The Virtual Block Store system

Project Details

Project Lead
Xiaoming Gao 
Project Manager
Xiaoming Gao 
Indiana University, Pervasive Technology Institute  
Computer Science (401) 


The development of cloud infrastructures has stimulated interest in virtualized block storage systems, exemplified by Amazon Elastic Block Store (EBS), Eucalyptus EBS implementation, and the Virtual Block Store (VBS) system. Compared with other solutions, VBS is designed for flexibility, and can be extended to support various Virtual Machine Managers and Cloud platforms. However, due to its single-volume-server architecture, VBS has the problem of single point of failure and low scalability. This project involves our latest improvements to VBS for solving these problems, including a new distributed architecture based on the Lustre file system, new workflows, better reliability and scalability, and read-only volume sharing. We call this improved implementation VBS-Lustre. We have done some small-scale preliminary tests, and the results show that VBS-Lustre can provide both better throughput and higher scalability in multiple attachment scenarios than VBS. VBS-Lustre could potentially be applied to solve some challenges for current cluster file systems, such as metadata management and small file access.

Intellectual Merit

"VBS provides a novel way of allocating storage resources in cloud environment. The storage service is scalable, reliable, and of high performance.\n\nVBS also provides inspirations about new ways of solving some of the challenges faced by current cluster file systems, such as metadata management and small file access."

Broader Impacts

By satisfying users' demands on persistent storage services in cloud environment, VBS can potentially stimulate the usage of cloud virtualization technologies. VBS will also stimulate research in related areas such as cloud security.

Scale of Use

30 to 60 bare metal machines for about two weeks.