John Heidemann

A Layered Approach to File System Development

TitleA Layered Approach to File System Development
Publication TypeTechnical Report
Year of Publication1991
AuthorsJ. S. Heidemann, and G. J. Popek
Date Publishedmar

This paper discusses the \emphstackable layers approach to file system design. With this approach, a file system is constructed from several layers, each implementing one portion of the file system well. Each layer is bounded above and below by an identical interface framework. The symmetry of the interface, coupled with run-time stack definition, make layer configuration flexible and facilitate experimentation and new file system development. % \newparagraph Addition of new file system functionality to existing environments often requires changes to current interfaces. To address this issue, stackable layers are joined by an \emphextensible interface. Any layer can add to such an interface; existing layers continue to function without modification. % \newparagraph Stackable architectures benefit from new development techniques. This paper examines development methods unique to stackable systems, and concludes with an analysis of the performance of layered file systems.