Regenerating Codes for Distributed Storage Networks

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Abstract

In a storage system where individual storage nodes are prone to failure, the redundant storage of data in a distributed manner across multiple nodes is a must to ensure reliability. Reed-Solomon codes possess the reconstruction property under which the stored data can be recovered by connecting to any k of the n nodes in the network across which data is dispersed. This property can be shown to lead to vastly improved network reliability over simple replication schemes. Also of interest in such storage systems is the minimization of the repair bandwidth, i.e., the amount of data needed to be downloaded from the network in order to repair a single failed node. Reed-Solomon codes perform poorly here as they require the entire data to be downloaded. Regenerating codes are a new class of codes which minimize the repair bandwidth while retaining the reconstruction property. This paper provides an overview of regenerating codes including a discussion on the explicit construction of optimum codes.