Efficient cooperative backup with decentralized trust management

Nguyen Tran, Frank Chiang, Jinyang Li

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Existing backup systems are unsatisfactory: commercial backup services are reliable but expensive while peer-to-peer systems are cheap but offer limited assurance of data reliability. This article introduces Friendstore, a system that provides inexpensive and reliable backup by giving users the choice to store backup data only on nodes they trust (typically those owned by friends and colleagues). Because it is built on trusted nodes, Friendstore is not burdened by the complexity required to cope with potentially malicious participants. Friendstore only needs to detect and repair accidental data loss and to ensure balanced storage exchange. The disadvantage of using only trusted nodes is that Friendstore cannot achieve perfect storage utilization. Friendstore is designed for a heterogeneous environment where nodes have very different access link speeds and available disk spaces. To ensure long-term data reliability, a node with limited upload bandwidth refrains from storing more data than its calculated maintainable capacity. A high bandwidth node might be limited by its available disk space. We introduce a simple coding scheme, called XOR(1,2), which doubles a node's ability to store backup information in the same amount of disk space at the cost of doubling the amount of data transferred during restore. Analysis and simulations using long-term node activity traces show that a node can reliably back up tens of gigabytes of data even with low upload bandwidth.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number2339119
JournalACM Transactions on Storage
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2012


  • Cooperative backup
  • Erasure code
  • Social network

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hardware and Architecture


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