Local erasure coding for data storage

Wednesday, October 23, 2013 - 4:30pm to 5:30pm
CS Department Colloquium Series
Computer Science Small Auditorium (Room 105)
Host: Zeev Dvir
Sergey Yekhanin (Microsoft Research)
Historically, most large distributed storage systems (e.g., Hotmail) have been using replication to provide reliability against machine failures. Today however as the amount of stored data reaches multiple Exabytes keeping few copies of data around is becoming prohibitively expensive. Therefore more and more systems are adopting erasure coding in place of replication.

Local Reconstruction Codes (LRCs) are a new class of erasure correcting codes designed specifically for applications in data storage. Built upon the rich mathematical theory of locally decodable codes developed in the theory community, LRCs provide high level of reliability and allow data fragments to be reconstructed quickly in typical failure scenarios. LRCs have been recently deployed by Windows Azure Storage and are going to ship in Windows 8.1 and Windows Server 2012.

In this talk we will discuss motivation behind local reconstruction codes and cover the main technical challenges and tradeoffs in the design of these codes.

(Based on joint papers with Brad Calder, Michael Forbes, Parikshit Gopalan, Cheng Huang, Bob Jenkins, Jin Li, Aaron Ogus, Huseyin Simitci, and Yikang Xu.)