Hierarchical Codes: A Flexible Trade-Off for Erasure Codes in Peer-to-Peer Storage Systems

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Executive Summary

Redundancy is the basic technique to provide reliability in storage systems consisting of multiple components. A redundancy scheme defines how the redundant data are produced and maintained. The simplest redundancy scheme is replication, which however suffers from storage inefficiency. Another approach is erasure coding, which provides the same level of reliability as replication using a significantly smaller amount of storage. When redundant data are lost, they need to be replaced. While replacing replicated data consists in a simple copy, it becomes a complex operation with erasure codes: new data are produced performing a coding over some other available data.

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