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It has been widely acknowledged that online storage systems within the "Cloud" of the Internet provide services of a substantial value to end users who wish to share files of any sizes within a group. Such online storage services are typically provided by dedicated servers, either in Content Distribution Networks (CDNs) or large data centers. Server bandwidth costs, however, are prohibitive in these cases, especially when serving large volumes of files to a large number of users. Though it seems intuitive to take advantage of peer upload bandwidth to mitigate such server bandwidth costs in a complementary fashion, it is not trivial to design and fine-tune important aspects of such peer-assisted online storage in a real-world large-scale deployment.
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