From Linux NFS
The Linux NFS server can export an NFS mount, but that isn't something we currently recommend unless you've done some careful research and are prepared for problems.
Some known issues:
The "fsid=" option is required on any export of an NFS filesystem.
NFS filehandle sizes are limited (to 32 bytes for NFSv2, 64 bytes for NFSv3, and 128 bytes for NFSv4). When we re-export, we take the filehandle returned from the original server and wrap it with some more bytes of our own to create the filehandle we return to clients. That means the filehandles we give out will be larger than the filehandles we receive from the original server. There's no guarantee this will work. In practice most servers give out filehandles of a fixed size that's less than the maximum, so you *probably* won't run into this problem unless you're re-exporting with NFSv2, or re-exporting repeatedly. But there are no guarantees.
If re-export servers could reuse filehandles from the original server, that'd solve the problem. It would also make it easier for clients to migrate between the original server and other re-export servers, which could be useful.
The wrapping is needed so that the server can identify, even after it may have long forgotten about that particular filehandle, which export the filehandle refers to, so it can refer the operation to the correct underlying filesystem or server, and so it can enforce export permissions.
If a server exports only a single NFS filesystem, then there'd be no problem with it reusing the file handle it got from the original server. Possibly that's a common enough use case to be helpful? With containers we could still allow a single physical machine to handle multiple exports even if each container only handles on eeach.
Cooperating servers could agree on the structure of filehandles in a way that allowed them to reuse each others' filehandles. Possibly that could be standardized if it proved useful.
We see unnecessary cache invalidations on the re-export servers; we have some patches in progress that should make it for 5.11 or so (https://lore.kernel.org/linux-nfs/20201120223831.GB7705@fieldses.org/). It looks like they help but don't address every case.
Incorrect pre/post-operation attributes
Pre/post-operation attributes are incorrectly returned as if they were atomic in cases when they aren't. This could cause clients to incorrectly cache stale file data or directory contents. This is fixable but we don't currently have patches.
Connectathon locking tests are currently triggering some kind of memory corruption; still investigating.
Known problems that we've fixed
- Problems with sporadic stale filehandles should be fixed by https://firstname.lastname@example.org/ (queued for 5.11?)