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Incorporating scalability into networked multimedia storage systems

Research output: Contribution in Book/Report/Proceedings - With ISBN/ISSNChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review



Incorporating scalability into the storage of multimedia should be a fundamental design issue that will enable the storage services of today to scale to meet the throughput and storage requirements of future multimedia applications. In this paper we address the issues of storage scalability in relation to the real-time, storage capacity and throughput requirements of multimedia data types (audio, video, text) and the effect these demands have on the level of scalability required. We describe a multimedia storage architecture that exhibits a high degree of scalability by exploiting the scalable properties of fast packet switched networks such as ATM. Storage scalability is achieved through the dynamic replication of both storage servers and data objects. This is performed within our ATM networking environment in order to support the continually changing requirements of heterogeneous end-systems and also as a means of providing efficient load balancing and real-time resource expandability. By utilising scalable compression technologies, the typical overheads incurred when copying between storage servers can be reduced to a minimum. A key feature of our storage architecture centres around storing continuous media files as a number of compressed components that can be re-located and re-combined at optimal locations within the distributed environment, using mixing agents; enabling efficient use of dynamically changing server, network and clients resources.