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Internet applications increasingly rely on scalable data structures that must support high throughput and store huge amounts of data. These data structures can be hard to implement efficiently. Recent proposals have overcome this problem by giving up on generality and implementing specialized interfaces and functionality. The authors present the design of a more general and flexible solution: a fault-tolerant and scalable distributed B-tree. In addition to the usual B-tree operations, their B-tree provides some important practical features: transactions for atomically executing several operations in one or more B-trees, online migration of B-tree nodes between servers for load-balancing and dynamic addition and removal of servers for supporting incremental growth of the system.
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