Thresher: An Efficient Storage Manager for Copy-on-write Snapshots

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``Thresher: An Efficient Storage Manager for Copy-on-write Snapshots" by Liuba Shrira, and Hao Xu. In Proceedings of the Usenix Annual technical Conference (Usenix), (Boston, MA), May 2006.


A new generation of storage systems exploit decreasing storage costs to allow applications to take snapshots of past states and retain them for long durations. Over time, current snapshot techniques can produce large volumes of snapshots. Indiscriminately keeping all snapshots accessible is impractical, even if raw disk storage is cheap, because administering such large-volume storage is expensive over a long duration. Moreover, not all snapshots are equally valuable. Thresher is a new snapshot storage management system, based on novel copy-on-write snapshot techniques, that is the first to provide applications the ability to discriminate among snapshots efficiently. Valuable snapshots can remain accessible or stored with faster access while less valuable snapshots are discarded or moved off-line. Measurements of the Thresher prototype indicate that the new techniques are efficient and scalable, imposing minimal ($4\%$) performance penalty on expected common workloads.

BibTeX entry:

   author = {Liuba Shrira and Hao Xu},
   title = {Thresher: An Efficient Storage Manager for Copy-on-write Snapshots},
   booktitle = {Proceedings of the Usenix Annual technical Conference},
   address = {Boston, MA},
   month = may,
   year = {2006}