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Live Deduplication Storage of Virtual Machine Images in an Open-Source Cloud

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Executive Summary

Deduplication is an approach of avoiding storing data blocks with identical content, and has been shown to effectively reduce the disk space for storing multi-gigabyte Virtual Machine (VM) images. However, it remains challenging to deploy deduplication in a real system, such as a cloud platform, where VM images are regularly inserted and retrieved. The authors propose LiveDFS, a live deduplication file system that enables deduplication storage of VM images in an open-source cloud that is deployed under low-cost commodity hardware settings with limited memory footprints. LiveDFS has several distinct features, including spatial locality, prefetching of metadata, and journaling. LiveDFS is POSIX-compliant and is implemented as a Linux kernel-space file system.

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