A Microsoft Research project examining Peer to Peer file systems.

The goal is to present a distributed file system which logically acts as a central server, but is in fact virtual. The file system would be highly available, reliable, and secure, but hosted on a network of cooperating but mutually distrusting machines. A global, transparent name space would be used to seamlessly access poth private and public files, with certificate based authentication to allow specific user access to indiviual files.

xFS, developed as part of the NOW project at Berkeley, and Frangipani, developed on top of the Petal distributed virtual disk at DEC already provide a distributed file system, but neither of these systems addresses an untrusted infrastructure and both require central administration, which Farsite hopes to overcome.

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