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Abstract - Technical Program - OSDI 99

The Design of a Multicast-based Distributed File System

Björn Grönvall, Assar Westerlund, Stephen Pink
Swedish Institute of Computer Science and Luleå University of Technology


JetFile is a distributed file system designed to support shared file access in a heterogenous environment such as the Internet. It uses multicast communication and optimistic strategies for synchronization and distribution.

JetFile relies on "peer-to-peer" communication over multicast channels. Most of the traditional file server responsibilities have been decentralized. In particular, the more heavyweight operations such as serving file data and attributes are, in our system, the responsibility of the clients. Some functions such as serializing file updates are still centralized in JetFile. Since serialization is a relatively lightweight operation in our system, serialization is expected to have only minor impact on scalability.

We have implemented parts of the JetFile design and have measured its performance over a local-area network and an emulated wide-area network. Our measurements indicate that, using a standard benchmark, JetFile performance is comparable to that of local-disk based file systems. This means it is considerably faster than commonly used distributed file systems such as NFS and AFS.

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Last changed: 27 Mar 2002 ml
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