Subscribe by Email

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Overview of Distributed File Systems (DFS)

A distributed file system or network file system is any file system that allows access to files from multiple hosts sharing via a computer network. This makes it possible for multiple users on multiple machines to share files and storage resources.
In order to understand the structure of a distributed file system, the terms service, server and client should be defined. A service is a software entity running on one or more machines and providing a particular type of function. A server is the service software running on a single machine. A client is a process that can invoke a service using a set of operations that forms its client interface.
A distributed file system (DFS) is a file system whose clients, servers, and storage devices are dispersed among the machines of a distributed system. A service activity has to be carried out across the network, and instead of a single centralized data repository, there are multiple and independent storage devices. the distinctive features of a DFS are the multiplicity and autonomy of clients and servers in the system.
A DFS should look to its clients like a conventional, centralized file system. The client interface of a DFS should not distinguish between local and remote files. The most important performance measurement of a DFS is the amount of time needed to satisfy various service requests. In a DFS, a remote access has the additional overhead attributed to the distributed structure. This overhead includes the time needed to deliver the request to the server, as well as the time for getting the response across the network back to the client. DFS manages a set of dispersed storage devices which is the DFS's key distinguishing feature.

No comments:

Facebook activity