News Column

Researchers Submit Patent Application, "File System with Per-File Selectable Integrity", for Approval

August 5, 2014



By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Information Technology Newsweekly -- From Washington, D.C., VerticalNews journalists report that a patent application by the inventors Tipton, William (Seattle, WA); Verma, Surendra (Seattle, WA); Miller, Thomas J. (Yarrow Point, WA); Cargille, Jonathan M. (Seattle, WA), filed on January 15, 2013, was made available online on July 24, 2014.

The patent's assignee is Microsoft Corporation.

News editors obtained the following quote from the background information supplied by the inventors: "A file system in a computer generally is part of the operating system that manages access to one or more storage devices. The file system provides an interface through which other applications can create files, write data to files and read data from files stored on the storage devices. The file system provides an abstraction layer between the details of managing the storage devices, such as the actual storage locations within each device where data is stored, and applications. This abstraction layer allows applications to identify files and access to files using references to files and locations within to files, without the need for the application to have information about the actual storage locations on the storage devices or other details about the storage devices. Typically, the references to files are defined as combinations of various file system objects, such as a name of a storage device or collection of storage devices, names of directories and paths of directories, names of file streams and files, or other types of file system objects. Each file system object generally is a named construct that represents data stored within the file system.

"Within the file system, when data for a file is stored, it generally is broken into small chunks (often called blocks) which are stored on the storage device. The file system generally tracks, for each file, the storage locations within the storage device where each block of a file is stored, and the ordering of those blocks.

"Some file systems, when writing data in a file, modify the data within the allocated blocks for the file. This is called 'in-place' writing. Other file systems, when writing data in a file, are configured to provide a level of data integrity. For example, the file system may compute and store checksums of the stored data. As another example, 'copy-on-write' can be used, which involves writing data to a free block of storage in a storage device, then change the file-to-block mapping to refer to the newly written block, with the overwritten data block being discarded. Both checksums and copy-on-write can be used, as well as other techniques for providing data integrity. While providing increased data integrity, techniques such as computing checksums and performing copy-on-write can reduce performance."

As a supplement to the background information on this patent application, VerticalNews correspondents also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent application: "This Summary is provided to introduce a selection of concepts in a simplified form that are further described below in the Detailed Description. This Summary is not intended to identify key features or essential features of the claimed subject matter, nor is it intended to be used to limit the scope of the claimed subject matter.

"A file system is provided in which writing with data integrity is a selectable attribute of a file system object, such that some file system objects have integrity on for various accesses, while other file system objects do not. Different default settings can be provided for different file system objects. For example, different default setting can be provided for different files in different directories, and for different file streams within a file. Such a setting for a file system object can be changed to and from having integrity on.

"Given a file system object with an attribute, the file system can provide to users and other applications various file system operations for which the data integrity operation used on the file system object depends on this attribute. Such operations include, but are not limited to, operations for changing the attribute, creating file system objects with such attributes, providing and changing default settings for such attributes, and writing data to and reading data from files, which use different data integrity techniques based on this attribute. For example, different file system objects can use different kinds of data and file integrity, such as copy-on-write, checksums and other operations, based on this attribute.

"In the following description, reference is made to the accompanying drawings which form a part hereof, and in which are shown, by way of illustration, specific example implementations of this technique. It is understood that other embodiments may be utilized and structural changes may be made without departing from the scope of the disclosure.

DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

"FIG. 1 is a block diagram of an example computing device in which a files system can be implemented.

"FIG. 2 is a diagram of an example class hierarchy of file system objects.

"FIG. 3 is a flow chart describing an example implementation of creating a file system object.

"FIG. 4 is a flow chart describing an example implementation of writing data to a file system object.

"FIG. 5 is a flow chart describing an example implementation of reading data from a file system object.

"FIG. 6 is a flow chart describing an example implementation of disabling integrity for a file system object.

"FIG. 7 is a flow chart describing an example implementation of enabling integrity for a file system object."

For additional information on this patent application, see: Tipton, William; Verma, Surendra; Miller, Thomas J.; Cargille, Jonathan M. File System with Per-File Selectable Integrity. Filed January 15, 2013 and posted July 24, 2014. Patent URL: http://appft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO2&Sect2=HITOFF&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsearch-adv.html&r=702&p=15&f=G&l=50&d=PG01&S1=20140717.PD.&OS=PD/20140717&RS=PD/20140717

Keywords for this news article include: Microsoft Corporation, Information Technology, Information and Data Validation.

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Source: Information Technology Newsweekly


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