The Zebra Striped Network File System

John H. Hartman, John K. Ousterhout

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

111 Scopus citations


Zebra is a network file system that increases throughput by striping the file data across multiple servers. Rather than striping each file separately, Zebra forms all the new data from each client into a single stream, which it then stripes using an approach similar to a log-structured file system. Thm provides high performance for writes of small files as well as for reads and writes of large files. Zebra also writes parity information in each stripe in the style of RAID disk arrays; this increases storage costs slightly, but allows the system to continue operation while a single storage server is unavailable. A prototype implementation of Zebra, built in the Sprite operating system, provides 4-5 times the throughput of the standard Sprite file system or NFS for large files and a 15-300%. improvement for writing small files.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)274-310
Number of pages37
JournalACM Transactions on Computer Systems (TOCS)
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 8 1995


  • Log-based striping
  • RAID
  • log-structured file system
  • parity computation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Computer Science


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