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The inability to perform optimizations based on application-specific information presents a hurdle to the deployment of pervasive LAN file systems across WAN environments. This paper proposes a novel approach addressing this problem through application-tailored caching and consistency in widearea file systems. It leverages widely available Network File System (NFS) deployments without any modifications to kernels nor applications, and employs middleware to dynamically establish Grid-wide Virtual File System (GVFS) sessions with application-tailored cache consistency. Two consistency models are discussed in this paper: a relaxed model based on invalidation polling, and a stronger model based on delegation and callback. Experimental evaluation based on microbenchmarks and scientific applications show that with application-tailored cache consistency, GVFS is able to both improve application runtimes and reduce server load significantly, compared to kernel-level NFS in WAN.