Date of Original Version



Technical Report

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Abstract or Description

By providing direct data transfer between storage and client, network-attached storage devices have the potential to improve scalability (by removing the server as a bottleneck) and performance (through network striping and shorter data paths). Realizing the technology's full potential requires careful consideration across a wide range of file system, networking and security issues. To address these issues, this paper presents two new network-attached storage architectures. (1) Networked SCSI disks (NetSCSI) are network-attached storage devices with minimal changes from the familiar SCSI interface (2) Network-attached secure disks (NASD) are drives that support independent client access to drive provided object services. For both architectures, we present a sketch of repartitionings of distributed file system functionality, including a security framework whose strongest levels use tamper resistant processing in the disks to provide action authorization and data privacy even when the drive is in a physically insecure location.

Using AFS and NFS, trace results suggest that NetSCSI can reduce file server load during a burst of AFS activity by a factor of about 2; for the NASD architecture, server load (during burst activity) can be reduced by a factor of about 4 for AFS and 10 for NFS.