Yasushi Saito, Christos Karamanolis, Magnus Karlsson, and Mallik Mahalingam
Storage Systems Department, HP Labs, Palo Alto, CA, USA
Pangaea is a wide-area file system that supports data sharing among a community of widely distributed users. It is built on a symmetrically decentralized infrastructure that consists of commodity computers provided by the end users. Computers act autonomously to serve data to their local users. When possible, they exchange data with nearby peers to improve the system's overall performance, availability, and network economy. This approach is realized by aggressively creating a replica of a file whenever and wherever it is accessed.
This paper presents the design, implementation, and evaluation of the Pangaea file system. Pangaea offers efficient, randomized algorithms to manage highly dynamic and potentially large groups of file replicas. It applies optimistic consistency semantics to replica contents, but it also offers stronger guarantees when required by the users. The evaluation demonstrates that Pangaea outperforms existing distributed file systems in large heterogeneous environments, typical of the Internet and of large corporate intranets.