Oort: User-Centric Cloud Storage with Global Queries
In principle, the web should provide the perfect stage for user-generated content, allowing users to share their data seamlessly with other users across services and applications. In practice, the web fragments a user's data over many sites, each exposing only limited APIs for sharing. This paper describes Oort, a new cloud storage system that organizes data primarily by user rather than by application or web site. Oort allows users to choose which web software to use with their data and which other users to share it with, while giving applications powerful tools to query that data. Users rent space from providers that cooperate to provide a global, federated, general-purpose storage system. To support large-scale, multi-user applications such as Twitter and e-mail, Oort provides global queries that find and combine data from relevant users across all providers. Oort makes global query execution efficient by recognizing and merging similar queries issued by many users' application instances, largely eliminating the per-user factor in the global complexity of queries. Our evaluation predicts that an Oort implementation could handle traffic similar to that seen by Twitter using a hundred cooperating Oort servers, and that applications with other sharing patterns, like e-mail, can also be executed efficiently.