  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  43
     10.1.  Reasons for New Minor Versions . . . . . . . . . . . . .  43
       10.1.1.  New Minor Versions within an Existing Group  . . . .  43
       10.1.2.  New Minor Version Groups . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  43
       10.1.3.  Limits on Minor Version Groups . . . . . . . . . . .  46
     10.2.  Role of Minor Versions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  47
     10.3.  Minor Version Interaction Rules  . . . . . . . . . . . .  47
       10.3.1.  Minor Version Identifier Transfer Issues . . . . . .  48
       10.3.2.  Minor Version Intra-Group Compatibility  . . . . . .  48
       10.3.3.  Minor Version Inter-Group Compatibility  . . . . . .  49
     10.4.  Minor Version Documentation  . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  50
   11. Correction of Existing Minor Versions and Features  . . . . .  50
     11.1.  XDR Changes to Implement Protocol Corrections  . . . . .  51
     11.2.  Documentation of XDR Changes . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  53
   12. Security Considerations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  54
   13. IANA Considerations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  54
   14. References  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  54
     14.1.  Normative References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  54
     14.2.  Informative References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  54
   Appendix A.  Acknowledgements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  55
   Author's Address  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  55

1.  Introduction

   To address the requirement for an NFS protocol that can evolve as the
   need arises, the Network File System (NFS) version 4 (NFSv4) protocol
   provides a framework to allow for future changes via the creation of
   new protocol versions including minor versions and certain forms of
   modification of existing minor versions.  The version management
   rules contained in this document allow extensions and other changes
   to be implemented in a way that maintains compatibility with existing
   clients and servers.







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1.1.  Existing Minor Versions

   Previously, all protocol changes had been part of new minor versions.
   The COMPOUND procedure (see Section 14.2 of [RFC7530]) specifies the
   minor version being used by the client in making requests.  The
   CB_COMPOUND procedure (see Section 15.2 of [RFC7530]) specifies the
   minor version being used by the server on callback requests.

   Each existing minor version has been specified by one or more
   standards track RFCs:

   o  Minor version 0 (NFSv4.0) is specified by [RFC7530] with the XDR
      description appearing in [RFC7531].

   o  Minor version 1 (NFSv4.1) is specified by [RFC5661] with the XDR
      description appearing in [RFC5662].

   o  Minor version 2 (NFSv4.2) is specified by [NFSv42] (in terms of
      changes from [RFC5661]).  The XDR description appears in
      [NFSv42-dot-x]

   Existing minor versions can be divided into two groups, based on
   compatibility considerations.  NFSv4.0 is one group, while NFSv4.1,
   NFSv4.2, and potentially other minor versions form a second group.
   The definition of NFSv4 minor version groups is explained in more
   detail in Section 2.3, as are the concepts of NFSv4 versions and
   version groups.

1.2.  Updated NFSv4 Version Management Framework

   A number of significant changes from previous version management
   practices should be noted here:

   o  Creation of a new minor version is no longer the only way in which
      protocol changes may be made.  Added optional features and
      protocol corrections can be proposed, specified and implemented
      within the context of a single minor version.  Creation of new
      minor versions remains available to make other sorts of changes.

   o  Specification of future minor versions in the way that was done
      for NFSv4.0 and NFSv4.1 (i.e. as a single document defining the
      entire protocol) is no longer practical and should not be
      attempted.  All future minor versions will be documented by
      specifying the differences between the minor version being
      documented and the previous minor version.  The documentation
      framework discussed in Section 7 should be used.





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   After dealing with some preliminary matters, this document focuses on
   presenting the conceptual framework on which NFSv4 versioning is
   built.

   o  First we discuss (in Section 4) how the XDR descriptions for
      various NFSv4 versions can be extended to produce the XDR
      descriptions for other versions while allowing clients and servers
      using the XDR descriptions associated with different versions to
      communicate.

   o  We then complete the discussion (in Section 5) of the range of
      protocol changes that NFSv4 versioning is to deal with.

   o  Then we discuss (in Section 6) how those changes are organized
      into features and feature packages.

   Using this framework, we then discuss how changes are documented and
   look at the ways that those changes can be incorporated into the
   NFSv4 protocol.

   o  The addition of new feature packages to existing minor versions is
      discussed in Sections 8 and 9.

   o  New Minor versions can be constructed, as described in Section 10.

   o  Issues relating to the correction of protocol errors in existing
      features and minor versions are discussed in Section 11.

2.  Terminology

   A basic familiarity with NFSv4 terminology is assumed in this
   document and the reader is pointed to [RFC7530].

   In this document, the term "version" is not limited to minor
   versions.  When minor versions are meant, the term "minor version" is
   used explicitly.  For more discussion of this and related terms, see
   Section 2.3

   In this document, the word "feature" is used , except in the case of
   quotations, to denote a key structuring concept which allows the
   defining RFCs to clearly specify what protocol elements must be
   supported together by the server and when a given server must be able
   to correctly interpret the corresponding associated protocol
   constructs.  See Section 6 for more details.

   In previous NFSv4 documents, the word "features" has been used in a
   number of different senses, as discussed in Section 6.1.




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   Two important terms related to the feature concept need to be
   introduced here:

   o  A "feature package" is a set of features defined together, either
      because they were defined together as part of a minor version or
      as part of the same protocol extension.

   o  A "feature element" is one of the constituent changes which is
      part of a given feature.  This can include the addition of the
      protocol elements described in Section 4.1.3 but also the other
      sorts of allowed protocol changes described in Section 5.

   We also need to introduce our vocabulary regarding specification of
   features and minor versions.  Given the ongoing shift to a finer-
   grained documentation model, it is important to be clear here.

   o  The term "minor version definition document" denotes the principal
      document defining a specific NFSv4 minor version.  It may be in
      the form of a complete protocol definition (e.g.  [RFC7530],
      [RFC5661]), a specification of changes relative to the previous
      minor version (e.g.  [NFSv42]), or in a document that specifies
      the features to be included, either by referencing their
      definition document normatively (see Section 10.4) or implicitly
      (see Section 9).

   o  The term "minor version documentation" includes the minor version
      definition document but also includes any corresponding XDR
      definition documents if they are published separately (e.g.
      [RFC7531], [RFC5662], [NFSv42-dot-x]).  Also included are
      documents separately specifying features newly incorporated in the
      minor version and the ancillary documents described in
      Section 9.3.

   o  The term "feature definition document" denotes a document
      describing a single feature or a set of closely related features,
      forming a feature package.

   o  The term "protocol definition document" denotes a minor version
      definition document, a feature definition document or any
      standards-track document updating one of these.

2.1.  Use of Keywords Defined in RFC2119

   The keywords defined by [RFC2119] have special meanings which this
   document intends to adhere to.  However, due to the nature of this
   document and some special circumstances, there are some complexities
   to take note of:




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   o  Where this document does not directly specify implementation
      requirements, use of these capitalized terms is often not
      appropriate, since the guidance given in this document does not
      directly affect interoperability.

   o  In this document, what authors of RFCs defining features and minor
      versions need to do is stated without these specialized terms.
      Although it is necessary to follow this guidance to provide
      successful NFSv4 version management, that sort of necessity is not
      of the sort defined as applicable to the use of the keywords
      defined in [RFC2119].

      The fact that these capitalized terms are not used should not be
      interpreted as indicating that this guidance does not need to be
      followed or is somehow not important.

   o  In speaking of the possible statuses of features and feature
      elements, the terms "OPTIONAL" and "REQUIRED" are used.  For
      further discussion, see Section 2.2.

   o  When one of these upper-case keywords defined in [RFC2119] is used
      in this document, it is in the context of a rule directed to an
      implementer of NFSv4 minor versions, the status of a feature or
      protocol element, or in a quotation, sometimes indirect, from
      another document.

2.2.  Use of Feature Statuses

   There has been some confusion, during the history of NFSv4, about the
   correct use of these terms, and instances in which the keywords
   defined in [RFC2119] were used in ways that appear to be at variance
   with the definitions in that document.

   o  In [RFC3530], the lower-case terms "optional", "recommended", and
      "required" were used as feature statuses, Later, in [RFC5661] and
      [RFC7530], the corresponding upper-case keywords were used.
      However, it is not clear why this change was made.

   o  In the case of "RECOMMENDED", its use as a feature status is
      inconsistent with [RFC2119] and it will not be used for this
      purpose in this document.

   o  The word "RECOMMENDED" to denote the status of attributes in
      [RFC3530] and [RFC5661] raises similar issues.  This has been
      recognized in [RFC7530] with regard to NFSV4.0, although the
      situation with regard to NFSv4.1 remains unresolved.





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   In this document, the keywords "OPTIONAL" and "REQUIRED" and the
   phrase "mandatory to not implement" are used to denote the status of
   features and individual protocol elements within a given minor
   version.  In using these terms, RFCs which specify the status of
   features or protocol elements inform:

   o  client implementations whether they need to deal with the absence
      of support for the protocol elements

   o  server implementations whether they need to provide support for
      the protocol elements

   When the status of a protocol feature is specified, the support
   requirements for associated protocol elements are defined by the
   status of the protocol elements with regard to the feature in
   question as described in Section 6.4.

   The fact that such statuses and the organization of protocol features
   may change between minor version groups may raise interoperability
   issues which the authors of minor version RFCs and the working group
   need to carefully consider.  See Section 10.1.2 for guidance in this
   regard.

2.3.  NFSv4 Versions

   The term "version" denotes any valid protocol variant constructed
   according to the rules in this document.  It includes minor versions,
   but there are situations which allow multiple versions to be
   associated with and co-exist within a single minor version:

   o  When there are feature specification documents published as
      Proposed Standards extending a given minor version, then the
      protocol defined by the minor version specification document, when
      combined with any subset (not necessarily proper) of the feature
      specification documents, is a valid NFSv4 version which is part of
      the minor version in question.

   o  When there are protocol corrections published which update a given
      minor version, each set of published updates, up to the date of
      publication of the update, is a valid NFSv4 version which is part
      of the minor version in question.

   A minor version group is defined as a set of minor versions having
   exactly the same set of REQUIRED and mandatory to not implement
   protocol elements.  Clients and servers which implement minor
   versions within the same group should be compatible as long as each
   takes proper care, as it should, to properly deal with the case in
   which the other party does not know of or has no support for OPTIONAL



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   protocol elements.  The associated set of versions is referred to as
   a "version group".

3.  Consolidation of Version Management Rules

   In the past, the only existing version management rules were the
   minor versioning rules that had been being maintained and specified
   in the Standards Track RFCs which defined the individual minor
   versions.  In the past, these minor versioning rules were modified on
   an ad hoc basis for each new minor version.

   More recently, minor versioning rules were specified in [RFC5661]
   while modifications to those rules were allowed in subsequent minor
   versions.

   This document defines a set of version management rules, including
   rules for minor version construction.  These rules apply to all
   future changes to the NFSv4 protocol.  The rules are subject to
   change but any such change should be part of a standards track RFC
   obsoleting or updating this document.

