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The conventional model of a file as a contiguous array of bytes hides information about the physical location of data from users. While this simplifying abstraction can be useful in some cases, it can also lead to suboptimal performance and unnecessary overhead. A growing number of applications - even those as basic as the Unix cp utility - can benefit from increased access to file system metadata. The authors present MapFS, a file system which allows applications to create, inspect, modify, and remove the mappings established between individual files and physical storage.
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