File Systems and File Management

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The Abstracts

The File Systems Evolution
Christian Bandulet

File Systems impose structure on the address space of one or more physical or virtual devices.  Starting with local file systems over time additional file systems appeared focusing on specialized requirements such as data sharing, remote file access, distributed file access, parallel files access, HPC, archiving, security etc.. Due to the dramatic growth of unstructured data files as the basic units for data containers are morphing into file objects providing more semantics and feature-rich capabilities for content processing.    This presentation will categorize and explain the basic principles of currently available file systems (e.g. local FS, shared FS, SAN FS, clustered FS, network FS, distributed FS, parallel FS, object FS, ...). It will also explain technologies like NAS aggregation, NAS clustering, scalable NFS, global namespace, parallel NFS, storage grids and cloud storage.     All of these file system categories are complementary. They will be enhanced in parallel with additional value added functionality. New file system architectures will be developed and some of them will be blended in the future.

Learning Objectives

  • Understand the basic principles of different files system architectures 
  • Understand how file systems evolved over time 
  • Being prepared to discuss, position and recommend the most appropriate file system for a customer solution

Tiered File System - Without Tiers
Nick Kirsch

File systems have evolved considerably, yet the vast majority of them are still a simple organizational layer on top of a block device. As the sheer amount of data scales in an organization, it becomes absolutely critical that filesystems evolve as well.    This presentation focuses on a modern file system which include native tiering capabilities, native per-file performance and protection capabilities, and advanced scalability."

Learning Objectives

  • What is a Scale-Out Storage system and how does it differ from a "traditional" storage system? 
  • How do different implementations of Scale-Out technologies differ - what are the pros/cons of the various design choices?

File Systems for Object Storage Devices
Craig Harmer and Paul Massiglia

Object-based storage devices (OSDs) may become the next big thing in file storage systems. Already deployed in the high-performance computing arena, they are poised for general enterprise computing as data requirements mushroom. By distributing storage management and enabling secure data transfer between storage and clients, OSDs promise significant improvements in scaling and administrative simplicity. But OSDs require a new breed of file system--one that  makes effective use of them to deliver the promised benefits.  This tutorial describes the properties of OSDs, explains how file system technology is evolving to exploit the scalability and administrative simplicity they offer, identifies the mature and emerging segments of the OSD-based file storage systems market, and shows how technology that has been successful in HPC can be beneficially employed in more general data center environments. Standardization activities, notably the parallel NFS (pNFS) protocol for addressing OSDs will be discussed.

Learning Objectives

  • Appreciate the advantages of OSDs over conventional disks and the environments in which those advantages are meaningful. 
  • Understand how OSD file systems must differ from disk-based file systems. 
  • Understand the current state of OSD file system maturity and the segments in which they are deployed, and learn how OSD technology and standardization are developing to broaden the appeal of OSDs throughout enterprise computing.

Storage Tiering and the Impact of Flash on File Systems
Jonathan Goldick

With all of the talk about how storage systems will be impacted by large amounts of relatively inexpensive Flash little has been said about how file systems will need to change to take advantage of it.   This tutorial will cover how file systems are evolving tiered architectures to leverage Flash.

Learning Objectives

  • Characteristics of Flash that are relevant to file systems. 
  • What data should and should not be put on Flash and why. 
  • How tiering works in a file system and whether it's better handled at the array.