   Rather than a single list of minor versioning rules, as in [RFC5661],
   this document defines multiple sets of rules that deal with the
   various forms of versioning provided for in the NFSv4 version
   management framework.

   o  The kinds of changes that may be made are addressed in the rules
      in Sections 4.1.3, 5.1.3, 5.2.1, and 5.2.2.

   o  Rules relating to the composition of changes into protocol
      features are addressed in Section 6.2

   o  Rules limiting the protocol features which may be effected as an
      extension to an existing minor version appear in Section 8.

   o  Minor version construction, including rules applicable to protocol
      features which cannot be used as extensions to existing minor
      versions are addressed in Sections 10.1.1 and 10.1.2.

   o  Minor version interaction rules are discussed in Sections 10.3.2,
      10.3.3, and 10.3.1.

   This document supersedes minor versioning rules appearing in the
   minor version specification RFC's, including those in [RFC5661].  As
   a result, potential conflicts among these documents should be
   addressed as follows:





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   o  The specification of the actual protocols for minor versions
      previously published as Proposed Standards take precedence over
      minor versioning rules in either this document or in the minor
      version specification RFC's.  In other words, if the transition
      from version A to version B violates a minor versioning rule, the
      version B protocol stays as it is.  In particular, many of the
      changes made for NFSV4.1 would not be allowed in the version
      management framework defined here.  See Section 5.1.3 for details.

   o  Since minor versioning rules #11 and #13 from [RFC5661] deal with
      the interactions between multiple minor versions, the situation is
      more complicated.  See Section 10.3 for a discussion of these
      issues, including how potential conflicts between rules are to be
      resolved.

   o  Otherwise, any conflict between the version management rules in
      this document and those in minor version specification RFC's are
      to be resolved based on the treatment in this document.  In
      particular, corrections may be made as specified in Section 11 for
      all previously specified minor versions and the extensibility of
      previously specified minor versions is to be handled in accord
      with Section 9.

   Future minor version specification documents should avoid specifying
   minor versioning rules and reference this document in connection with
   rules for NFSv4 version management.

4.  XDR Considerations

   As an extensible XDR-based protocol, NFSv4 has to ensure interversion
   compatibility, in situations in which the client and server use
   different XDR descriptions.  The XDR extension paradigm, discussed in
   Section 4.1, assures that these descriptions are compatible, with
   clients and servers able to determine and use those portions of the
   protocol that they both share according to the methods described in
   Sections 4.4.2 and 4.4.4.

4.1.  XDR Extension

   When an NFSv4 version change requires a modification to the protocol
   XDR, this is effected within a framework based on the idea of XDR
   extension.  This is opposed to transitions between major NFS versions
   (including that between NFSv3 and NFSv4.0) in which the XDR for one
   version was replaced by a different XDR for a newer version.

   The use of XDR extension can facilitate compatibility between
   different versions of the NFSv4 protocol.  When XDR extension is used
   to implement OPTIONAL features, the greatest degree of inter-version



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   compatibility is obtained.  For specifics regarding rules for
   interversion compatibility, see Section 10.3.2.  For a discussion of
   compatibility issues that might arise between different version
   groups, see Sections 10.1.2 and 10.3.3.

4.1.1.  XDR Extension in General

   The XDR extension approach provides a way for an XDR description to
   be extended in a way which retains the structure of all previously
   valid messages.  If a base XDR description is extended to create a
   second XDR description, the following will be true for the second
   description to be a valid extension of the first:

   o  The set of valid messages described by the extended definition is
      a superset of that described by the first.

   o  Each message within the set of valid messages described by the
      base definition is recognized as having exactly the same
      structure/interpretation using the extended definition.

   o  Each message within the set of messages described as valid by the
      extended definition but not the base definition must be
      recognized, using the base definition, as part of an unsupported
      extension.

   An extension of a given XDR description consists of any of the
   following:

   o  Addition of previously unspecified RPC operation codes.

   o  Addition of new, previously unused, values to existing enums.

   o  Addition of previously unassigned bit values to a flag word.

   o  Addition of new cases to existing switches, provided that the
      existing switch did not contain a default case.

   However, none of the following may happen:

   o  Deletion of existing RPC operations, enum values, flag bit values
      and switch cases.  Note that changes may be made to define use of
      any of these as causing an error, as long as the XDR is
      unaffected.

   o  Similarly, none of these items may be reused for a new purpose.

   o  Any change to the XDR-defined structure of existing requests or
      replies other than those listed above.



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4.1.2.  Particulars of XDR Extension within NFSv4

   There are issues, particular to NFSv4, that affect the definition of
   a valid XDR extension within NFSv4.

   o  Because NFSv4 has chosen to structure itself around compound
      requests and callbacks, addition of previously unspecified RPC
      operation codes is not allowed.

   o  Although they fit under the general category of enumerations,
      operation codes (including those for callbacks) are so central to
      the structure of NFSv4, that they merit special treatment.

   o  The fact that attribute value sets are represented within NFSv4 by
      nominally opaque arrays calls for special handling.

4.1.3.  Rules for XDR Extension within NFSv4

   In the context of NFSv4, an extension of a given XDR description
   consists of one or more of the following:

   o  Addition of previously unspecified operation codes, within the
      framework established by COMPOUND and CB_COMPOUND.

   o  Addition of previously unspecified attributes.

   o  Addition of new, previously unused, values to existing enums.

   o  Addition of previously unassigned bit values to a flag word.

   o  Addition of new cases to existing switches, provided that the
      existing switch did not contain a default case.

   However, none of the following is allowed to happen:

   o  Deletion of existing RPC operations, enum values, flag bit values
      and switch cases.  Note that changes may be made to define use of
      any of these as causing an error, as long as the XDR is
      unaffected.

   o  Similarly, none of these items may be reused for a new purpose.

   o  Any change to the structure of existing requests or replies other
      than those listed above.







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4.2.  Handling of Protocol Elements

   Implementations handle protocol elements in one of three ways.  Which
   of the following ways are valid depends on the status of the protocol
   element in the minor version being implemented:

   o  The protocol element is not a part of definition of the version in
      question and so is "unknown".  The responder, when it does not
      report an RPC XDR decode error.  reports an error indicative of
      the element not being defined in the XDR such as
      NFS4ERR_OP_ILLEGAL, NFS4ERR_BADXDR, or NFS4ERR_INVAL.  See
      Section 4.4.3 for details.

   o  The protocol element is a known part of the version but is not
      supported by the particular implementation.  The responder reports
      an error indicative of the element being recognized as one which
      is not supported such as NFS4ERR_NOTSUPP, NFS4ERR_UNION_NOTSUPP,
      or NFS4ERR_ATTRNOTSUPP.  See Section 6.5 for details.

   o  The protocol element is a known part of the version which is
      supported by the particular implementation.  The responder reports
      success or an error other than the special ones discussed above.

   Which of these are validly returned by the responder depends on the
   status of the feature element in the minor version.  The following
   possibilities exist:

   o  The protocol element is not known in the minor version.  In this
      case all implementations of the minor version MUST indicate that
      the protocol element is not known.

   o  The protocol element is specified mandatory to not implement in
      the minor version.  In this case as well, all implementations of
      the minor version MUST indicate that the protocol element is not
      known.

   o  The protocol element is defined as part of an extension in the
      minor version.  In this case, the requester can encounter
      situations in which the protocol element is not known, is known
      but not supported, or is supported.

   o  The protocol element is defined as an OPTIONAL part of the minor
      version and not part of an extension to the minor version.  In
      this case, the requester can expect the protocol element to be
      known but must deal with cases in which it is supported or not.






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   o  The protocol element is defined as a REQUIRED part of the minor
      version.  In this case, the requester can expect the protocol
      element to be both known and supported by the responder.

   The listing of possibilities above does not mean that a requester
   always needs to be prepared for all such possibilities.  Often,
   depending on the scope of the feature of which the protocol element
   is a part, handling of a previous request using the same or related
   protocol elements, will allow the requester to be sure that certain
   of these possibilities cannot occur.

   Requesters, typically clients, may test for knowledge of or support
   for protocol elements as part of connection establishment.  This may
   allow the requester to be aware of responder lack of knowledge of or
   support for problematic requests before they are actually issued.

4.3.  Organization of Protocol Elements

   To enable compatible operation within a version group, all of the
   protocol elements within an NFSv4 minor version are organized as
   follows:

   o  Each protocol element is defined as a member of exactly one
      feature.  One important reason for this organization (see
      Section 6) for others is to regularize and simplify the
      determination by the client/server as to what protocol elements
      the other party supports.

   o  Each feature is defined as a member of a feature package, based on
      how it was defined.  Features established as part of a minor
      version at the same time belong to the same feature package.

4.4.  Inter-version Interoperability

   Because of NFSv4's use of XDR extension, any communicating client and
   server versions have XDR definitions that are each valid extensions
   of a third version.  Once that version is determined, it may be used
   by both client and server to communicate.  Each party can
   successfully use a subset of protocol elements that are both known
   and supported by both parties.

4.4.1.  Requirements for Knowledge of Protocol Elements

   With regard to requirements for knowledge of protocol elements, the
   following rules apply.  These rules are the result of the use of XDR
   extension paradigm combined with the way in which extensions are
   incorporated in existing minor versions (for details of which see
   Section 9).



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   o  Any protocol element initially defined as part of a particular
      minor version is required to be known by that minor version.  This
      occurs whether the specification happens in the body of the minor
      definition document or is in a feature definition document that is
      made part of the minor version by being normatively referenced by
      the minor version definition document.

   o  Any protocol element required to be known in a given minor version
      is required to be known in subsequent minor version, unless and
      until a minor version has made that protocol element as mandatory
      to not implement.

   o  When a protocol element is defined as part of an extension to an
      extensible minor version, it is not required to be known in that
      minor version but is required to be known by the next minor
      version.  In the earlier minor version, it might not might not be
      defined in the XDR, while in the later version it needs to be
      defined in the XDR.  In either case, if it is defined, it might or
      might not be supported.

   o  When knowledge of protocol elements is optional in a given minor
      version, the responder's knowledge of such optional elements must
      obey the rule that if one such element is known, then all the
      protocol elements defined in the same minor version definition
      document must be known as well.

   For many minor versions, all existing protocol elements, are required
   to be known by both the client and the server, and so requesters do
   not have to test for the presence or absence of knowledge regarding
   protocol elements for which knowledge might be optional.  This is the
   case if there has been no extension for the minor version in
   question.  Extensions can be added to extensible minor versions as
   described in Section 9 and can be used to correct protocol flaws as
   described in Section 11.

   Requesters can ascertain the knowledge of the responder in two ways:

   o  By issuing a request using the protocol element and looking at the
      response.  Note that, even if the protocol element used is not
      supported by the responder can still determine if the element is
      known by the responder.

   o  By receiving a request from the responder, acting in the role of
      requester.  For example, a client may issue a request enabling the
      server to infer that it is aware of a corresponding callback.

   In making this determination, the requester can rely on two basic
   facts:



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   o  If the responder is aware of a single protocol element within a
      feature package, it must be aware of all protocol elements within
      that feature package

   o  If a protocol element is one defined by the minor version
      specified by a request (and not in an extension), or in a previous
      minor version, the responder must be aware of it.

4.4.2.  Establishing Interoperability

   When a client and a server interact, they need to able to take
   advantage of the compatibility provided by NFSv4's use of XDR
   extension.

   In this section, we will deal with situation in which the client and
   server are of the same version group.  Later, in Section 4.4.4, we
   will discuss possible extensions to the inter-version-group case.

