Synchronization and Caching Issues in the Andrew File System

M.L. Kazar


Many distributed file systems go to great extremes to provide exactly the same consistency semantics in a distributed environment as they provide in the single machine case, often at great cost to performance. Other distributed file systems go to the other extreme, and provide good performance, but with extremely weak consistency guarantees. However, a good compromise can be achieved between these two views of distributed file system design. We have built one such system, the Andrew file system. It attempts to provide the best of both worlds, providing useful file system consistency guarantees along with good performance.