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Operating System Concepts, 8th Edition by GREG GAGNE, PETER BAER GALVIN, ABRAHAM SILBERSCHATZ

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CHAPTER 17
Distributed File Systems
 
 
In the previous chapter, we discussed network construction and the low-level protocols needed to transfer messages between systems. Now we examine one use of this infrastructure. A distributed file system (DFS) is a distributed implementation of the classical time-sharing model of a file system, where multiple users share files and storage resources (Chapter 11). The purpose of a DFS is to support the same kind of sharing when the files are physically dispersed among the sites of a distributed system.
In this chapter, we describe how a DFS can be designed and implemented. First, we discuss common concepts on which DFSs are based. Then, we illustrate our concepts by examining one influential DFS—the Andrew file system (AFS).
CHAPTER OBJECTIVES
• To explain the naming mechanism that provides location transparency and independence.
• To describe the various methods for accessing distributed files.
• To contrast stateful and stateless distributed file servers.
• To show how replication of files on different machines in a distributed file system is a useful redundancy for improving availability.
• To introduce the Andrew file system (AFS) as an example of a distributed file system.

17.1 Background

As we noted in the preceding chapter, a distributed ...

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