MSST 2003
Conference paper

Towards an object store

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Today's SAN architectures promise unmediated host access to storage (i.e., without going through a server). To achieve this promise, however, we must address several issues and opportunities raised by SANs, including security, scalability and management. Object storage, such as introduced by the NASD work, is a means of addressing these issues and opportunities. An object store raises the level of abstraction presented by a storage control unit from an array of 512 byte blocks to a collection of objects. The object store provides "fine-grain," object-level security, improved scalability by localizing space management, and improved management by allowing end-to-end management of semantically meaningful entities. This paper presents a detailed description of how an object store works and describes the design of Antara, our prototype object store. For a cache hit workload, our pure software prototype is able to service roughly 14000 4K I/O requests per second. We also present a layered security model for an object store which separates concerns of access security and network security, leveraging existing security infrastructure.