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Big Data Books – We have designed and implemented the Google File System (GFS) to meet the rapidly growing demands of Google’s data processing needs. GFS shares many of the same goals as previous distributed file systems such as performance, scalability, reliability, and availability.
However, its design has been driven by key observations of our application workloads and technological environment, both current and anticipated, that reflect a marked departure from some earlier file system design assumptions. We have reexamined traditional choices and explored radically different points in the design space.
First, component failures are the norm rather than the exception. The file system consists of hundreds or even thousands of storage machines built from inexpensive commodity parts and is accessed by a comparable number of client machines.
The quantity and quality of the components virtually guarantee that some are not functional at any given time and some will not recover from their current failures. We have seen problems caused by application bugs, operating system bugs, human errors, and the failures of disks, memory, connectors, networking, and power supplies. Therefore, constant monitoring, error detection, fault tolerance, and automatic recovery must be integral to the system.