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USENIX, The Advanced Computing Systems Association

NSDI '06 — Abstract

Pp. 353–366 of the Proceedings

Virtualization Aware File Systems: Getting Beyond the Limitations of Virtual Disks

Ben Pfaff, Tal Garfinkel, and Mendel Rosenblum, Stanford University


Virtual disks are the main form of storage in today's virtual machine environments. They offer many attractive features, including whole system versioning, isolation, and mobility, that are absent from current file systems. Unfortunately, the low-level interface of virtual disks is very coarse-grained, forcing all-or-nothing whole system rollback, and opaque, offering no practical means of sharing. These problems impose serious limitations on virtual disks' usability, security, and ease of management.

To overcome these limitations, we offer Ventana, a virtualization aware file system. Ventana combines the file-based storage and sharing benefits of a conventional distributed file system with the versioning, mobility, and access control features that make virtual disks so compelling.

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Last changed: 1 June 2006 ch