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Friday, March 05, 2010

Evolution of the Google File System

From CACM. An interesting technical and historical piece about decisions made at Google to make their massive file requirements work on challenging hardware: ' ... During the early stages of development at Google, the initial thinking did not include plans for building a new file system. While work was under way on one of the earliest versions of the company's crawl and indexing system, however, it became quite clear to the core engineers that they really had no other choice—thus, the Google File System (GFS) was born ... Given that Google's goal was to build a vast storage network out of inexpensive commodity hardware, it had to be assumed that component failures would be the norm ... '.

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