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Addressing the issue of content-addressed storage

What is content-addressed storage?

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Content addressable storage is a storage system that uses the content of the data as a locator for the information.

Typically, this is implemented by using a polynomial algorithm on the data to resolve to a unique ID. That ID, sometimes called a signature, is then associated with metadata as to the actual location of the data. Only the ID is then available to the application, or user if you will, to be able to access that data. One unique aspect is that if the exact same data is written again, it will resolve to the save identity so that no duplicate data will actually be stored.

This is really an early form of object-based storage. The concept is not really new. It's very interesting to me because my graduate work at the University of Colorado was on content addressable memory where similar techniques were used for placement of data in random access memories. That was about thirty years ago.

Randy Kerns
Evaluator Group, Inc.

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This was first published in August 2003

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