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We present the design and implementation of Glamor, a framework for building a wide-area federated file system. Glamor enables distributed file access across enterprise-wide or Internet-scale networks where users can seamlessly navigate through data across a set of heterogeneous, loosely coupled file servers. Glamor can be viewed as an architecture for file system virtualization. From the user's point of view, the file system boundaries defined by the physical file servers are indistinct; instead, users are presented with a unified file-based view of all the file storage within an enterprise. This simplifies management and enables better resource utilization and scalability. Glamor also supports user data, to be replicated among different participating file servers, and redirects users to the closest location of the data. Thus, Glamor provides a common unified namespace and managed data replication. It does this by relying completely on standard file system clients and file access protocols.
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Date of Publication: July 2008