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Petal: Distributed Virtual Disks

Petal: Distributed Virtual Disks,10.1145/237090.237157,Edward K. Lee,Chandramohan A. Thekkath

Petal: Distributed Virtual Disks   (Citations: 403)
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The ideal storage system is globally accessible, always available, provides unlimited performance and capacity for a large number of clients, and requires no management. This paper describes the design, implementation, and performance of Petal, a system that attempts to approximate this ideal in practice through a novel combination of features. Petal consists of a collection of network-connected servers that cooperatively manage a pool of physical disks. To a Petal client, this collection appears as a highly available block-level storage system that provides large abstract containers called A virtual disk is globally accessible to all Petal clients on the network. A client can create a virtual disk on demand to tap the entire capacity and performance of the underlying physical resources. Furthermore, additional resources, such as servers and disks, can be automatically incorporated into Petal.We have an initial Petal prototype consisting of four 225 MHz DEC 3000/700 workstations running Digital Unix and connected by a 155 Mbit/s ATM network. The prototype provides clients with virtual disks that tolerate and recover from disk, server, and network failures. Latency is comparable to a locally attached disk, and throughput scales with the number of servers. The prototype can achieve I/O rates of up to 3150 requests/sec and bandwidth up to 43.1 Mbytes/sec.
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