The zebra striped network file system

John H. Hartman, John K. Ousterhout

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

11 Scopus citations


Zebra is a network file system that increases throughput by striping file data across multiple servers. Rather than striping each file separately, Zebra forms all the new data from each client into a single stream, which it then stripes using an approach similar to a log-structured file system. This provides high performance for writes of small files as well as for reads and writes of large files. Zebra also writes parity information in each stripe in the style of RAID disk arrays; this increases storage costs slightly but allows the system to continue operation even while a single storage server is unavailable. A prototype implementation of Zebra, built in the Sprite operating system, provides 4-5 times the throughput of the standard Sprite file system or NFS for large files and a 15% to 300% improvement for writing small files.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationHigh Performance Mass Storage and Parallel I/O
Subtitle of host publicationTechnologies and Applications
PublisherWiley-IEEE Press
Number of pages21
ISBN (Electronic)9780470544839
ISBN (Print)0471208094, 9780471208099
StatePublished - Jan 1 2001
Externally publishedYes


  • Arrays
  • File servers
  • File systems
  • Prototypes
  • Servers
  • Sprites (computer)
  • Throughput

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science(all)


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