Dissecting UbuntuOne: Autopsy of a global-scale personal cloud back-end
Personal Cloud services, such as Dropbox or Box, have been widely adopted by users. Unfortunately, very little is known about the internal operation and general characteristics of Personal Clouds since they are proprietary services. In this paper, we focus on understanding the nature of Personal Clouds by presenting the internal structure and a measurement study of UbuntuOne (U1). We first detail the U1 architecture, core components involved in the U1 metadata service hosted in the datacenter of Canonical, as well as the interactions of U1 with Amazon S3 to outsource data storage. To our knowledge, this is the first research work to describe the internals of a large-scale Personal Cloud. Second, by means of tracing the U1 servers, we provide an extensive analysis of its back-end activity for one month. Our analysis includes the study of the storage workload, the user behavior and the performance of the U1 metadata store. Moreover, based on our analysis, we suggest improvements to U1 that can also benefit similar Personal Cloud systems. Finally, we contribute our dataset to the community, which is the first to contain the back-end activity of a large-scale Personal Cloud. We believe that our dataset provides unique opportunities for extending research in the field.