Comparison of distributed file systems

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In computing, a distributed file system (DFS) or network file system is any file system that allows access to files from multiple hosts sharing via a computer network. This makes it possible for multiple users on multiple machines to share files and storage resources.

Distributed file systems differ in their performance, mutability of content, handling of concurrent writes, handling of permanent or temporary loss of nodes or storage, and their policy of storing content.

Locally managed[edit]

Client Written in License Access API
Ceph C++ LGPL librados (C, C++, Python, Ruby), S3, Swift, FUSE

GPLv2 client

GlusterFS C GPLv3 libglusterfs, FUSE, NFS, SMB, Swift, libgfapi
Infinit[2] C++ Proprietary (to be open sourced)[3] FUSE, Installable File System, NFS/SMB, POSIX, CLI, SDK (libinfinit)
Isilon OneFS C/C++ Proprietary POSIX, NFS, SMB/CIFS, HDFS, HTTP, FTP, SWIFT Object, CLI[disambiguation needed], Rest API
ObjectiveFS[4] C Proprietary POSIX, FUSE
Quantcast File System C Apache License 2.0 C++ client, FUSE (C++ server: MetaServer and ChunkServer are both in C++)
Lustre C GPLv2 POSIX, liblustre, FUSE
OpenAFS C IBM Public License Virtual file system, Installable File System
Tahoe-LAFS Python GNU GPL 2+ and other[5] HTTP (browser or CLI), SFTP, FTP, FUSE via SSHFS, pyfilesystem
HDFS Java Apache License 2.0 Java and C client, HTTP
XtreemFS Java, C++ BSD License libxtreemfs (Java, C++), FUSE
Ori[6] C, C++ MIT libori, FUSE

Remote access[edit]

Name Run by Access API
Google Cloud Storage Google HTTP (REST)
SWIFT (part of OpenStack) Rackspace, Hewlett-Packard, others HTTP (REST)
Microsoft Azure Microsoft HTTP (REST)
Cleversafe Cleversafe HTTP (REST)


Some researchers have made a functional and experimental analysis of several distributed file systems including HDFS, Ceph, Gluster, Lustre and old (1.6.x) version of MooseFS, although this document is over 4 years old and a lot of information may be outdated (e.g. MooseFS has at the time of writing this stable 2.0 and beta 3.0 version and HA for Metadata Server - since 2.0 and it is not mentioned in this document).[7]

The cloud based remote distributed storage from major vendors have different APIs and different consistency models.[8]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "FRAUNHOFER FS (FhGFS) END USER LICENSE AGREEMENT". Fraunhofer Society. 2012-02-22. 
  2. ^ "The Infinit Storage Platform". 
  3. ^ "Infinit's Open Source Projects". 
  4. ^ "ObjectiveFS official website". 
  5. ^ "About Tahoe-LAFS". 
  6. ^ "Ori: A Secure Distributed File System". 
  7. ^ Séguin, Cyril; Depardon, Benjamin; Le Mahec, Gaël. "Analysis of Six Distributed File Systems" (PDF). HAL. 
  8. ^ "Data Consistency Models of Public Cloud Storage Services: Amazon S3, Google Cloud Storage and Windows Azure Storage". SysTutorials. Retrieved 19 June 2017.