An approach to choosing the right distributed file system : Microsoft DFS vs. Hadoop DFS

University essay from Blekinge Tekniska Högskola/Institutionen för programvaruteknik

Author: Mihai Musatoiu; [2015]

Keywords: DFS; MSDFS; HDFS; Microsoft; Hadoop;

Abstract: Context. An important goal of most IT groups is to manage server resources in such a way that their users are provided with fast, reliable and secure access to files. The modern needs of organizations imply that resources are often distributed geographically, asking for new design solutions for the file systems to remain highly available and efficient. This is where distributed file systems (DFSs) come into the picture. A distributed file system (DFS), as opposed to a "classical", local, file system, is accessible across some kind of network and allows clients to access files remotely as if they were stored locally. Objectives. This paper has the goal of comparatively analyzing two distributed file systems, Microsoft DFS (MSDFS) and Hadoop DFS (HDFS). The two systems come from different "worlds" (proprietary - Microsoft DFS - vs. open-source - Hadoop DFS); the abundance of solutions and the variety of choices that exist today make such a comparison more relevant. Methods. The comparative analysis is done on a cluster of 4 computers running dual-installations of Microsoft Windows Server 2012 R2 (the MSDFS environment) and Linux Ubuntu 14.04 (the HDFS environment). The comparison is done on read and write operations on files and sets of files of increasing sizes, as well as on a set of key usage scenarios. Results. Comparative results are produced for reading and writing operations of files of increasing size - 1 MB, 2 MB, 4 MB and so on up to 4096 MB - and of sets of small files (64 KB each) amounting to totals of 128 MB, 256 MB and so on up to 4096 MB. The results expose the behavior of the two DFSs on different types of stressful activities (when the size of the transferred file increases, as well as when the quantity of data is divided into (tens of) thousands of many small files). The behavior in the case of key usage scenarios is observed and analyzed. Conclusions. HDFS performs better at writing large files, while MSDFS is better at writing many small files. At read operations, the two show similar performance, with a slight advantage for MSDFS. In the key usage scenarios, HDFS shows more flexibility, but MSDFS could be the better choice depending on the needs of the users (for example, most of the common functions can be configured through the graphical user interface).

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