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DiFFS: a Scalable Distributed File System

Karamanolis, Christos; Mahalingam, Mallik; Muntz, Dan; Zhang, Zheng

HPL-2001-19

Keyword(s): distributed file system; storage management; Storage Area Network (SAN)

Abstract: Industry analysts see no limits to the world's expanding appetite for data-storage services. Emerging networking technologies allow incremental scaling of bandwidth and capacity of storage, which is attached to the network. A key challenge is to devise the software that provides transparent shared access to decentralized storage resources. Existing network file systems will not meet the scalability requirements of future storage services. This paper introduces DiFFS, a distributed file system designed for storage area networks. DiFFS achieves high scalability by following a partitioning approach to sharing storage resources. The architecture is robust against failures and unfavorable access patterns. It is independent of the physical file system(s) used for the placement of data; multiple file systems can co- exist in a DiFFS system.

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