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Researchers Submit Patent Application, "Activity-Based Block Management of a Clustered File System", for Approval

July 3, 2014



By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Politics & Government Week -- From Washington, D.C., VerticalNews journalists report that a patent application by the inventors Adkins, Janet (Austin, TX); Brandyberry, Matthew T. (Austin, TX); Palsule, Ninad (Beaverton, OR), filed on February 18, 2014, was made available online on June 19, 2014.

The patent's assignee is International Business Machines Corporation.

News editors obtained the following quote from the background information supplied by the inventors: "This disclosure relates generally to activity-based block management of a clustered file system and, more specifically, to activity-based block management of a clustered file system using client-side block maps.

"A file system facilitates organizing data by providing procedures to store, retrieve and update the data, as well as manage available space on storage devices that store the data. In general, a file system attempts to organize data in an efficient manner, is tuned to specific characteristics of an associated storage device, and is tightly coupled with an operating system (OS). A file system allows programs to access data in the form of files on a storage device by file name, as contrasted with directly accessing data regions or areas on the storage device.

"File systems are implemented with various data storage media (e.g., magnetic storage disks, optical disks, magnetic tapes, and solid state disks) to maintain a physical location of files on the storage media. A file system may provide access to data on a file server by acting as a client for a network protocol. Alternatively, a file system may be virtualized and only exist as an access method for virtualized data. In general, file systems allocate space in a granular manner, usually allocating multiple physical units on a storage media for each file. File systems are responsible for organizing files and directories and keeping track of which areas of a storage media belong to which file and which areas of the storage media are not being used.

"A clustered file system is a file system that is shared by being simultaneously mounted on multiple servers. A number of different architectural approaches may be employed for shared disk file systems. Some shared disk file systems distribute metadata (file information, such as file location, file size, etc.) across all servers in a cluster, i.e., are fully distributed file systems. Other shared disk file systems utilize a centralized metadata server, i.e., are partially distributed file systems. Whether a shared disk system is fully or partially distributed, all servers of the shared disk file system are configured to access all data on all shared storage devices."

As a supplement to the background information on this patent application, VerticalNews correspondents also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent application: "According to one aspect of the present disclosure, a technique for operating a client node in a clustered file system includes allocating a number of blocks during a first time window and tracking a number of blocks allocated during the first time window. The technique further includes transmitting a block allocation request to a server node of the clustered file system for a number of requested blocks in response to a number of free blocks in a client-side block map reaching a first threshold value. In this case, the number of the requested blocks is based on the number of blocks allocated by the client node during the first time window.

"According to another aspect of the present disclosure, a technique for operating a server node in a clustered file system includes tracking a number of free blocks in the clustered file system. The technique further includes transmitting a client-side block map revocation message to one or more client nodes of the clustered file system in response to the number of the free blocks in the clustered file system falling below a first threshold value.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

"The present invention is illustrated by way of example and is not intended to be limited by the accompanying figures, in which like references indicate similar elements. Elements in the figures are illustrated for simplicity and clarity and have not necessarily been drawn to scale.

"FIG. 1 is a block diagram of a relevant portion of an exemplary clustered file system according to various aspects of the present disclosure.

"FIG. 2 is a block diagram of relevant portions of an exemplary master server (server node) and an exemplary slave server (client node) employed in the clustered file system of FIG. 1 according to various aspects of the present disclosure.

"FIG. 3 is a flowchart of an exemplary process (implemented by a client node) for managing blocks of a client-side block map according to the present disclosure.

"FIG. 4 is a flowchart of an exemplary process (implemented by a client node) for writing file blocks according to the present disclosure.

"FIG. 5 is a flowchart of an exemplary process (implemented by a server node) for revoking blocks of a client-side block map according to the present disclosure.

"FIG. 6 is a flowchart of an exemplary process (implemented by a client node) for returning blocks of a client-side block map according to the present disclosure.

"FIG. 7 is a flowchart of an exemplary process (implemented by a server node) for initiating management of a client-side block map by a client node according to the present disclosure."

For additional information on this patent application, see: Adkins, Janet; Brandyberry, Matthew T.; Palsule, Ninad. Activity-Based Block Management of a Clustered File System. Filed February 18, 2014 and posted June 19, 2014. Patent URL: http://appft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO2&Sect2=HITOFF&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsearch-adv.html&r=753&p=16&f=G&l=50&d=PG01&S1=20140612.PD.&OS=PD/20140612&RS=PD/20140612

Keywords for this news article include: International Business Machines Corporation.

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Source: Politics & Government Week


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