IJRIT International Journal of Research in Information Technology, Volume 1, Issue 11, November, 2013, Pg. 12-18

International Journal of Research in Information Technology (IJRIT)


ISSN 2001-5569

Distributed File System Parul Singh1, Pooja Dang 2, Swati Sharma 3 1

Student, IT Department, Dronacharya College of Engineering, Farrukhnagar, Gurgaon, India.


Student, IT Department, Dronacharya College of Engineering, Farrukhnagar, Gurgaon, India.


Student, IT Department, Dronacharya College of Engineering, Farrukhnagar, Gurgaon, India. 1

[email protected] Abstract

In this paper we will give an overview about Distributed file system [DFS] , a classical model of a file system dispersed over a multiple machines. It deals with the storage of file on the basis of client-server architecture .i.e. a node asks for some information the message is passed over the network and the corresponding hits are displayed. It’s main purpose involves sharing of dispersed files .In DFS, one or more central servers store files that can be accessed, with proper authorization rights, by any number of remote clients in the network. It may use different approaches to access a file using a standardized naming convention and mapping scheme to locate a file or may it be a hierarchical file systems like an operating system. It works in a way that when the client device retrieves a file from the server, the file appears as a normal file on the client machine, and the user is able to work with the file in the same ways as if it were stored locally. When the user finishes working with the file, it is returned over the network to the server, which stores the now-altered file for retrieval at a later time.

Keywords: Distributed File Systems (DFS),Client-server Architecture, Transparency, Security

1. Introduction System designers have longingly thought to improve the performance of traditional file systems, which proved critical to the overall performance of an exceedingly broad class of applications. The methodical and highperformance of computing communities in particular have driven advances in the performance and scalability of distributed file storage systems. The DFS uses two concepts of file service and file server. File service basically deals with what the file system offers to its clients, describing its primitives available, parameters taken and action performed. It defines what services are offered to a particular client but does not specify its implementation i.e. acts as an interface to clients. File server runs on an another machine and implements the client’s file service. It searches for a particular user process and returns the result back to the client.

Parul Singh, IJRIT


Fig1 GFS Architecture In distributed file system there are two file services: True file service and the other one is directory services. True file service is concerned on performing operations on files like reading, writing while the other involves managing and creating directories, then adding and deleting files from the directories. It forms the basic landmark in a LAN network used in any company such that a particular file is available for communication as well as for performing operation or it may be a global network like Google. An implementation of GFS (Google file system),a distributed system is given below: GFS Client asks for a particular application using a predefined chunk size, the client then translates the file name and byte offset provided by the particular application into a chunk index within the file. Then, it sends the master a request containing name of the file and chunk index. The master replies with the corresponding chunk handle and locations of the replicas. The client caches this information using the file name and chunk index as the key. The client then sends a request to one of the replicas, most likely the closest one. The request specifies the chunk handle and a byte range within that chunk. Further reads of the same chunk require no more client-master interaction until the cached information expires or the file is reopened. In fact, the client typically asks for multiple chunks in the same request and the master can also include the information for chunks immediately following those requested. This extra information sidesteps several future client-master interactions at practically no extra cost. The processed file after being used is sent over the network to the server. There are various factors that take in to account the performance of a particular distributed file systems like Data Consistency, Security, reliability, Uniform Access, Availability, etc

2. Issues in Designing A DFS Whenever we design a distributed file systems there are various problems that are encountered. These are: transparency, flexibility, reliability, performance, scalability and security. They may be explained below. 1. Transparency It makes the file appears to the client in such away that the file was present locally on the system access transparency :Clients are unaware that files are present at the other location and it appears as if they are local files location transparency: The location where a file is present is hided. It also contains a consist namespace. Parul Singh, IJRIT


1.1 Concurrency transparency: It hides the fact that the same resource is being shared. This means that if one process is modifying a file, any other processes on the same system or remote systems that are accessing the files will see the modifications in a coherent manner. 1.2 Failure transparency: It helps in dealing with the failure and recovery of a resource i.e. client should operate correctly after a server failure. 1.3 Migration transparency :It hides the movement of a resource to another location without the client’s knowledge. 1.4 Relocation transparency :It hides the movement of a resource to another location while in use. 1.5 Replication transparency :It make the client unaware about the fact that multiple copies of the resource exist without his knowledge. 1.6 Scalability :It makes the file system to work efficiently either for a smaller or a very large number of clients. 1.7 Heterogeneity :It makes the file system platform independent i.e. hardware and operating system independent.