   In this context, the client and server would be using a common minor
   version which the client uses to send requests and the server
   accepts.  The server would use that minor version to send callbacks
   which the client would then accept.  This state of affairs could
   arise in a number of ways:

   o  Client and server have been built using XDR versions that belong
      to the same minor version

   o  The client's minor version is lower than that of the server.  In
      this case the server, in accord with Section 10.3.2, accepts the
      client's minor version, and acts as if it has no knowledge of
      extensions made in subsequent minor versions.

   o  The client's minor version is higher than that of the server.  In
      this case the client, in accord with Section 10.3.2, uses a lower
      minor version that the server will accept.  In this case, the
      server has no knowledge of extensions made in subsequent minor
      versions.

   There are a number of cases to consider based on the characteristics
   of the minor version chosen.

   o  The minor version consists of only a single version (no extension
      or XDR corrections), so the client and the server are using the
      same XDR description and have knowledge of the same protocol
      elements.

   o  When the minor version consists of multiple versions (one or more
      XDR extensions or XDR corrections), the client and the server are



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      using compatible XDR descriptions.  The client is aware of some
      set of extensions while he server may be aware of a different set.
      The client can determine which of the extensions that he is aware
      of, are also known to the server by using the approach described
      in Section 4.4.3.  Once this is done, the client and server will
      both be using a common version.  The versions that the client and
      server were built with will both either be identical to this
      version or a valid extension of it.

   In either case, the client must determine which of the OPTIONAL
   protocol elements within the common version are supported by the
   server as described in Section 6.6.

4.4.3.  Determining Knowledge of Protocol Elements

   A requester may test the responder's knowledge of particular protocol
   elements as defined below, based on the type of protocol element.

   o  When a GETATTR request is made specifying an attribute bit to be
      tested and that attribute is not a set-only attribute, if the
      GETATTR returns with the error NFS4ERR_INVAL, then it can be
      concluded that the responder has no knowledge of the attribute in
      question.  Other responses, including NFS4ERR_ATTRNOTSUPP,
      indicate that the responder is aware of the attribute in question.

   o  When a SETATTR request is made specifying the attribute bit to be
      tested and that attribute is not a get-only attribute, if the
      SETATTR returns with the error NFS4ERR_INVAL, then it can be
      concluded that the responder has no knowledge of the attribute in
      question.  Other responses, including NFS4ERR_ATTRNOTSUPP,
      indicate that the responder is aware of the attribute in question.

   o  When a request is made including an operation with a new flag bit,
      if the operation returns with the error NFS4ERR_INVAL, then it can
      be concluded that the responder has no knowledge of the flag bit
      in question.  Other responses indicate that the responder is aware
      of the flag bit in question.

   o  When a request is made including the operation to be tested, if
      the responder returns an RPC XDR decode error, or a response
      indicating that the operation in question resulted in
      NFS4ERR_OP_ILLEGAL or NFS4ERR_BADXDR, then it can be concluded
      that the responder has no knowledge of the operation in question.
      Other responses, including NFS4ERR_NOTSUPP, indicate that the
      responder is aware of the operation in question.

   o  When a request is made including the switch arm to be tested, if
      the responder returns an RPC XDR decode error, or a response



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      indicating that the operation in question resulted in
      NFS4ERR_BADXDR, then it can be concluded that the responder has no
      knowledge of the operation in question.  Other responses,
      including NFS4ERR_UNION_NOTSUPP, indicate that the responder is
      aware of the protocol element in question.

   A determination of the knowledge or lack of knowledge of a particular
   protocol element is expected to remain valid as long as the clientid
   associated with the request remains valid.

   The above assumes, as should be the case, that the server will accept
   the minor version used by the client.  For more detail regarding this
   issue, see Section 10.3.2.

4.4.4.  Interoperability Between Version Groups

   Within a minor version, we have complete compatibility in the sense
   that:

   o  Servers are REQUIRED to implement a core set of feature which
      cannot change within the minor version group, allowing clients to
      depend on the continued existence of and support for these
      features as long as one remains within the minor version group.

   o  The set of OPTIONAL features supported or known by servers may
      change but clients, in using such OPTIONAL features need to be
      prepared for the fact that they might not be implemented on all
      servers implementing a minor version within the same version
      group.

   The same level of compatibility is not provided between different
   minor version groups.  Nevertheless, the same guarantees of inter-XDR
   comprehensibility apply across minor version groups.  For a
   discussion of how this comprehensibility can be used between minor
   version groups, see Section 10.3.3.

5.  Other NFSv4 Protocol Changes

   There are a number of types of protocol changes that are outside the
   XDR extension framework discussed in Section 4.  These changes are
   also managed within the NFSv4 versioning framework and may be of a
   number of types, which are discussed in the sections below

   Each such change will be organized, documented and effected as part
   of a given feature, just as changes discussed in Section 4 are.  The
   way such features will be incorporated in the NFSv4 protocol depends
   on a number of factors, including the types of changes included in
   the feature.  This subject is discussed in Sections 7.4 and 8.



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5.1.  Non-XDR Protocol Changes

   Despite the previous emphasis on XDR changes, additions and changes
   to the NFSv4 protocols have not been limited to those that involve
   changes (in the form of extensions) to the protocol XDR.  Examples of
   other sorts of changes have been taken from NFSv4.1.

5.1.1.  Field Interpretation and Use

   The XDR description of a protocol does not constitute a complete
   description of the protocol.  Therefore, versioning needs to consider
   the role of changes in the use of fields, even when there is no
   change to the underlying XDR.

   Although any XDR element is potentially subject to a change in its
   interpretation and use, the likelihood of such change will vary with
   the XDR type, as discussed below:.

   o  When XDR elements are defined as strings, rules regarding the
      appropriate string values are specified in protocol specification
      text with changes in such rules documented in minor version
      definition documents.  Some types of strings within NFS4 are used
      in server names (in location-related attributes), user and group
      names, and in the names of file objects within directories.  Rules
      regarding what strings are acceptable appear in [RFC7530] and
      [RFC5661] with the role of the XDR limited to hints regarding
      UTF-8 and capitalization issues via XDR typedefs.

   o  Fields that are XDR-defined as opaque elements and which are truly
      opaque, do not raise versioning issues, except as regards inter-
      version use, which is effectively foreclosed by the rules in
      Section 10.3.1.

      Note that sometimes a field will seem to be opaque but not
      actually be fully opaque when considered carefully.  For example,
      the "other" field of stateids is defined as an opaque array, while
      the specification text specially defines appropriate treatment
      when the "other" field within it is either all zeros or all ones.
      Given this context, creation or deletion of reserved values for
      "special" stateids will be a protocol change which versioning
      rules need to deal with.

   o  Some nominally opaque elements have external XDR definitions that
      overlay the nominally opaque arrays.  This technique is useful
      when the same element may be used in several ways when a switched
      union is not appropriate.





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      For example, each pNFS mapping type provides its own XDR
      definition for various pNFS-related fields defined in [RFC5661] as
      opaque arrays.  For more information about the handling of pNFS
      within the NFSv4 versioning framework, see Section 5.2.1.

   Another form of protocol change that changes how fields are
   presented, without affecting the XDR occurs when there is a change in
   the data elements which may be presented as RDMA chunks.

5.1.2.  Behavioral Changes

   Changes in the behavior of NFSv4 operations are possible, even if
   there is no change in the underlying XDR or change to field
   interpretation and use.

   One class of behavioral change involves changes in the set of errors
   to be returned in the event of various errors.  When the set of valid
   requests remain the same, and the behavior for each of them remains
   the same, such changes can be implemented with only limited
   disruption to existing clients.

   Many more substantial behavioral changes have occurred in connection
   with the addition of the session concept in NFSv4.1.

   o  Because exactly-once is semantics provided by sessions, the use of
      owner-based sequence values in such operations as OPEN, LOCK,
      LOCKU are now longer needed and the server is to ignore them.

   o  Because of the requirement to begin almost all COMPOUNDs with a
      SEQUENCE operation, the semantics of previously defined operations
      was changed and all formerly valid COMPOUNDs were defined as
      resulting in errors.

   o  Because the clientid is inferable from a previous SEQUENCE
      operation, the clientid is not needed in operations such as OPEN
      and LOCK, and the client is required to pass a value of zero.

   Also, changes were made regarding the required server behavior as to
   the interaction of the MODE and ACL attributes.

5.1.3.  Rules for non-XDR changes

   In the past (e.g. in [RFC5661]) there was often uncertainty about
   whether any particular difference from NFSv4.0 was:

   o  A purely editorial change, which may be relevant to other minor
      versions.




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   o  The correction of a protocol mistake, best handled as described in
      Section 11.

   o  A protocol improvement relevant to a new minor version or feature,
      to be documented as described in Section 7.3.

   In order to avoid such situations, all such changes will be
   documented as part of a feature, specifying the specific changes
   relative to protocol versions that do not incorporate that new
   feature.  Also, to provide greater clarity about such changes, the
   following sets of rules apply.

   The following rules apply to "substantive behavior changes", i.e.
   all changes in which there is a substantive change to non-error
   behavior.  In other words, the change is not one which only changes
   the set of valid error codes or prescribes that different error codes
   are to be returned in particular situations.

   o  Any substantive behavior change must be part of a feature in which
      there is also an XDR extension present, to enable testing for
      presence of the feature.

   o  No feature including a substantive behavior change can be made
      REQUIRED at initial introduction.

   The following rules apply to all behavioral changes.

   o  No feature including such a change can be introduced as an
      extension.  While the feature may be documented in a separate
      feature definition document in such cases, that document should be
      referenced normatively by the minor version specification.

   o  While it is allowed to include multiple such changes in the same
      feature this should only be done if there is a good reason for all
      of these to be included or not included together.  Such changes
      should not be included in the same feature simply because all such
      changes were introduced in the same minor version.

5.2.  Specification of Associated Protocols

   The definition of ancillary protocols is a form of protocol extension
   that is provided as part of pNFS and might be made available for
   other uses in the future.

   As in the case of pNFS, the NFSv4 protocol proper would provide the
   basic framework for performing some protocol-related task, while
   allowing multiple independent means of performing that task to be
   defined.  The version management considerations appropriate to



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   creating such additional forms of protocol extension are discussed in
   Section 5.2.2

5.2.1.  Associated Protocols via pNFS Mapping Types

   pNFS is structured around the ability to define alternative mapping
   types in addition to the one defined in [RFC5661], (e.g.  [RFC5663],
   [RFC5664]).  Each mapping type specifies the data-transfer protocol
   to be used to access data represented by layouts as well as mapping-
   type-specific XDR definitions of layout-related data structures.

   Specifying a new mapping type is an additional form of protocol
   change within the NFSv4 version management framework.  A feature
   consisting of the new mapping type is not tied to a specific minor
   version.  As explained in Section 8, if a feature consists only of
   that single change, it is available in multiple minor versions upon
   publication.

   Such a feature has a file system scope and the attribute
   fs_layout_type can used to determine whether support is present.

5.2.2.  Additional Forms of Associated Protocols

   The same sort of approach used for pNFS might be used in other
   circumstances where there is a clear need to standardize a set of
   protocol-related requirements and where it is desirable, for various
   reasons, to leave open the choice of mechanism by which those
   requirements might be met.

