News Column

Researchers Submit Patent Application, "Isolating Data Storage Mirroring Operations", for Approval

July 15, 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 Modzelewski, Kevin (San Francisco, CA); Gupta, Akhil (San Francisco, CA), filed on December 20, 2012, was made available online on July 3, 2014.

The patent's assignee is Dropbox, Inc.

News editors obtained the following quote from the background information supplied by the inventors: "When storing data, it is often desirable to have the data stored in multiple locations. Multiple storage locations can help ensure accessibility should one or more of the locations become unavailable, and can, in some cases, provide for increased customization in how the data is stored and/or retrieved. However, storing the data at multiple locations, whether those locations are physically distinct or are co-located partitions of a single data storage device, often leads to delays in both storage and retrieval of data. These delays often originate in the duplication of instructions and/or data for each location. While for relatively small data sizes these duplication delays may be negligible to a given user, as the size of the data increases any duplication delay in storing or retrieving data can result in delays that can be detected by the user.

"With cloud computing and network based storage services, these delays can impact customer perceptions of the service. A network based storage service allows users to store, access, and manipulate data on databases and servers maintained across a network, thereby freeing customers from being concerned with the physical location of the storage of the data while giving them near instantaneous access to the data from virtually any network access point. However, customers using network based storage services generally want access to their data to be near instantaneous, and not delayed or slow. When customers begin to experience substantial delays in storing and retrieving data, customer confidence and satisfaction wanes."

As a supplement to the background information on this patent application, VerticalNews correspondents also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent application: "Features and advantages of the disclosure will be set forth in the description which follows, and in part will be obvious from the description, or can be learned by practice of the herein disclosed principles. The features and advantages of the disclosure can be realized and obtained by means of the instruments and combinations particularly pointed out hereinafter. These and other features of the disclosure will become more fully apparent from the following description and accompanying drawings, or can be learned by the practice of the principles set forth herein.

"Disclosed are systems, methods, and non-transitory computer-readable storage media for isolating mirroring operations when interacting with a data storage space, and more specifically to directing data to be stored in two locations, where storing the data in the second location does not slow or impede storing the data in the first location. As a system configured according to this disclosure receives a request to store data, the system can determine a first storage space and a second storage space in which to store the data, where both the first and second storage spaces store identical versions of the data. The system can prepare instructions for storing the data in the first storage space while at the same time preparing instructions for storing identical data in the second storage space.

"While the instructions for the first storage space immediately begin the storage of the data upon being communicated to the first storage space, the second set of instructions may or may not immediately initiate data storage in the second storage space. Instead, the second set of instructions can be sent to a queue of instructions associated with the second storage space. Not until the queue for the second storage space reaches the newly added second set of instructions will the storage process begin. The queue can be executed by a background process or a completely separate computing device so that execution of the queue does not impact or slow down accesses to the first storage space. This approach can be useful when mirroring between a primary or 'production' storage space (the first storage space) and a backup or migration storage space (the second storage space). The system can perform file operations to populate the backup or migration storage space on an as-accessed basis so that the migration is performed incrementally over time rather than taking the entire service offline during a migration period, which may be undesirable or impossible for a network based storage service.


"The above-recited and other advantages and features of the disclosure will become apparent by reference to specific embodiments thereof which are illustrated in the appended drawings. Understanding that these drawings depict only exemplary embodiments of the disclosure and are not therefore to be considered to be limiting of its scope, the principles herein are described and explained with additional specificity and detail through the use of the accompanying drawings in which:

"FIG. 1 shows an exemplary configuration of devices and a network in accordance with the invention;

"FIG. 2 shows an example of a system interactions; and

"FIG. 3 shows an example method embodiment;

"FIG. 4A shows a conventional system bus computing system architecture; and

"FIG. 4B shows a computer system having a chipset architecture."

For additional information on this patent application, see: Modzelewski, Kevin; Gupta, Akhil. Isolating Data Storage Mirroring Operations. Filed December 20, 2012 and posted July 3, 2014. Patent URL:

Keywords for this news article include: Dropbox Inc., Information Technology, Information and Data Storage.

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Source: Information Technology Newsweekly

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