2. Flexibilty Kernels are used for achieving the flexibility. Its main function involves memory, process, and resource management, It is one of the best way to achieve it whether to use the monolithic and micro kernel. Monolithic kernels suggests that all the functionalities are provided by the kernel irrespective of whether all machines use it or not while micro-kernels use the minimalist, modular approach with accessibility to other services as needed. A. RELIABILITY It ensures that data should be available without errors and if multiple copies of the file exist they must be consistent with the systems. B. PERFORMANCE It is the amount of time needed to fulfil the service requests of clients i.e. for the performance to be good it must be that the application should run just as it was running on a single processor. Various factors that affect performance are: response time, throughput, system utilization and amount of network capacity used. C. SCALABILITY Scalability refers to the situation in which the throughput changes roughly in proportion to the change in the number of units of or size of the inputs. Thus a Scalable system must be able to work well even with a single user network or it may be a larger network. The distributed file systems has some issues in scalability Like: Centralized server: It does not do well for a distributed file system as a single server is used for all purposes and it becomes a bottle neck as the system grows. We can deal this problem by partitioning the system in to smaller units and try to make each one •

relatively independent of others. Having one server per unit scales is much better than single server.

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Broadcast: If a machine issues one broadcast per second, with n machines, a total of n broadcasts appear on the network, generating a total of n square interrupts total. As n grows, it generates a problem Centralized algorithms: these does not scale well since they do routing on the basis of complete information.


It is one of the major concerns in today’s world. This issue must be dealt with effectiveness. Some issues are: • • • • E.

Authorization: It deals with providing authorization access to different clients based on their demands and providing protection against unauthorized access. Encryption: It is another way of protecting files. We can have some cryptographic keys that help in the encryption of our files data. Availability: It protects system against failure and also makes the network as well as the files accessible. Integrity: It deals that the file should be maintained properly and it should never get lost.


It involves the way in which, if due to some reason a server breaks down the other server takes on the load of that server. The systems are not capable in fulfilling this demands therefore they need: • •

System need a considerable redundancy in hardware, communication infrastructure, as well as in the software especially data. Systems may be designed in such a way that only partial data is available because if all of it is involved it may lead to fault tolerance.

3. New Trends in Distributed File Systems There has been a rapid change in a computer industry, it has transformed a lot over the years and developing a lot. Changes are being done in order to fulfil the user demands. Some domains in which the development is being done are: •

New hardware: A large memory space has been created over the years. The memory is used for caching as well as for the backup storage. Large memory spaces are used to handle the workload and hence provide mapping with the memory. Fast fibre optics It is being used in doing client caching to avoid slow transfer from server to client with all its inherent complications but fast fibre network will make it feasible to get rid of client cache and the server disk and operating out of the server’s memory, backed up by optical disk. It would make the software simple.

3.1 Scalability It refers to the ratio of the throughput to the number of systems in the network. Some way to deal with this problem: •

Partition the system in to smaller units and try to make it relatively independent of the other systems.

Parul Singh, IJRIT


Broadcasting is a big problem area if a machine a broadcast a message per second then if n broadcast will occur , a total of n2 interrupts will occur.

3.2 Wide Area Networking It allows a remote area programmable network element for restructuring of wide area system that would improve wide area resource utilization, simplify application development, and improve end to end connectivity. 3.3 Mobile users In today’s world we are using various portable devices including mobiles, laptop, notebooks, pocket computers. Thus, there is a need to develop portable systems. The inevitable conclusion derived is that for a large fraction of the time, the user will be off-line, i.e. disconnected from the file system. A solution to it is based on caching. While connected, the user downloads to the portable device the files expected to be used later. These can be used while disconnected but When reconnection occurs, the files in the cache must be merged with those in the file tree. Since disconnection can last for hours or days, the problems of maintaining cache consistency is difficult in online systems. 3.4 Fault Tolerance It has become an integral part of a user life that his/her system goes down with heavy traffic load and therefore the users piece of work is greatly affected. To deal with the fault tolerance Some things should be kept in mind redundancy should be there in softwares, hardware, especially data. File replication may be one way to tackle this problem moreover, systems will be designed in such a way that they are able to manage the function when only partial data are available, as if all the required data is available all the time fault tolerance does not occurs. 3.5 Multimedia In today world real time video or multimedia has a large impact on future of DFS as the size of video files is in the order of gigabytes there a newer approach to this will be needed.

