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Ivy: A Read/Write Peer-to-peer File System

Athicha Muthitacharoen, Robert Morris, Thomer Gil, and Benjie Chen.


Ivy is a multi-user read/write peer-to-peer file system. Ivy has no centralized or dedicated components, and it provides useful integrity properties without requiring users to fully trust either the underlying peer-to-peer storage system or the other users of the file system.

An Ivy file system consists solely of a set of logs, one log per participant. Ivy stores its logs in the DHash distributed hash table. Each participant finds data by consulting all logs, but performs modifications by appending only to its own log. This arrangement allows Ivy to maintain meta-data consistency without locking. Ivy users can choose which other logs to trust, an appropriate arrangement in a semi-open peer-to-peer system.

Ivy presents applications with a conventional file system interface. When the underlying network is fully connected, Ivy provides NFS-like semantics, such as close-to-open consistency. Ivy detects conflicting modifications made during a partition, and provides relevant version information to application-specific conflict resolvers. Performance measurements on a wide-area network show that Ivy is two to three times slower than NFS.

To appear in the Proceedings of the 5th Symposium on Operating Systems Design and Implementation, Boston, MA, December 2002. (BibTeX entry)

Paper text: PDF, PS, gzipped PS

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