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Traditional distributed file system technologies designed for local and campus area networks do not adapt well to wide area grid computing environments. To address this problem, the authors have designed the Chirp distributed file system, which is designed from the ground up to meet the needs of grid computing. Chirp is easily deployed without special privileges, provides strong and flexible security mechanisms, tunable consistency semantics, and clustering to increase capacity and throughput. They demonstrate that many of these features also provide order-of-magnitude performance increases over wide area networks. They describe three applications in bioinformatics, biometrics, and gamma ray physics that each employ Chirp to attack large scale data intensive problems.
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