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Erasure coding techniques are used to increase the reliability of distributed storage systems while minimizing storage overhead. Also of interest is minimization of the bandwidth required to repair the system following a node failure. In a recent paper, Wu et al. characterize the tradeoff between the repair bandwidth and the amount of data stored per node. They also prove the existence of regenerating codes that achieve this tradeoff. In this paper, we introduce Exact Regenerating Codes, which are regenerating codes possessing the additional property of being able to duplicate the data stored at a failed node. Such codes require low processing and communication overheads, making the system practical and easy to maintain. Explicit construction of exact regenerating codes is provided for the minimum bandwidth point on the storage-repair bandwidth tradeoff, relevant to distributed-mail-server applications. A subspace based approach is provided and shown to yield necessary and sufficient conditions on a linear code to possess the exact regeneration property as well as prove the uniqueness of our construction. Also included in the paper, is an explicit construction of regenerating codes for the minimum storage point for parameters relevant to storage in peer-to-peer systems. This construction supports a variable number of nodes and can handle multiple, simultaneous node failures. All constructions given in the paper are of low complexity, requiring low field size in particular.
Date of Conference: Sept. 30 2009-Oct. 2 2009