Striping Doesn't Scale: How to Achieve Scalability for Continuous Media Servers with Replication
Lui, John C.S.
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Multimedia applications place high demands for QoS, performance, and reliability on storage servers and communication networks. These, often stringent, requirements make design of cost-effective and scalable continuous media (CM) servers difficult. In particular, the choice of data placement techniques can have a significant effect on the scalability of the CM server and its ability to utilize resources efficiently. In the recent past, a great deal of work has focused on ``wide'' data striping as a technique which ``implicitly'' solves load balancing problems; although, it does suffer from multiple shortcomings. Another approach to dealing with load imbalance problems is replication. The main focus of this paper is a study of scalability characteristics of CM servers as a function of tradeoffs between striping and replication. More specifically, striping is a good approach to load balancing while replication is a good approach to ``isolating'' nodes from being dependent on other system resources. The appropriate compromise between the degree of striping and the degree of replication is key to the design of a scalable CM server. This is the topic of our work. Also cross-referenced as UMIACS-TR-99-45