   Such cases might arise where the function to be performed is likely
   to be too enmeshed with the structure of the file system
   implementation to allow a single protocol mechanism to be specified.
   In such cases, multiple approaches might themselves be standardized,
   each fitting into a template established previously using any or all
   of the elements used by pNFS:

   o  The establishment of a registry of identifiers for the
      standardized mechanisms to satisfy the established requirements.

   o  Definition of data structures related to the function to be
      performed to include both a mechanism identifier, and a nominally
      opaque portion, the real format of which is to have a mechanism-
      specific definition.

   o  The ability to specify multiple protocols to perform the same
      function, which may include a minor version of NFSv4, a particular
      use of an established protocol, or a new protocol designed for the
      purpose.



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   New instances of such a two-level approach might be established in
   the future, subject to the following restrictions:

   o  That there is a template feature establishing the requirements
      that the associated protocols are to meet.

   o  That the template feature is defined as an integral part of a
      particular minor version and not as an extension.  This does not
      exclude this feature being defined in a separate document to which
      the minor version specification has a normative reference.

   o  The template feature defines the scope that the individual feature
      instances will have.

   o  The template feature defines a means by which support for
      particular feature instances might be determined by a client.

   o  That there be at least one instance of a specific protocol
      mechanism meeting the established requirements.  To limit
      confusion, the requirements and the initial mechanism (an instance
      of the template feature) should be defined in separate documents.

   The above are a minimal set of restrictions for establishing such an
   additional extension mechanism.  The working group may, as part of
   defining the core feature establishing the extension mechanism
   specify further restrictions governing as to when minor versions are
   allowed to incorporate particular instances of that extension
   mechanism.  In the absence of such restrictions, particular
   extensions will be incorporated, as is the case with pNFS mapping
   types, in all minor versions upon publication of the instance as a
   Proposed Standard.

6.  NFSv4 Protocol Features

   Individual changes, whether they are XDR extensions or other sorts of
   changes, are organized in term of protocol features.  This is in
   order to

   o  allow the protocol documentation to more clearly specify what XDR
      extensions and other changes must be supported together.

   o  help the client determine which particular changes are present and
      implemented by the server.

   o  support the independent development and specification of changes
      to the protocol, without artificially tying features together in a
      paradigm solely based on minor versions.




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   o  provide support for a feature-based documentation structure, as
      described in Section 7.3.

   In contrast with some previous uses of the feature concept, every
   protocol element is defined as a member of exactly one protocol
   feature.

   Because support for particular protocol features may depend on
   facilities provided by the underlying file systems, or may vary based
   on characteristics of the session within which communication is
   occurring, each protocol feature will be defined as having a
   particular scope, which may be any of the following:

   o  Client scope in which case support for a given feature is assumed
      to be uniform between given client and server as long as neither
      reboots.

   o  Session scope in which case different sessions associated with the
      same client may have difference as to feature support but
      otherwise support is uniform.

   o  file system scope in which case different file systems may have
      differences as to feature support but otherwise support is
      uniform.

6.1.  Previous Uses of the Feature Concept

   The word "feature" has been used inconsistently in previous documents
   bearing on issues related NFSv4 versioning, making it necessary to
   offer some clarification here.

   o  In some cases, the term "feature" is used colloquially

   o  In some cases, the word "feature" is used to refer to protocol
      extensions which are incorporated in the protocol are referred to
      as "protocol elements."  The term "feature elements" is similar
      but it differs in that it includes changes in field interpretation
      and use (Section 5.1.1) and protocol behavior (See Section 5.1.2).

   o  In some cases the word is used to refer to groups of feature
      elements, as defined by tables in [RFC5661] and [NFSv42].  This is
      similar to, but not exactly the same as the way we use the word
      "feature" is used in this document.

   Often, as in previous minor versioning rules it is not always clear
   which sense of the word "feature" is meant.





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6.2.  Rules for Protocol Feature Construction

   A protocol feature consists of one or more valid NFSv4 changes, which
   work together as a functional whole.  The change elements may be of
   any of the types described in Section 5 although the specific types
   of changes will affect how the feature can be integrated in the NFSv4
   protocol.

   A critical distinction in this regard is the one between features
   which can added to the protocol without a new minor version and those
   which require a new minor version.  In this document:

   o  Features which do not require a new minor version are discussed in
      Section 8, while the process of incorporation depends on the type
      of features and is discussed in Sections 9, 11, 5.2.1, and 5.2.2,

   o  For handling of the remaining features which do require a new
      minor version, see Section 10.

6.3.  Statuses of Features

   Each feature has one of three statuses with regard to each minor
   version of which it might be a part.

   o  The feature is a REQUIRED part of the minor version.

   o  The feature is not a REQUIRED part of the minor version, but may
      be implemented as part of that version, i.e. it is OPTIONAL

   o  The feature is not a valid part of the minor version.

      For features which have been previously defined as valid, this is
      represented as being "mandatory to not implement" as opposed to
      simply being undefined.

   These statuses define whether a client implementing the minor version
   has to be prepared for the protocol feature's non-support by a server
   implementation, even if the feature in question is known by the
   server.

   The working group is still free to make recommendations regarding the
   desirability of server and client support for particular features in
   particular minor versions in the minor version definition document,
   or in other, presumably informational, documents.

   Particular protocol elements have similar statuses, which are derived
   from a combination of the status of feature of which the protocol
   element, the status of that protocol element within its feature, and,



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   in some cases, within other supported features.  See Section 6.4 for
   details.

   In addition to feature status, there may be other constraints that
   define when an implementation must or may support a feature.  In
   particular, support for one feature may require support for another,
   or the presence of one feature may require that another feature not
   be supported.

6.4.  Statuses of Protocol Elements Within Features

   The status of a protocol element within its containing feature
   reflects two pieces of information that are used in determining
   support for feature and associated protocol elements.

   o  A status value that allows support for the feature to be inferred
      based on support for the protocol element.  This is referred to as
      the protocol element's E-to-F status.

   o  A status value that allows support for the feature element to be
      inferred based on support for the feature.  This is referred to as
      the protocol element's F-to-E status with regard to the feature.

   The purpose of defining these status values is to allow the support
   or non-support for one protocol elements to be determined based on
   responses for others, avoiding the complexity that a client would
   have to deal with if each such support decision were independent.
   The simpler model of simply assigning protocol elements to feature-
   based equivalence was not adopted since it is not compatible with
   many current and expected feature patterns:

   o  Many existing protocol features contain protocol elements that are
      optional in the context of the feature.

   o  Some existing protocol elements are used by more than one feature.

   o  Boolean attributes that indicate the presence of support for a
      given feature are tied to that feature, even though the attribute
      can be supported when he feature is not, in which case the
      attribute is supported and has the value FALSE.

   The following are possible E-to-F statuses.

   o  Support or non-support for the feature is always the same as that
      for the protocol element.  This is represented as an "IFF" value.






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   o  Support for the feature can be inferred from support for the
      protocol element but not necessarily the reverse.  This is
      represented as an "SINF" value.

   o  Lack of support for the feature can be inferred from lack of
      support for the protocol element but not necessarily the reverse.
      This is represented as an "NSINF" value.

   o  Lack of support for the feature can be inferred from lack of
      support for the protocol element but the reverse can be determined
      by using the protocol element to determine whether support for the
      feature is present.  An example would be a Boolean attribute
      indicating whether support for the feature is present.  This is
      represented as an "SVAL" value.

   Generally, it will be clear how a client may determine whether any
   particular OPTIONAL feature is supported.  Typically there will be
   one or more protocol elements belonging to the feature whose E-F
   status is "IFF" or "SVAL".  In these cases, support for the protocol
   elements in question can be determined as described in Section 6.4

   In more complicated cases, the feature specification should clearly
   specify how to determine whether support is present.

   The following are possible F-to-E statuses.

   o  Support for the protocol element is REQUIRED when support for the
      feature is present.

   o  Support for the protocol element is OPTIONAL when support for the
      feature is present.

   o  Support for the protocol element unaffected by the presence of
      support for the feature.

   The overall status of a feature element within a minor version is
   generally determined as follows:

   o  If there are one or more REQUIRED features which give the protocol
      element an F-to-E status of REQUIRED, then the overall status of
      the protocol element within the minor version is REQUIRED.

   o  Otherwise, if there are one or more REQUIRED or OPTIONAL features
      which give the protocol element an F-to-E status of REQUIRED or
      OPTIONAL, then the overall status of the protocol element within
      the minor version is OPTIONAL.





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   o  If neither of the above is true, the protocol element is treated
      as not a part of the minor version.  That is, it is treated as
      mandatory to not implement.

   In some cases the overall status may be different from that specified
   above.  For example, it could be that there were two features, each
   of which is OPTIONAL, and it is specified that exactly one of these
   must always me supported.  In such a case, if both features assign a
   protocol element an F-to-E status of REQUIRED, then the overall
   status of the protocol element is REQUIRED.

6.5.  Determining Protocol Element Support

   If it has already been determined that a particular protocol element
   is known to the server, the client can determine whether it is
   supported based on its type, as follows:

   o  If the protocol element is an attribute, the supported_attr
      attribute can be interrogated to determine if support is present.

   o  If the protocol element is an operation, the operation can be
      attempted, with an error of NFS4ERR_NOTSUPP indicating the
      operation is known but not supported.

   o  If the protocol element is a switch case, use of that case can be
      attempted, with an error of NFS4ERR_UNION_NOTSUPP indicating t the
      operation is known but not supported.

   o  If the protocol element is an operation flag bit and the operation
      is REQUIRED, use if that flag bit can be attempted with an error
      of NFS4ERR_UNION_NOTSUPP indicating the operation is known but not
      supported.

   o  If the protocol element is an operation flag bit and the operation
      defines an error to return in the case of unsupported flag bits,
      use if that flag bit can be attempted with the specified error
      indicating the operation is known but not supported.

   Once this is done, all of the protocol elements the client is aware
   of can be divided into three sets:

   o  Those that the server is unaware of and thus cannot support.

   o  Those that the server knows about but does not support.

   o  Those that the server supports.





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   Information obtained in the process of determining knowledge of
   protocol elements (see Section 4.4.3) may be saved and used in
   connection with the interrogations above.  For example, in testing
   for knowledge of a given operation, the specific error code returned
   will indicate support or non-support as well as indicating support or
   non-support, as well as knowledge of the corresponding operation.

   Note that in doing so care needs to be taken regarding protocol
   elements associated with features whose scope is more limited than
   that of an entire client, since support may be different for
   different sessions or different file systems.

6.6.  Feature Discovery

   In many cases, a client will need to determine whether particular
   features are supported before using protocol elements that are part
   of those features.  While some clients may choose to defer this
   determination until the features in question are actually needed,
   others may make the determination as part of first connecting with a
   server, using a session or accessing a file system, depending on the
   scope of the feature in question.

   Once such a determination of feature support or non-support are made,
   the client may assume that it remains valid and will not change so
   long as the object defining the feature scope remains valid.

   o  For features of client scope as long as the clientid remains
      valid.

   o  For features of session scope as long as the sessionid remains
      valid.

   o  For features of file system scope as long as the clientid and fsid
      both remain valid.

