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MIT researchers create file system guaranteed not to lose data even if a PC crashes

Darlene Storm | Aug. 25, 2015
MIT researchers created the first file system that is 'mathematically guaranteed' not to lose data even when a computer crashes.

Then there’s “Building a file system with FSCQ infrastructure” (pdf), a paper by Haogang Chen, a graduate student in the Parallel & Distributed Operating Systems (PDOS) Group at MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (MIT CSAIL). According to Chen’s paper, “Although FSCQ isn’t as complete and high-performance as today’s high-end file systems, our results demonstrate that this is largely due to FSCQ’s simple design, and not any inherent limitations of certified software.”

You could read until your head explodes, but Chen, Chlipala, Kaashoek, Zeldovich and Ziegler’s research could change the course of history by making data loss after a crash an extinct problem. That won’t do away with the need to backup however as surely no file system, no matter how advanced, can stop hard drives from failing.


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