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The Internet enables global sharing of data across organizational boundaries. Distributed file systems facilitate data sharing in the form of remote file access. However, traditional access control mechanisms used in distributed file systems are intended for machines under common administrative control, and rely on maintaining a centralized database of user identities. They fail to scale to a large user base distributed across multiple organizations. The authors provide a survey of decentralized access control mechanisms in distributed file systems intended for large scale, in both administrative domains and users.
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