4. Comparison between Various Distributed File Systems The table shown below gives the description of various distributed file systems in different domains. They are shown as: File systems





AFS( Andrew File System)

Clusteredbased, asymmetric , parallel, object based



Central metad- ata server

GFS( Goog-le File System)

Clusteredbased, asymmetric parallel,

Statef ul


Central metada ta server

Parul Singh, IJRIT

Consistency And replication Client side caching ,Server side replication Asynchronous replication Server side replication, Asynchron ous

Fault tolerance


Failu-re as norm

Use of Kerberos for authentication and implementation of ACL No dedicated security mechanism

Failure as norm


object based

replication, checksum, relax consistency among replications of data objects

Hadoop file System

Clusteredbased, asymmetric , parallel, object based

Statef ul


Central metada ta server

Server side replication, Asynchron ous replication, checksum

Failur e as norm

No dedicated security mechanism


Clusteredbased, asymmetric, parallel

Statefu l


Central metada-ta server

Server side replication, Asynchrono us replication, checksum

Failu-re as norm

No dedicated security mechanism


Clusteredbased, asymmetric , parallel, object based

Statel ess


Central metada ta server

Server side replication, Asynchrono us replication, checksum

Failure as norm

No dedicated security mechanism


Clusteredbased, asymmetric , parallel, object based

Statef ul

Network Independence

Central metada ta server

Server side replication , Client side caching, checksum

Failu-re as except ion

Security in the form of authentication, authorization and privacy

5. Conclusion This paper highlights Distributed file System which is one of the most advance file system in the world. It highlighted various features, advantages of the DFS. It is the file system involving remote access .Various file systems are differentiated on the basis of forms of shared permanent storage, Architecture, naming, synchronization, availability, heterogeneity and support for databases are the most important things that are considered while designing a DFS. Moreover, some of today’s trends are being highlighted and these trends are kept in mind while designing. Currently, work is being done in the field of HADOOP File Systems. The Importance of HADOOP File System is that it offers high scalabilty as well as it has high fault tolerance power. There is growth and momentum for the framework as well. It also helps in the partitioning of data and computation across many (thousands) of hosts, and the execution of application computations in parallel close to their data.

6. References [1] SANJAY GHEMAWAT, HOWARD GOBIOFF, and SHUN-TAK LEUNG: The Google File System, Google. Bolton Landing, New York, USA ,pp.23-24 December19–22, 2003.

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[2] MORRIS, J. H., SATYANARAYANAN, M., CONNER, M. H., HOWARD, J. H., ROSENTHAL, D. S., AND SMITH, F. D. Andrew: “A distributed personal computing environment. Comnun.” ACM 29, 3 (Mar. 1986), 184201. 4 [3] WALKER, B., POPEK, G., ENGLISH, R., KLINE, C., AND THIEL, G. The LOCUS “distributed operating system”. In Proceedings of the 9th ACM Symposium on Operating System Principles (Bretton Woods, N.H., Oct. 11-13, 1983). ACM, New York, 1983, pp. 49-70. [4] SAGE A. WEIL SCOTT, A. BRANDT ETHAN, L. MILLER DARRELL, D. E. LONG, CARLOS MALTZAHN: Ceph: A Scalable, High-Performance Distributed File System. [5] http://www.expresscomputeronline.com/200404 1 2/techspace01.shtml [6]SUNITA MAHAJAN,”Distributed Computing”, Oxford University Press. [7]ANDREW TANENBAUM, ”Distributed System”, PHI [8] The Hadoop Distributed File System http://hadoop.apache.org/core/docs/current/hdfs_de sign.html

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Distributed File System

Hadoop file. System. Clustered- based, asymmetric. , parallel, object based. Statef ul ... File System http://hadoop.apache.org/core/docs/current/hdfs_de sign.html.

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