SIAM Journal on Computing

Fail-aware untrusted storage

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We consider a set of clients collaborating through an online service provider that is subject to attacks and hence not fully trusted by the clients. We introduce the abstraction of a failaware untrusted service, with meaningful semantics even when the provider is faulty. In the common case, when the provider is correct, such a service guarantees consistency (linearizability) and liveness (wait-freedom) of all operations. In addition, the service always provides accurate and complete consistency and failure detection. We illustrate our new abstraction by presenting a Fail-Aware Untrusted STorage service (FAUST). Existing storage protocols in this model guarantee so-called forking semantics. We observe, however, that none of the previously suggested protocols suffices for implementing fail-aware untrusted storage with the desired liveness and consistency properties (at least wait-freedom and linearizability when the server is correct). We present a new storage protocol, which does not suffer from this limitation, and implements a new consistency notion, called weak fork-linearizability. We show how to extend this protocol to provide eventual consistency and failure awareness in FAUST. Copyright © by SIAM.


30 May 2011


SIAM Journal on Computing