Flexible allocation and space management in storage systems
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In this dissertation, we examine some of the challenges faced by the emerging networked storage systems. We focus on two main issues. Current file systems allocate storage statically at the time of their creation. This results in many suboptimal scenarios, for example: (a) space on the disk is not allocated well across multiple file systems, (b) data is not organized well for typical access patterns. We propose Virtual Allocation for flexible storage allocation. Virtual allocation separates storage allocation from the file system. It employs an allocate-on-write strategy, which lets applications fit into the actual usage of storage space without regard to the configured file system size. This improves flexibility by allowing storage space to be shared across different file systems. We present the design of virtual allocation and an evaluation of it through benchmarks based on a prototype system on Linux. Next, based on virtual allocation, we consider the problem of balancing locality and load in networked storage systems with multiple storage devices (or bricks). Data distribution affects locality and load balance across the devices in a networked storage system. We propose user-optimal data migration scheme which tries to balance locality and load balance in such networked storage systems. The presented approach automatically and transparently manages migration of data blocks among disks as data access patterns and loads change over time. We built a prototype system on Linux and present the design of user-optimal migration and an evaluation of it through realistic experiments.
Kang, Suk Woo (2003). Flexible allocation and space management in storage systems. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A&M University. Texas A&M University. Available electronically from