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Applications that process large volumes of data (such as, search engines, grid computing applications, data mining applications, etc.) require a backend infrastructure for storing data. The distributed file system is the central component for storing data infrastructure. There have been many projects focused on network computing that have designed and implemented distributed file systems with a variety of architectures and functionalities. In this paper, we develop a comprehensive taxonomy for describing distributed file system architectures and use this taxonomy to survey existing distributed file system implementations in very large-scale network computing systems such as Grids, Search Engines, etc. We use the taxonomy and the survey results to identify architectural approaches that have not been fully explored in the distributed file system research.