The patent's assignee is Compuverde Ab.
News editors obtained the following quote from the background information supplied by the inventors: "Such a method is disclosed e.g. in US, 2005/0246393, A1. This method is disclosed for a system that uses a plurality of storage centres at geographically disparate locations. Distributed object storage managers are included to maintain information regarding stored data.
"One problem associated with such a system is how to accomplish simple and yet robust and reliable writing as well as maintenance of data."
As a supplement to the background information on this patent application, VerticalNews correspondents also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent application: "One object of the present disclosure is therefore to realise robust writing or maintenance of data in a distributed storage system, without the use of centralised maintenance servers, which may themselves be a weak link in a system. This object is achieved by means a method of the initially mentioned kind which is accomplished in a storage node and comprises: monitoring the status of other storage nodes in the system as well as writing operations carried out in the data storage system, detecting, based on the monitoring, conditions in the data storage system that imply the need for replication of data between the nodes in the data storage system, and initiating a replication process in case such a condition is detected. The replication process includes sending a multicast message, to a plurality of storage nodes, the message enquiring which of those storage nodes store specific data.
"By means of such a method, each storage node can be active with maintaining data of the entire system. In case a storage node fails, its data can be recovered by other nodes in the system, which system may therefore considered to be self-healing.
"The monitoring may include listening to heartbeat signals from other storage nodes in the system. A condition that implies need for replication is then a malfunctioning storage node.
"The data includes files and a condition implying need for replications may then be one of a file deletion or a file inconsistency.
"A replication list, including files that need replication, may be maintained and may include priorities.
"The replication process may include: sending a multicast message to a plurality of storage nodes request enquiring which of those storage nodes store specific data, receiving responses from those storage nodes that contain said specific data, determining whether said specific data is stored on a sufficient number of storage nodes, and, if not, selecting at least one additional storage node and transmitting said specific data to that storage node. Further, the specific data on storage nodes containing obsolete versions thereof may be updated.
"Additionally, the replication process may begin with the storage node attempting to attain mastership for the file, to be replicated, among all storage nodes in the system.
"The monitoring may further include monitoring of reading operations carried out in the data storage system.
"The present disclosure further relates to a data storage node, for carrying out maintenance of data, corresponding to the method. The storage node then generally comprises means for carrying out the actions of the method.
"The object is also achieved by means of a method for writing data to a data storage system of the initially mentioned kind, which is accomplished in a server running an application which accesses data in the data storage system. The method comprises: sending a multicast storage query to a plurality of storage nodes, receiving a plurality of responses from a subset of said storage nodes, the responses including geographic data relating to the geographic position of each server, selecting at least two storage nodes in the subset, based on said responses, and sending data and a data identifier, corresponding to the data, to the selected storage nodes.
"This method accomplishes robust writing of data in the sense that a geographic diversity is realised in an efficient way.
"The geographic position may include latitude and longitude of the storage node in question, and the responses may further include system load and/or system age for the storage node in question.
"The multicast storage query may include a data identifier, identifying the data to be stored.
"Typically, at least three nodes may be selected for storage, and a list of storage nodes, successfully storing the data, may be sent to the selected storage nodes.
"The present disclosure further relates to a server, for carrying out writing of data, corresponding to the method. The server then generally comprises means for carrying out the actions of the method.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
"FIG. 1 illustrates a distributed data storage system.
"FIGS. 2A-2C, and FIG. 3 illustrate a data reading process.
"FIGS. 4A-4C, and FIG. 5 illustrate a data writing process.
"FIG. 6 illustrates schematically a situation where a number of files are stored among a number of data storage nodes.
"FIG. 7 illustrates the transmission of heartbeat signals.
"FIG. 8 is an overview of a data maintenance process."
For additional information on this patent application, see: Bernbo, Stefan; Melander, Christian; Persson, Roger; Petersson, Gustav. Distributed
Keywords for this news article include: Information Technology, Information and
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