Distributed File Systems

Authored by: Doeppner Thomas W.

Computing Handbook

Print publication date:  May  2014
Online publication date:  May  2014

Print ISBN: 9781439898529
eBook ISBN: 9781439898536
Adobe ISBN:


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Distributed file systems (DFSs) provide common file access to a collection of computers; all in the collection can access files as if they were local, even though the files do not reside in their local file systems. The need for such a distributed system grew out of the switch in the 1980s from multiuser timeshared systems to networks of workstations (or personal computers). A community of people using a time-sharing system shared a single file system, all files were accessed identically by programs, and files were shared trivially. Furthermore, the file systems were easily administered—they were all attached to one machine and could be easily backed up. A DFS provides all the benefits of the file system on a timesharing system and opens them up to users of collection of personal computers.

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