UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

A garbage collector & free space compactor for the parallax storage system Abdul-Amir, Mohammad


Parallax is a distributed storage system for virtualized environments. It provides virtual disk abstractions for the consumption of virtual machines. Parallax’s design has been driven by emerging trends in virtualized deployments. The system makes use of Copy-on-Write mechanisms to provide primitives for fast snapshotting and provisioning of disks in order to match the nimbleness and agility of virtual machines. However, using Copy-on-Write mechanisms in a distributed storage system complicates free space reclamation and leads to data fragmentation. Implementing a garbage collector and a disk defragmentation utility for Parallax has been attempted previously. The work described in this thesis presents a revised implementation of garbage collection for Parallax. It also introduces a utility for managing free space reclaimed from garbage collection, namely a fault-tolerant free space coalescing utility that aims at minimizing the occurrence of data fragmentation - and its adverse effects - in Parallax.

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