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Network file systems offer a powerful, transparent interface for accessing remote data. Unfortunately, in current network file systems like NFS, clients fetch data from a central file server, inherently limiting the system's ability to scale too many clients. While recent distributed (peer-to-peer) systems have managed to eliminate this scalability bottleneck, they are often exceedingly complex and provide non-standard models for administration and accountability. The authors present Shark, a novel system that retains the best of both worlds - the scalability of distributed systems with the simplicity of central servers.
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