   In making this determination, the client is entitled to rely on, and
   the server is REQUIRED to obey any inter-feature constraints that are
   specified as applying to the minor version being used.

   The presence or absence of particular features may be determined in a
   number of ways:

   o  For features which are REQUIRED within a given minor version, the
      client can treat the fact that the server accepted a request with
      that minor version (and did not return
      NFS4ERR_MINOR_VERSION_MISMATCH) as indicating that support is
      present.




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   o  For features which consist only of the addition of a pNFS layout
      type, the fs_layout_type attribute for the fs in question can be
      interrogated and scanned for the layout type.

   o  For features which consist only of the addition of an instance of
      a feature template as defined in Section 5.2.2, the template
      feature definition will describe the means by which the presence
      of support for particular feature instances is to be determined.

   For the remaining features, which are all OPTIONAL and contain an
   XDR-extending protocol element, the E-to-F statuses of the
   constituent protocol elements (see Section 6.4) can be used to
   determine if support is present within the scope defined by the
   feature in question.  In most cases, support for the protocol element
   is tested as described in Section 6.5.

   o  If there are one or more protocol elements whose status is "IFF",
      support for any of these may be tested, with the result
      determining support for the feature

   o  If there are one or more protocol elements whose status is "SVAL",
      support for it can be tested, and if present the value returned
      can be tested as described by the feature specification, resulting
      in a determination of support for the feature.

   o  If there are protocol elements with statuses of "SINF" and
      "NSINF", testing of these protocol elements can be used, although,
      it is not always certain that testing all such will always resolve
      the question.

   o  If none of these approaches are determinative, the feature
      specification should define a method of resolving the question.

   Once the set of supported features is determined:

   o  For protocol elements which have an F-to-E status of REQUIRED for
      at least one supported feature, it can be assumed that support is
      present.

   o  For other protocol elements which have an F-to-E status of
      OPTIONAL for at least one supported feature, support needs to be
      tested for as described in Section 6.5.

   o  For the remaining protocol elements, it can be assumed that
      support is not present.






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7.  Documentation of Protocol Changes

   As mentioned previously, NFSv4 is evolving towards a finer-grained
   documentation model.  The use of extensions within minor versions
   will continue this trend.

7.1.  Documentation Approach

   Documentation of future changes to the NFSv4 protocol will use
   feature specification documents as described in Section 7.3.  There
   are a number of ways in which such documents may be used, as
   discussed in Section 7.4

   The documentation approach is intended to avoid the unnecessary
   production of large documents in which many unrelated features are
   tied together because either:

   o  The entire protocol is described in a single document, as happened
      with NFSv4.0 (in [RFC7530]) and NFSv4.1 (in [RFC5661]).

   o  Many unrelated features are described in a single document as
      occurred with NFSv4.2 (in [NFSv42]).

   The production of a larger number of smaller documents will
   streamline document production and review.  A potential problem is
   that a profusion of smaller documents might cause difficulty for
   those learning about and implementing the protocol.

   The production of indexing material described in Section 7.2 is
   intended to limit such difficulties.  The result will be that, for
   operations and attributes, we will have essentially a single table of
   contents, referencing material from multiple minor version definition
   documents and feature specification documents.

7.2.  Indexing material

   The following items, referred to collectively as "Indexing material"
   will be useful in many contexts.  The reason for frequently
   publishing such material is to prevent a situation in which large
   numbers of documents must be scanned to find the most current
   description of a particular protocol element.

   o  A table mapping operations and callbacks to the most recent
      protocol definition document containing a description of that
      operation.

   o  A table mapping attributes to the most recent protocol definition
      document containing a description of that attribute.



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   o  A table giving, for each operation in the protocol, the errors
      that may validly be returned for that operation.  If possible, it
      would be desirable to give, as does [RFC5661], the operations
      which may validly return each particular error.

   o  A table giving for each operation, callback, and attribute and for
      each feature element in a published extension giving its status
      (REQUIRED, OPTIONAL, or mandatory-to-not implement), the name of
      the feature of which it is a part, its associated E-to-F and
      F-to-E status values and information about other features for
      which it has a non-empty F-to-E status value.  This would be
      similar to the material in Section 14 of [NFSv42], expanded to
      include all feature elements.

7.3.  Feature Specification Documents

   Features will be documented in the form of a working-group standards-
   track document which define one or more features.  Generally, only
   closely related features should be defined in the same document.

   The definition of each of the new features may include one or more
   "feature elements" which change the protocol in any of the ways
   discussed in Section 5.  Feature elements include new operations,
   attributes, and enumeration values.  Note that in this context,
   "Operations" include both forward and callback operations.  The
   functionality of some existing operations may be extended by the
   addition of new flags bits in existing flag words, by new cases in
   existing switched unions, and by valid semantic changes to existing
   operations.

   Such feature definition documents would contain a number of items,
   following the pattern of the NFSv4.2 specification.  The only
   difference would be that while the NFSv4.2 specification defines a
   number of features to be incorporated into NFSv4.2, the feature
   definition documents would each define a single feature, or a small
   set of closely related features.

   In addition to a general explanation of the feature(s) in question,
   the items to be included in such feature definition documents would
   be as listed below.  In some cases these items, in addition to
   descriptive text, would contain fragments of XDR code, to aid in
   preparation of XDR files that include the additions defined by the
   feature added to the base protocol that is being extended.  For
   information regarding preparation of such XDR files, see Section 7.5.

   o  Description of new operations (corresponding to Sections 15 and 16
      of [NFSv42]).  Such descriptions will contain XDR code defining




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      the structure the arguments and results of the new operation along
      with preparatory XDR definitions used only by that operation.

   o  Description of any modified operations (corresponding to
      Section 15 of [NFSv42]).  Such description may contain XDR code
      defining the new flag bits, enum values, and cases to be added to
      existing switched unions.  Note that addition of new attributes is
      not considered an extension of GETATTR, SETATTR, VERIFY, or
      NVERIFY.

   o  Description of new attributes (corresponding to Section 13 of
      [NFSv42]).  XDR code defining the types of the attributes would be
      part of this description.

   o  Description of any added error codes (corresponding to
      Section 12.1 of [NFSv42]).

   o  All operation descriptions, whether for new or modified
      operations, should indicate when operations or the corresponding
      results may be presented as RDMA chunks.

   o  A set of XDR code fragments giving the numeric values of added
      operation codes, attribute numbers, and error codes.

   o  Descriptions of all other extensions made to existing flag words,
      enums and switched unions used by existing operations.  Such
      descriptions will contain XDR code defining the new flag bits,
      enum values, and cases to be added to existing switched unions.

   o  Descriptions of all added of new structures, enums, flag words,
      and switched unions that are used by more than one new operation,
      or which are available for future use by multiple operations.
      Such descriptions will contain XDR code defining the new
      structures/union and assigning the new numeric values for enum and
      flag bits.

   o  A listing giving the valid errors for each new operation and
      callback (corresponds to Sections 12.2 and 12.3 of [NFSv42]).

   o  For each feature, a table giving for each feature element that is
      part of the feature, its overall status within the minor version
      and its E-to-F and F-to-E status values.  This would be similar to
      the material in Section 14 of [NFSv42] but restricted to the
      feature(s) defined in the document and expanded to include all
      feature elements.

   o  A table presenting support requirement for each protocol element
      which is either a part of a feature defined in the document or has



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      an F-to-E status with relation with a feature defined in the
      document.  This could present the F-to-E status value for each
      relevant combination of feature element and feature.  An
      alternative presentation would give, for each protocol element, a
      boolean expression in term of supported feature, that allow and
      guarantee support for the specified element.

   o  All of the additional Sections required for RFC publication, such
      as "Security Considerations", "IANA considerations", etc.

   Note that the listing above is not intended to define, in detail, the
   structure of the specification.  Rather, the intention is to define
   the things it needs to contain.  If there would be no content for a
   particular element, there is no need for an empty section
   corresponding to that list element.  If it makes more sense to
   describe a new structure together with an extended one, then the need
   for a readily understandable document is primary.

7.4.  Feature Incorporation

   All protocol changes will be organized, documented and effected as
   part of a given feature.  This includes XDR extension and the various
   sorts of non-XDR-based changes allowed.

   Such features may be made part of the protocol in a number of ways:

   o  In new minor versions, as discussed in Section 10.

   o  In separately documented new features.  When new features are
      OPTIONAL and do not include any non-XDR-based changes, they may be
      incorporated in an extensible minor version under construction.
      See Section 9 for details.

   o  When appropriate compatibility arrangement are in effect, they may
      be used to correct protocol problems in already approved minor
      versions and features.  See Section 11 for details.

7.5.  XDR File Considerations

   As mentioned previously, feature specification documents will
   contain, in addition to description of XDR extensions, XDR code
   fragments that embody those extensions.  There will be various
   occasions on which people will have occasion to produce XDR files
   that combine one or more extensions together with the XDR for an
   existing minor version.

   o  When a minor version is specified by a number of feature
      specification documents, there will be a need to produce, in as



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      simple fashion as possible, the corresponding XDR specification
      document for the new minor version.

   o  Within an extensible minor version, there will be a need for those
      developing and testing the feature to have an XDR file that
      incorporates XDR definitions from early drafts of the feature
      specification document.

   o  Also, for an extensible minor version, there will be a need to
      periodically produce Consolidated XDR documents that reflect all
      features approved as Proposed Standards and thus incorporated in
      the current minor version.

   o  Developers may need to be able to produce XDR files that reflect
      particular combination of approved features, features under
      development or experimental features not yet ready for working
      group consideration.

   We are assuming here that the primary task is producing XDR files and
   that corresponding XDR documents can be produced relatively easily if
   there is a well understood process to produce the underlying XDR
   files.

   The Feature specification document should contain all of the
   necessary lines of XDR codes to be added to a base XDR file to effect
   the extension.  The only remaining issue is where to place each
   addition to arrive at the correct consolidated file.

   o  One could rely on those preparing updated XDR file to place the
      additional XDR code lines in the appropriate place, based on
      inference from the document text.

   o  One could rely on the Feature Specification Document to indicate,
      in the descriptive text, where each XDR extension is to be placed.

   o  One could formalize a set of conventions whereby the appropriate
      placements are indicated by specific instructions embedded within
      comments within the XDR code fragments to be placed.

8.  Extensions within Minor Versions

   The NFSv4 version management framework allows, with certain
   restrictions, features to be added to existing minor versions

   o  In the case of features which consist only of a pNFS mapping type,
      the protocol may be extended by publishing the new mapping type
      definition as a Proposed Standard.  This effects an extension to
      all minor versions in which pNFS is a valid feature.



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      Similar extension facilities could be made available if additional
      pNFS-like extension frameworks were created (See Section 5.2.2).

   o  Minor versions designated as extensible (see Section 9) may be
      extended by the publication of a standards-track document defining
      the additional feature.  Details are set out in Section 9.  The
      features to be added are considered OPTIONAL in the extensible
      minor version and must consist only of valid XDR-based extensions

9.  Adding Features to Extensible Minor Versions

   Addition of features to an extensible minor version will take
   advantage of the existing NFSv4 infrastructure that allows optional
   features to be added to new minor versions, but without in this case
   requiring any change in the minor version number.  Adding features in
   this way will enable compatibility with existing clients and servers,
   who may be unaware of the new feature.

