e-SAFE: An Extensible Secure and Fault Tolerant Storage System

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Paul, Arnab
Agarwala, Sandip
Ramachandran, Umakishore
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With the rapidly falling price of hardware, and increasingly available bandwidth, storage technology is seeing a paradigm shift from centralized and managed mode to distributed and unmanaged configurations. The key issues in designing such systems include scalability, extensibility and robustness to name a few. This paper describes e-SAFE , a scalable distributed storage system that deploys a pastiche of theoretical and practical techniques, providing tolerance of malicious faults, reduced management overhead such as periodic repairs, and very high availability at an archival scale. e-SAFE is designed to provide a storage utility for environments such as large-scale data centers in enterprise networks where the servers experience high loads and thus show temporary unavailability (as opposed to P2P systems, where servers disappear over the long run). Consequently, the design goal of e-SAFE is to provide high load resilience in a seamlessly extensible way. e-SAFE is based on the simple principle: efficiently sprinkle data all over a distributed storage and robustly reconstruct even when many of them are unavailable under high loads. The performance gears used in e-SAFE are: (i) Task parallelization over multiple file segments that can take advantage of an SMP architecture, (ii) Erasure codes with very fast encoding and decoding algorithms as opposed to naive replications and (iii) A back-ground replication mechanism hiding the cost of replication and dissemination from the user, yet guaranteeing high durability.
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