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Consistency Without Ordering

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Author(s)
Arpaci-Dusseau, Remzi H.; Arpaci-Dusseau, Andrea C.; Sharma, Tushar; Chidambaram, Vijay
Citation
TR1709
Date
Jan 2012
Subject(s)
file-system consistency; file-system design
Abstract
Modern file systems use ordering points to maintain consistency in the face of system crashes. However, such ordering leads to lower performance, higher complexity, and a strong and perhaps naive dependence on lower layers to correctly enforce the ordering of writes. In this paper, we introduce the No-Order File System (NoFS), a simple, lightweight file system that employs a novel technique called backpointer-based consistency to provide crash consistency without ordering writes as they go to disk. We utilize a formal model to prove that NoFS provides data consistency in the event of system crashes; we show through experiments that NoFS is robust to such crashes, and delivers excellent performance across a range of workloads. Backpointer-based consistency thus allows NoFS to provide crash consistency without resorting to the heavyweight machinery of traditional approaches.
Description
This is an extended version of the paper published in the 10th Usenix conference on File and Storage Technologies (FAST 12).
Permanent link
http://digital.library.wisc.edu/1793/61251 
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