9.1.  Use of Feature Specification Documents

   Each such extension will be in the form of a working-group standards-
   track document which defines one or more new OPTIONAL features.  The
   definition of each of the new feature may include one or more
   "protocol elements" which extend the existing XDR as already
   discussed (in Section 4.1).  Other sorts of XDR modification are not
   allowed.  Protocol elements include new operations, callbacks,
   attributes, and enumeration values.  The functionality of some
   existing operations may be extended by the addition of new flags bits
   in existing flag words and new cases in existing switched unions.
   New error codes may be added but the set of valid error codes to be
   returned by an operation is fixed, except that existing operations
   may return new errors to respond to situations that only arise when
   previously unused flag bits are set or when extensions to a switched
   union are used.

   Each such additional feature will become, for all intents and
   purposes, part of the current NFSv4 minor version upon publication of
   the description as a Proposed Standard, enabling such extensions to
   be used by new client and server implementations without, as
   previously required, a change in the value of the minor version field
   within the COMPOUND operation.

   The working group has two occasions to make sure that such features
   are appropriate ones:

   o  At the time the feature definition document becomes a working
      group document, the working group needs to determine, in addition
      to the feature's general compatibility with NFSv4, that the XDR



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      assignments (i.e. additional values for operation callback and
      attribute numbers, and for new flags and switch values to be added
      to existing operations) associated with the new feature are
      complete and do not conflict with those in the existing protocol
      or those currently under development.

   o  At the time the working group document is complete, the working
      group, in addition to normal document review, can and should look
      at what prototype implementations of the feature have been done
      and use that information to determine the work-ability and
      maturity of the feature.

9.2.  Compatibility Issues

   Because the receiver of a message may be unaware of the existence of
   a specific extension, certain compatibility rules need to be
   observed.  In some cases (e.g., addition of new operations or
   callbacks or addition of new arms to an existing switched union)
   older clients or servers may be unable to do XDR parsing on an
   extension of whose existence they are unaware.  In other cases (e.g.,
   error returns) there are no XDR parsing issues but existing clients
   and servers may have expectations as to what may validly be returned.
   Detailed discussion of these compatibility issues appears below:

   o  Issues related to messages sent to the server are discussed in
      Section 9.2.1.

   o  Issues related to messages sent to the client are discussed in
      Section 9.2.2.

9.2.1.  Compatibility Issues for Messages Sent to Servers

   This section deals with compatibility issues that relate to messages
   sent to the server, i.e., requests and replies to callbacks.  In the
   case of requests, it is the responsibility of the client to determine
   whether the server supports the extension in question before sending
   a request containing it for any purpose other than determining
   whether the server is aware of the extension.  In the case of
   callback replies, the server demonstrates its awareness of proper
   parsing for callback replies by sending the associated callback.

   Regarding the handling of requests:

   o  Existing server implementations will return NFS4ERR_NOTSUPP or
      NFS4ERR_OP_ILLEGAL in response to any use of a new operation,
      allowing the client to determine that the requested operation (and
      potentially the feature in question) is not known or known but not
      supported by the server.



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   o  Clients can determine whether particular new attributes are
      supported by a given server by examining the value returned when
      the supported_attr attribute is interrogated.  Clients need to do
      this before attempting to use attributes defined in an extension
      since they cannot depend on the server returning
      NFS4ERR_ATTRNOTSUPP for requests which include a mask bit
      corresponding to a previously unspecified attribute number (as
      opposed to one which is defined but unsupported).

   o  Existing server implementations that do not recognize new flag
      bits will return NFS4ERR_INVAL, enabling the client to determine
      that the new flag value is not supported by the server.

   o  Existing server implementations that do not recognize the new arm
      of a switched union in a request will return NFS4ERR_INVAL or
      NFS4ERR_UNION_NOTSUPP, enabling the client to determine that the
      new union arm is not supported by the server.

   Regarding the handling of responses to callbacks:

   o  Error values returned to the server for all callbacks that do not
      use new features will only be those previously allowed.  Only when
      the server uses a new extension feature can a previously invalid
      error value be returned.

   o  Callback replies may only include a new arm of an existing
      switched union when the server, typically in the callback being
      responded to, has used a feature element associated with the
      feature that defined the new switched union arm.

9.2.2.  Compatibility Issues for Messages Sent to Clients

   This sections deals with compatibility issues that relate to messages
   sent to clients, i.e., request replies and callbacks.  In both cases,
   extensions are only sent to clients that have demonstrated awareness
   of the extensions in question by using an extension associated with
   the same feature.

   Regarding the handling of request replies:

   o  Error values returned to the client for all requests that do not
      use new features will only be those previously allowed.  Only when
      the server uses a new extension feature can a previously invalid
      error value be returned.

   o  Replies may only include a new arm of an existing switched union
      when the server, typically in the request being responded to, has




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      used a feature element associated with the feature that defined
      the new switched union arm.

   Regarding the handling of callback requests, the server needs to be
   sure that it only sends callbacks to those clients prepared to
   receive and parse them.

   o  In most cases, the new callback will be part of a feature that
      contains new (forward) operations as well.  When this is the case,
      the feature specification will specify the operations whose
      receipt by a server is sufficient to indicate that the client
      issuing them is prepared to accept and parse the associated
      callbacks.

   o  For callbacks associated with features that have no new operations
      defined, the feature specification should define some way for a
      client to indicate that it is prepared to accept and parse
      callbacks that are part of the extension.  For example, a flag bit
      in the EXCHANGE_ID request may serve this purpose.

   o  In both of the above cases, the ability to accept and parse the
      specified callback is considered separate from support for the
      callback.  The feature specification will indicate whether support
      for the callback is required whenever the feature is used by the
      client.  In cases in which support is not required, the client is
      free to return NFS4ERR_NOTSUPP upon receiving the callback.

9.3.  Additional Documents to be Produced

   Additional documents will be required from time to time.  These
   documents will eventually become RFC's (informational or standards
   track as described below), but the work of the working group and of
   implementers developing features will be facilitated by a progression
   of document drafts that incorporate information about new features
   that are being developed or have been approved as Proposed Standards.

9.3.1.  Minor Version Indexing Document

   One document will organize existing material for a minor version
   undergoing extension so that implementers will not have to scan a
   large set of feature definition documents or minor version
   specifications to find information being sought.  Successive drafts
   of this document will serve as an index to the current state of the
   extensible minor version.  Some desirable elements of this indexing
   document would include:






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   o  A list of all feature definition documents that have been approved
      as working group documents but have not yet been approved as
      Proposed Standards.

   o  All of the items of indexing material (see Section 7.2)
      appropriately adjusted to reflect the contents of all extensions
      accepted as Proposed Standards.

   The frequency of updates for this document will be affected by
   implementer needs and the ability to easily generate document drafts,
   preferably by automated means.  The most desirable situation is one
   in which a new draft is available soon after each feature reaches the
   status of a Proposed Standard.

9.3.2.  Consolidated XDR Document

   This document will consist of an updated XDR for the protocol as a
   whole including feature elements from all features and minor versions
   accepted as Proposed Standards.

   A new draft should be prepared whenever a new feature within an
   extensible minor version is accepted as a Proposed Standard.  In most
   cases, feature developers will be using a suitable XDR which can then
   be reviewed and published.  In cases in which multiple features reach
   Proposed Standard status at approximately the same time, a merge of
   the XDR changes made by each feature may be necessary.

9.3.3.  XDR Assignment Document

   This document will contain consolidated lists of XDR value
   assignments that are relevant to the protocol extension process.  It
   should contain lists of assignments for:

   o  operation codes (separate lists for forward operations and for
      callbacks)

   o  attribute numbers

   o  error codes

   o  bits within flag words that have been extended since they were
      first introduced.

   o  enumeration values for enumerations which have been extended since
      they were first introduced.

   For each set of assignments, the individual assignments may be of
   three types:



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   1.  permanent assignments associated with a minor version or a
       feature extension that has achieved Proposed Standard status.

       These assignments are permanent in that the assigned value will
       never be re-used.  However, a subsequent minor version may define
       some or all feature elements associated with a feature to be
       mandatory to not implement.

   2.  provisional assignments associated with a feature under
       development (i.e., one which has been approved as a working group
       document but has not been approved as a Proposed Standard).

       Provisional assignments are not are not permanent and the values
       assigned can be re-used in certain circumstances.  In particular,
       when a feature with provisional assignments is not progressing
       toward the goal of eventual Proposed Standard status, the working
       group can judge the feature effort to have been abandoned,
       allowing the codes formerly provisionally allocated to be
       reclaimed and reassigned.

   3.  definition of individual assignments or ranges reserved for
       experimental use.

   A new draft of this document should be produced, whenever:

   o  A minor version or feature specification is accepted as a Proposed
      Standard.

   o  A new feature is accepted for development and a draft of the
      corresponding working-group standards-track document is produced

   o  A feature previously accepted for development is abandoned.

   o  The working group decides to make some change in assignments for
      experimental use.

9.3.4.  Transition of Documents to RFC's

   Each of these documents should be published as an RFC soon after the
   minor version in question ceases to be considered extensible.
   Typically this will happen when the working group makes the
   specification for the subsequent minor version into a working group
   document.  Some specifics about the individual documents are listed
   below:

   o  The most current draft of the indexing document for the minor
      version would be published as an informational RFC.




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   o  The most current draft of the consolidated XDR document should be
      published as a standards-track RFC.  It would update the initial
      specification of the minor version

   o  The most recent draft of the XDR assignment document should be
      published as an informational RFC.

   Handling of these documents in the event of a post-approval XDR
   correction is discussed in Section 11.2

9.4.  Relationship Between Minor Versioning and Extensions within a
      Minor Version

   Extensibility of minor versions are governed by the following rules:

   o  Minor versions zero and one are not extensible.  Each has a fixed
      set of OPTIONAL features as described in [RFC7530] and [RFC5661].

   o  Minor versions beyond one are presumed extensible as discussed
      herein.  However, any statement within the minor version
      specification disallowing extension will cause that minor version
      to be considered non-extensible.

   o  No new feature may be added to a minor version once the
      specification document for a subsequent minor version becomes a
      working group standards-track document.

   Even when a minor version is non-extensible, or when a previous minor
   version is closed to further extension, the features that it contains
   are still subject to updates to effect protocol corrections.  In many
   cases, making an XDR change, in the form of an extension will be the
   best way of correcting an issue.  See Section 11 for details.

   While making minor versions extensible will decrease the frequency of
   new minor versions, it will not eliminate the need for them.
   Protocol features that cannot be used as extensions (see
   Section 10.1.1 require a new minor version.

   In addition, change which involve modifications to the set of
   protocol elements which are REQUIRED or mandatory to not implement
   require a new minor version which starts a new minor version group.
   Changes to the organization of protocol features are treated
   similarly, since they have a similar potential to cause interversion
   incompatibility.  See Section 10.1.2 for details.







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10.  Minor Versions

10.1.  Reasons for New Minor Versions

   It is important to note that this section, in describing situations
   that would require new minor versions or minor version groups to be
   created, does not thereby imply that situations will exist in the
   future.  Judgments regarding desirability of future changes will be
   made by the working group or its successors and any guidance that can
   be offered at this point is necessarily quite limited.

