Towards a worldwide storage infrastructure

Quintard, Julien (2012-06-12)


Peer-to-peer systems have recently gained a lot of attention in the academic community especially through the design of KBR (Key-Based Routing) algorithms and DHT (Distributed Hash Table)s. On top of these constructs were built promising applications such as video streaming applications but also storage infrastructures benefiting from the availability and resilience of such scalable network protocols. Unfortunately, rare are the storage systems designed to be scalable and fault-tolerant to Byzantine behaviour, conditions required for such systems to be deployed in an environment such as the Internet. Furthermore, although some means of access control are often provided, such file systems fail to offer the end-users the flexibility required in order to easily manage the permissions granted to potentially hundreds or thousands of end-users. In addition, as for centralised file systems which rely on a special user, referred to as root on Unices, distributed file systems equally require some tasks to operate at the system level. The decentralised nature of these systems renders impossible the use of a single authoritative entity for performing such tasks since implicitly granting her superprivileges, unacceptable configuration for such decentralised systems. This thesis addresses both issues by providing the file system objects a completely decentralised access control and administration scheme enabling users to express access control rules in a flexible way but also to request administrative tasks without the need for a superuser. A prototype has been developed and evaluated, proving feasible the deployment of such a decentralised file system in large-scale and untrustworthy environments.