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CRDTs for truly concurrent file systems

Romain Vaillant
  • Function : Author
  • PersonId : 1104305
Dimitrios Vasilas
  • Function : Author
  • PersonId : 1104306
Marc Shapiro

Abstract

Building scalable and highly available geo-replicated file systems is hard. These systems need to resolve conflicts that emerge in concurrent operations in a way that maintains file system invariants, is meaningful to the user, and does not depart from the traditional file system interface. Conflict resolution in existing systems often leads to unexpected or inconsistent results. This paper introduces ElmerFS, a geo-replicated, truly concurrent file system designed with the aim of addressing these challenges. ElmerFS is based on two key ideas: (1) the use of Conflict-Free Replicated Data Types (CRDTs) for representing file system structures, which ensures that replicas converge to a correct state, and (2) conflict resolution rules, which are determined by the choice of CRDT types and their composition, designed with the principle of being intuitive to the user. We argue that if the state of the file system after resolving a conflict conveys to the user the resolved conflict in an intuitive way, the user can complement or reverse it using traditional file system operations. We discuss the challenges in the design of geo-replicated weakly consistent file systems, and present the design of ElmerFS.
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Dates and versions

hal-03278658 , version 1 (05-07-2021)

Identifiers

  • HAL Id : hal-03278658 , version 1

Cite

Romain Vaillant, Dimitrios Vasilas, Marc Shapiro, Thuy Linh Nguyen. CRDTs for truly concurrent file systems. HotStorage '21 -13th ACM Workshop on Hot Topics in Storage and File Systems, Jul 2021, Virtual, France. ⟨hal-03278658⟩
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