i'm reading cloud vendors solutions for the distributed storage systems such as Amazon Dynamo and Google Big Table.

and really confused in two terms :

  1. what is Distrubuted file systems, Do cloud vendors use different kinds of DFS ?
  2. what is Distributed storage systems for?
  3. what are differences of these terms and functionalities ?

if i understand these terms i will create the general architecture of the cloud vendors, any good tutorial or web page will be appreciated.


  1. DFS is a very generic term for a system that makes files available from multiple physical locations. This can be redundant copies (for performance or redundancy); or it can be a single logical file system with individual files placed on different physical servers.

  2. Distributed Storage is abstracting the physical storage through a single logical presentation; basically you have storage in multiple locations (different servers or dedicated hardware), which looks to the application as though it's a single storage system.

  3. To an extent, they're being used as marketing buzz-words. They will mean nothing unless you know exactly how they're implemented, and thus how to take advantage of them.

The Wikipedia articles have a more in-depth explanations for Distributed File Systems and Storage Virtualization (which includes physically diverse storage).

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