Scale and Performance in a Distributed File System (Andrew)

J.H. Howard et al. ACM Transactions on Computer Systems. Vol. 6, No. 1 (Feb 1988), pp. 51-81.

They describe Andrew and design decisions that went into it. They talk about performance with N servers and M users.

The design of Andrew:

They introduce the Andrew Benchmark which is used countless times in subsequent papers. It's basically copying a bunch of source files, reading them all through, and compiling them.

It scales better than NFS. Lower server CPU load (not to mention actually consistency semantics). But still the large-file problem: what about database-type applications?

Other nice features: Volumes/mount points (like NFS/vnodes) allow migration. Supports snapshots (with copy-on-write) for backups and migration.

Umesh Shankar
Last modified: Wed Jul 11 11:52:09 PDT 2001