Large-Scale File Systems with the Flexibility of Databases


Alok Choudhary and David Kotz. Large-Scale File Systems with the Flexibility of Databases. ACM Computing Surveys, volume 28A, number 4. ACM, December 1996. doi:10.1145/242224.242488. ©Copyright ACM. Position paper for the Working Group on Storage I/O for Large-Scale Computing, ACM Workshop on Strategic Directions in Computing Research. Available on-line only.


We note that large-scale computing includes many applications with intensive I/O demands. A data-storage system for such applications must address two issues: locating the appropriate data set, and accessing the contents of the data set. Today, there are two extreme models of data location and management: 1) file systems, which can be fast but which require a user to manage the structure of the file-name space and, often, of the file contents; and 2) object-oriented-database systems, in which even the smallest granule of data is stored as an object with associated access methods, which is very flexible but often slow. We propose a solution that may provide the performance of file systems with the flexibility of object databases.

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