Venti: A New Approach to Archival Data Storage
This paper describes a network storage system, called Venti, intended for archival data. In this system, a unique hash of a block's contents acts as the block identifier for read and write operations. This approach enforces a write-once policy, preventing accidental or malicious destruction of data. In addition, duplicate copies of a block can be coalesced, reducing the consumption of storage and simplifying the implementation of clients. Venti is a building block for constructing a variety of storage applications such as logical backup, physical backup, and snapshot file systems.
We have built a prototype of the system and present some preliminary performance results. The system uses magnetic disks as the storage technology, resulting in an access time for archival data that is comparable to non-archival data. The feasibility of the write-once model for storage is demonstrated using data from over a decadeÕs use of two Plan 9 file systems.