   Creation of a new minor version or minor version group is an option
   that the working group retains.  The listing of situations below that
   would prompt such actions is not meant to be exhaustive.

10.1.1.  New Minor Versions within an Existing Group

   The following sorts of features are not allowed as extensions and
   would require creation of a new minor version:

   o  Features that incorporate any of the non-XDR-based changes
      discussed in Sections 5.1.1 and 5.1.2.

   o  Any feature which includes a new mapping type (as described in
      Section 5.2.1) and includes any other change.

      To prevent new mapping types from evading this restriction by
      splitting the mapping type and other changes into two separate
      changes, if new mapping type makes a reference to protocol changes
      in an extension, it may not be incorporated in minor versions in
      which that extension is defined but only in later minor versions.

   o  Any feature that creates a new expansion mechanism as described in
      in Section 5.2.2.

10.1.2.  New Minor Version Groups

   The following sorts of changes can only occur in the context of a new
   minor version group:

   o  Addition of REQUIRED new features.

   o  Changes to the status of existing features including converting
      features to be mandatory to not implement.

   o  Changes to the status of existing feature elements within
      features, causing those feature elements to be required or
      optional when they previously had not been.



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   o  Changes to the scope of existing features.

   o  Changes to feature organization or to inter-feature constraints.
      Such changes may have the effect of making support for some change
      element required or optional in circumstances in which it
      previously had not been

   Changes to the status or organization of features will, in most case,
   result in changes to the status of individual protocol elements,
   changing them between REQUIRED and OPTIONAL, or making them mandatory
   to not implement.

   Conversion of protocol elements to be mandatory to not implement,
   will not, as had previously been the practice, result in their
   deletion from the protocol XDR.  However, the server will be REQUIRED
   to treat such protocol elements as not known when responding to
   requests within minor versions in which they are not to be
   implemented.  See Sections 4.4.3 and 10.3.2 for details.

   Such changes give rise to potential compatibility issues.  In most
   cases in which such changes will actually be made, careful
   consideration of compatibility issues can limit the scope of
   potential compatibility issues or ensure that actual compatibility
   issues are quite limited.

   This is opposed to the first new minor version group, that associated
   with minor version one, which resulted in a situation in which
   clients for minor version zero could not interoperate with servers
   for minor version one and vice versa.  Issues related to the question
   of what to do about such situations are discussed in Section 10.1.3

   The addition of REQUIRED features may serve to illustrate the issues.
   Such additions pose no compatibility issue for existing clients.  On
   the other hand, all servers will need to be updated to support the
   new features.  The effort required and any potential for disruption
   depend on the scope of the feature being added.

   A number of features introduced as REQUIRED in NFSv4.1 can serve to
   illustrate the issues.

   o  suppattr_exclattr was added as a REQUIRED attribute.  This was
      very simple for servers to implement.

   o  RECLAIM_COMPLETE was added as a REQUIRED operation.

   o  TEST_STATEID and FREE_STATEID were added as REQUIRED operations.





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   Some examples of potential feature status changes may be helpful in
   illustrating compatibility issues

   o  Converting a REQUIRED feature to be mandatory to not implement
      poses the greatest level of difficulty from an interoperability
      point of view.  Clients need to change to use an alternative means
      of providing the functionality provided by the feature.  Existing
      servers need to be updated, even if there is a replacement feature
      available.

      Such a transition is only possible if the feature in question has
      already fallen into disuse.

   o  Converting an OPTIONAL feature to be mandatory to not implement
      poses similar difficulties.  If clients have ceased to use the
      feature, after they have become aware, formally or informally,
      that it is moribund, the difficulties can be quite limited.

   o  Converting a REQUIRED feature to be OPTIONAL poses no difficulty
      for existing server implementations.  It may pose difficulties for
      clients who have not made preparations for server non-support of
      the feature.

      The degree of such difficulties and the readiness of clients to
      make such changes should be key considerations in making such a
      state transition.

   o  Converting an OPTIONAL feature to be REQUIRED poses no difficulty
      for existing client implementations.  The difficulties for
      existing server implementations depend on the scope of the feature
      involved and the set of implementations without support for the
      feature in question.

      The degree of such difficulties and the readiness of servers to
      make such changes should be key considerations in making such a
      state transition.  Nevertheless, it should not be the only
      consideration.  If all existing servers support the feature, it
      does not thereby follow that the transition should be made.  The
      possible effect of making server development more complicated
      should also be considered.

   A number of other changes allowed only in a new minor version group,
   raise analogous issues.

   o  In the case of inter-feature constraints or similar
      reorganizations, the basic issue is whether the client has to deal
      with the absence of a protocol element when it previously had not
      had to deal with that or the server has to provide support for a



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      protocol element in situations in which it previously had not had
      to.  When a set of changes cause both sorts of issues, the
      greatest interoperability difficulties arise, making such a set of
      changes hard to implement.

   o  If a feature scope is changed to be more fine-grained, the client
      has to deal with combinations of support and non-support it
      previously had not had to deal with, while the reverse forces the
      server to maintain a unity of support it had previously not had
      to.  The unlikely case of conversion between session and file
      system scope causes difficulties for both parties.

   The tradeoff between interoperability issues and desirable changes to
   the protocol is one for the working group to make.  If the decision
   is made to create a new minor version group, the working group has
   decided that absolutely compatibility is not required.  Nevertheless,
   it should strive to make necessary changes as non-disruptive as
   possible.

10.1.3.  Limits on Minor Version Groups

   The guidance that needs to be offered with regard to appropriate
   limits on changes that form new version groups does not appear
   reducible to specific rules.

   Instead it is appropriate to return to the basic goal of allowing the
   NFSv4 protocol to adapt to future circumstances as they develop.
   Although this was not explicitly stated, it seems to be intended that
   this would not involve generation of essentially a new protocol, even
   if that were, in some sense, a better one.

   So the best way we can address the question of limits on new version
   groups is to state that the purpose of the rules in this document,
   including the creation of new minor version groups is not the
   creation of a successor protocol to NFSv4.

   If this or a future working group does find itself defining a new
   file access protocol, it would be helpful if proper care were taken
   to retain what is valuable in the intellectual heritage of NFSv4.
   Nevertheless, in doing so, it is important not to assume that
   adherence to the rules in this document, is, in and of itself, a
   guarantee that the new protocol is thereby a version of NFSv4.

   In dealing with such a future changed situation, the better option
   would be to face the issue of necessary change forthrightly and
   acknowledge that such a large change creates a fundamentally new
   situation.  Appropriate responses might include replacing the XDR in
   whole or in part, using a successor to XDR, or other means.



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10.2.  Role of Minor Versions

   Clearly, the ability to provide protocol extensions without creation
   of a new minor version, has lessened the role of minor versions in
   extending the NFSv4 protocol to meet future needs.

   We have gone from a situation in which there was a single mechanism,
   creation of a new minor version, to extend the protocol, to a three-
   level approach:

   o  OPTIONAL features which extend but do not change protocol
      semantics may be added without creating a new minor version.

   o  Other OPTIONAL features may be added by creating a new minor
      version within an existing version group, as long as the sets of
      protocol elements which are REQUIRED and mandatory to not
      implement.

   o  Changes which do as the sets of protocol elements which are
      REQUIRED and mandatory to not implement are only allowed in a new
      minor version group.

   This document does explore the situations that, if they arise, would
   require the creation of new minor versions or version groups.  This
   does not imply that such situations will exist or that the working
   will choose to address things in that way.  Such choices are left for
   future decision by the working group and the IESG.

   The discussion in Section 10.1.3 raises similar issues.  It is
   possible that situations might arise that would cause NFSv4
   development to be done outside the framework established here.
   Nevertheless, this does not imply that such situations will arise.

10.3.  Minor Version Interaction Rules

   This section addresses issues related to rules #11 and #13 in the
   minor versioning rules in [RFC5661].  With regard to the supersession
   of minor versioning rules, the treatment here overrides that in
   [RFC5661] when either of the potentially interacting minor versions
   has not yet been published as a Proposed Standard.

   Note that these rules are the only ones directed to minor version
   implementers, rather than to those specifying new minor versions.








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10.3.1.  Minor Version Identifier Transfer Issues

   Each relationship between a client instance and a server instance, as
   represented by a clientid, is to be devoted to a single minor
   version.  If a server detects that a COMPOUND with an inappropriate
   minor version is being used, it MUST reject the request.  In doing
   so, it may return either NFS4ERR_BAD_CLIENTID or
   NFS4RR_MINOR_VERS_MISMATCH.

   As a result of the above, the client has the assurance that the set
   of REQUIRED and OPTONAL features will not change within the context
   of a single clientid.  Server implementations MUST ensure that the
   set of supported features and protocol elements does not change
   within such a context.

10.3.2.  Minor Version Intra-Group Compatibility

   Within a set of minor versions that belong to the same minor version
   group, it is relatively easy for clients and servers to provides the
   needed compatibility by following the following rules.

   o  Servers supporting a given minor version MUST support any earlier
      minor version in the same minor version group and return
      appropriate errors for use of protocol elements that were not a
      valid part of that earlier minor version.  For details see below.

   o  Servers supporting a given minor version MUST, in returning errors
      for operation which were a valid part of the minor version, return
      the errors allowed for the current operation in the minor version
      actually being used.

   o  Clients MUST deal with an NFS4ERR_MINOR_VERS_MISMATCH error by a
      searching for a lower minor version number in the same minor
      version group that the server will accept.

   With regard to protocol elements not known in a given minor version,
   the appropriate error codes are given below.  Essentially, the
   server, although it has a more extensive XDR reflective of a newer
   minor version, must act as a server with a more limited XDR would.

   o  When an operation is used which is not known in the specified
      minor version, NFS4ERR_OP_ILLEGAL (as opposed to NFS4ERR_NOTSUPP)
      should be returned.

   o  When an attribute is used which is not known in the specified
      minor version, NFS4ERR_INVAL (as opposed to NFS4ERR_ATTRNOTSUPP)
      should be returned.




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   o  When a switch case is used which is not known in the specified
      minor version, NFS4ERR_BADXDR (as opposed to
      NFS4ERR_UNION_NOTSUPP) should be returned.  Even though the
      message may be XDR-decodable by the server's current XDR, it is
      not so according to the minor version being used.

   o  When a flag bit is used which is not known in the specified minor
      version, NFS4ERR_INVAL (as opposed to NFS4ERR_NOTSUPP Or any other
      error defined as indicated non-support a flag bit) should be
      returned.

10.3.3.  Minor Version Inter-Group Compatibility

   It is desirable for client and server implementations to support a
   wide range of minor versions.  The difficulty of doing so can be
   affected by choices made by the working group in defining those minor
   versions, and the particulars of the changes made which establish new
   version groups.

   Options for compatibility are affected by the scale and frequency of
   the changes which require a new minor version group and the working
   group needs to take needs for inter-group compatibility into account
   when making such changes.  In all cases, the following rules apply:

   o  Servers supporting a given minor version SHOULD support minor
      versions in earlier minor version groups.  When doing so, it MUST
      behave appropriately given the definition of the minor version
      used.  For details see below.

   o  Clients SHOULD deal with an NFS4ERR_MINOR_VERS_MISMATCH error by a
      searching for a lower minor version number within the appropriate
      minor version range until it finds one that the server will
      accept.

