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The authors study the problem of guaranteeing data durability in distributed storage systems based on replication. The work is motivated by several several recent efforts to build such systems in a peer-to-peer environment. The key features of this environment which make achieving durability difficult are (1) data lifetimes may be several orders of magnitude larger than the lifetimes of individual storage units, and (2) the system may have little or no control over the participation of these storage units in the system. They use a model-based approach to develop engineering principles for designing automated replication and repair mechanisms to implement durability in such systems.
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