FSaaS: Configuring Policies for Managing Shared Files Among Cooperating, Distributed Applications

FSaaS: Configuring Policies for Managing Shared Files Among Cooperating, Distributed Applications

Marco Di Sano, Antonella Di Stefano, Giovanni Morana, Daniele Zito
Copyright: © 2013 |Pages: 14
DOI: 10.4018/jwp.2013010101
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In this paper, the authors introduce and describe the concept of File System as a Services (FSaaS), an highly configurable cloud service that enables cooperating, distributed applications to define their own rules and policies for managing sets of files shared. The FSaaS aims to create a logical virtual space, containing references to shared files, whose management layer supports the same functionalities of a file system (basic file operations) but where each single file can have different policies for consistency, synchronization and replication. This work explains the idea at the base of FSaaS, describes in details its main components and their interactions and illustrates two use cases for better explaining the provided functionalities.
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There are a lot of studies dealing with the file sharing in distributed systems.

Network File System (NFS) (Sandberg, 1986) is a way to share files among machines on a network as if they were located in the client’s local hard drive. The main idea of NFS is that each file server provides a standard view of its file system. The NFS protocol allows clients (which are heterogeneous processes) to access files on a remote server, in order to share a common file system. NFS uses a remote access model where the client asks to the file server (through a common API) for executing some operations on a set of files. It is different from the upload/download model, where the client first downloads the affected file, then modifies and uploads it on file server. The main advantages of NFS are transparency on access and good failure robustness, but there is no migration transparency. If a resource is placed in other server, the client must be aware of this change. Moreover, NFS has a very low availability and poor scalability since it is based on a single server model, even if there are multiple servers (each one runs independently).

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