   In some cases, the server needs to behave as a more restricted one
   for an earlier minor version might, despite it having extensions for
   protocol elements added in later minor versions.  In these cases, the
   errors described in Section 10.3.2 should be returned in this case as
   well.

   In the case in which the earlier version contains protocol elements
   subsequently made mandatory to not implement, the server needs to
   know of those protocol elements and not return the errors that would
   appropriate if the most up-to-date minor version were used.  In cases
   in which support for these protocol elements is REQUIRED, support
   will have to be provided by the server and if it cannot do that, it
   MUST return NFS4ERR_MINOR_VERS_MISMATCH for any requests using that
   minor version.



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   In addition to using an appropriate subset of the protocol XDR
   definition, the server needs to respect the non-XDR elements of the
   earlier minor version group as well.  In particular, the serve needs
   to:

   o  Support REQUIRED features as specified by the earlier minor
      version group.

   o  Support (or not) features according to E-to-F statuses specified
      by the earlier minor version group.

   o  Respect the inter-feature constraints specified by the earlier
      minor version group.

   o  Respect the feature scopes specified by the earlier minor version
      group.

   o  Support (or not) protocol elements according to the F-to-E
      statuses specified in the earlier minor version group.

10.4.  Minor Version Documentation

   Minor versions should be documented by specifying and explaining the
   changes made relative to the previous minor version.

   Features added to the minor version should be documented in their own
   feature specification documents and normatively referenced.

   Changes to the status or organization of existing features should be
   documented by presenting a summary of the status of all existing
   protocol elements, their relationship to OPTIONAL features, and any
   relevant feature dependencies.

   In addition, to avoid situation where a large number of minor
   versions must be scanned to find the most recent valid treatment of a
   specific protocol element, minor version definition documents will
   contain the indexing material described in Section 7.2.

11.  Correction of Existing Minor Versions and Features

   The possibility always exists that there will be a need to correct an
   existing feature in some way, after the acceptance of that feature or
   a minor version containing it, as a Proposed Standard.  While the
   working group can reduce the probability of such situations arising
   by waiting for running code before considering a feature as done, it
   cannot reduce the probability to zero.  As features are used more
   extensively and interact with other features, previously unseen flaws
   may be discovered and will need to be corrected.



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   Such corrections are best done in a document obsoleting or updating
   the RFC defining the relevant feature definition document or minor
   version specification.  In making such corrections, the working will
   have to carefully consider how to assure interoperability with older
   clients and servers.

   Often, corrections can be done without changing the protocol XDR.  In
   many cases, a change in client and server behavior can be implemented
   without taking special provision with regard to interoperability with
   earlier implementations.  In those case, and in cases in which a
   revision merely clarifies an earlier protocol definition document, a
   new document can be published which simply updates the earlier
   protocol definition document.  Subsequently, the indexing material
   would be updated to reflect the existence of the newer document.

   In other cases, it is best if client or server behavior needs to
   change in a way which raises interoperability concerns.  In such
   cases, incompatible changes in server or client behavior should not
   be mandated in order to avoid XDR changes.

11.1.  XDR Changes to Implement Protocol Corrections

   When XDR changes are necessary as part of correcting a flaw, these
   should be done in a manner similar to that used when implementing new
   minor versions or features within them.  In particular,

   o  Existing XDR structures may not be modified or deleted.

   o  XDR extensions may be used to correct existing protocol facilities
      in a manner similar to those used to add additional optional
      features.  Such corrections may be done in an otherwise non-
      extensible minor version, if the working group judges it
      appropriate.

   o  When a correction is made to an OPTIONAL feature, the result is
      similar to a situation in which there are two independent OPTIONAL
      features.  A server may choose to implement either or both.

   o  When a correction is made to a required feature, the situation
      becomes one in which neither the old nor the new version of the
      feature is required.  Instead, it is required that a server
      support at least one of the two, while each is individually
      OPTIONAL.  Although use of the corrected version is ultimately
      better, and may be recommended, it should not be described as
      "RECOMMENDED", since the choice of which version to support if
      only one is supported will depend on the needs of clients, which
      may be slow to adopt the updated version.




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   o  In all of the cases above, it is appropriate that the old version
      of the feature, be considered obsolescent, with the expectation
      that the working group might, in a later minor version, decide
      that the older version is to become mandatory to not implement.

   Issues related to the effect of XDR corrections on existing
   documents, including co-ordination with other minor versions, are
   discussed in Section 11.2.

   By doing things this way, the protocol with the XDR modification can
   accommodate clients and servers that support either the corrected or
   the uncorrected version of the protocol and also clients and servers
   aware of and capable of supporting both alternatives.

   o  A client that supports only the earlier version of the feature
      (i.e., an older unfixed client) can determine whether the server
      it is connecting to supports the older version of feature.  It is
      capable of interoperating with older servers that support only the
      unfixed protocol as well as ones that support both versions.

   o  A client that supports only the corrected version of the feature
      (i.e., a new or updated client) can determine whether the server
      it is connecting to supports the newer version of the feature.  It
      is capable of interoperating with newer servers that support only
      the updated feature as well as ones that support both versions.

   o  A client that supports both the older and newer version of the
      feature can determine which version of the particular feature is
      supported by the server it is working with.

   o  A server that supports only the earlier version of the feature
      (i.e., an older unfixed server) can only successfully interoperate
      with older clients.  However newer clients can easily determine
      that the feature cannot be used on that server.

   o  A server that supports only the newer version of the feature
      (i.e., a new or updated server) can only successfully interoperate
      with newer clients.  However, older clients can easily determine
      that the feature cannot be used on that server.  In the case of
      OPTIONAL features, clients can be expected to deal with non-
      support of that particular feature.

   o  A server that supports both the older and newer versions of the
      feature can interoperate with all client variants.

   By using extensions in this manner, the protocol creates a clear path
   which preserves the functioning of existing clients and servers and




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   allowing client and server implementers to adopt the new version of
   the feature at a reasonable pace.

11.2.  Documentation of XDR Changes

   In the event of an XDR correction, as discussed above, some document
   updates will be required.  For the purposes of this discussion we
   call the minor version for which XDR correction is required minor
   version X and the minor version on which development is occurring
   minor version Y.

   The following discusses the specific updated documents which could be
   required:

   o  The specification of the feature in question will have to be
      updated to explain the issue, how it was fixed, and the
      compatibility and upgrade strategy.  Normally this will require an
      RFC updating the associated feature specification document.
      However, in the case of a correction to a feature documented in a
      minor version definition document, the RFC will update that
      document instead.

   o  An updated XDR for minor version X will be produced and will be
      published as a updated to the minor version specification RFC for
      minor version X.

      When the correction is to feature documented in a minor version
      definition, a single RFC will contain both updates to the minor
      version specification RFC.

   o  An updated minor version indexing document for minor version X is
      desirable but not absolutely necessary.

      The question of updated minor version indexing documents for minor
      versions between X and Y should be addressed by the working group
      on a case-by-case basis.

   o  An updated XDR assignment document will be required.  It should be
      based on the most recent such document associated with minor
      version Y and will serve as the basis for later XDR assignment
      drafts for minor version Y.

   The informational RFC's associated with minor version Y (version
   indexing document and XDR assignment document) will contain the
   effects of the correction when published.  Similarly, the minor
   version specification RFC will contain the XDR changes associated
   with the correction.




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12.  Security Considerations

   Since no substantive protocol changes are proposed here, no security
   considerations apply.

   As features and minor versions are designed and specified in
   standards-track documents, their security issues will be addressed
   and each RFC candidate will receive the appropriate security review
   from the NFSv4 working group and IESG.

13.  IANA Considerations

   The current document does not require any actions by IANA.

   Depending on decisions that the working group makes about how to
   address the issues raised in this document, future documents may
   require actions by IANA.

14.  References

14.1.  Normative References

   [RFC2119]  Bradner, S., "Key words for use in RFCs to Indicate
              Requirement Levels", BCP 14, RFC 2119,
              DOI 10.17487/RFC2119, March 1997,
              <http://www.rfc-editor.org/info/rfc2119>.

14.2.  Informative References

   [NFSv42]   Haynes, T., Ed., "NFS Version 4 Minor Version 2",
              September 2015, <http://www.ietf.org/id/
              draft-ietf-nfsv4-minorversion2-39.txt>.

              Work in progress.

   [NFSv42-dot-x]
              Haynes, T., Ed., "NFS Version 4 Minor Version 2 Protocol
              External Data Representation Standard (XDR) Description",
              September 2015, <http://www.ietf.org/id/
              draft-ietf-nfsv4-minorversion2-dot-x-39.txt>.

              Work in progress.

   [RFC3530]  Shepler, S., Callaghan, B., Robinson, D., Thurlow, R.,
              Beame, C., Eisler, M., and D. Noveck, "Network File System
              (NFS) version 4 Protocol", RFC 3530, DOI 10.17487/RFC3530,
              April 2003, <http://www.rfc-editor.org/info/rfc3530>.




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   [RFC5661]  Shepler, S., Ed., Eisler, M., Ed., and D. Noveck, Ed.,
              "Network File System (NFS) Version 4 Minor Version 1
              Protocol", RFC 5661, DOI 10.17487/RFC5661, January 2010,
              <http://www.rfc-editor.org/info/rfc5661>.

   [RFC5662]  Shepler, S., Ed., Eisler, M., Ed., and D. Noveck, Ed.,
              "Network File System (NFS) Version 4 Minor Version 1
              External Data Representation Standard (XDR) Description",
              RFC 5662, DOI 10.17487/RFC5662, January 2010,
              <http://www.rfc-editor.org/info/rfc5662>.

   [RFC5663]  Black, D., Fridella, S., and J. Glasgow, "Parallel NFS
              (pNFS) Block/Volume Layout", RFC 5663,
              DOI 10.17487/RFC5663, January 2010,
              <http://www.rfc-editor.org/info/rfc5663>.

   [RFC5664]  Halevy, B., Welch, B., and J. Zelenka, "Object-Based
              Parallel NFS (pNFS) Operations", RFC 5664,
              DOI 10.17487/RFC5664, January 2010,
              <http://www.rfc-editor.org/info/rfc5664>.

   [RFC7530]  Haynes, T., Ed. and D. Noveck, Ed., "Network File System
              (NFS) Version 4 Protocol", RFC 7530, DOI 10.17487/RFC7530,
              March 2015, <http://www.rfc-editor.org/info/rfc7530>.

   [RFC7531]  Haynes, T., Ed. and D. Noveck, Ed., "Network File System
              (NFS) Version 4 External Data Representation Standard
              (XDR) Description", RFC 7531, DOI 10.17487/RFC7531, March
              2015, <http://www.rfc-editor.org/info/rfc7531>.

Appendix A.  Acknowledgements

   The author wishes to thank Tom Haynes of Primary Data for his role in
   getting this effort started and his work in co-authoring the first
   version of this document.

   The author also wishes to thank Chuck Lever of Oracle for his
   thorough document review and many helpful suggestions.

Author's Address











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   David Noveck
   Hewlett-Packard
   165 Dascomb Road
   Andover, MA  01810
   US

   Phone: +1 978 474 2011
   Email: davenoveck@gmail.com











































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