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Design of Fault-Tolerant Large-Scale VOD Servers: With Emphasis on High-Performance and Low-Cost
April 2001 (vol. 12 no. 4)
pp. 363-386

Abstract—Recent technological advances in digital signal processing, data compression techniques, and high-speed communication networks have made Video-on-Demand (VOD) servers feasible. A challenging task in such systems is servicing multiple clients simultaneously while satisfying real-time requirements of continuous delivery of objects at specified rates. To accomplish these tasks and realize economies of scale associated with servicing a large user population, a VOD server requires a large disk subsystem. Although a single disk is fairly reliable, a large disk farm can have an unacceptably high probability of disk failure. Furthermore, due to real-time constraints, the reliability requirements of VOD systems are even more stringent than those of traditional information systems. Traditional RAID solutions are inadequate due to poor resource usage. Thus, in this paper, we present alternative schemes which provide a high degree of reliability at low disk storage, bandwidth, and memory costs for on-demand multimedia servers. Moreover, we discuss some of the main issues and trade-offs associated with providing fault tolerance in multidisk VOD systems. We would like to impress upon the reader that one of the main points of this paper is the exposition of trade-offs and issues associated with designing fault-tolerant VOD servers. It is not the case that one fault tolerance scheme is absolutely better than another, but rather that one must understand the trade-offs as well as one's system constraints and then choose a fault tolerance scheme accordingly.

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Index Terms:
Fault tolerance, multimedia, multidisk systems, storage servers, video-on-demand.
Leana Golubchik, Richard R. Muntz, Cheng-Fu Chou, Steven Berson, "Design of Fault-Tolerant Large-Scale VOD Servers: With Emphasis on High-Performance and Low-Cost," IEEE Transactions on Parallel and Distributed Systems, vol. 12, no. 4, pp. 363-386, April 2001, doi:10.1109/71.920587
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