QUASAR: Interaction with File Systems Using a Query and Naming Language

Published as Storage Systems Research Center Technical Report UCSC-SSRC-08-03.


As storage capacities increase, finding and organizing data becomes increasingly challenging. Conventional approaches to organization for file systems fail to effectively provide for the needs of petascale storage, because hierarchical namespaces do not scale and must rely on ad hoc utilities. Previous solutions do not incorporate relationships as search terms, nor were they designed for today’s systems sizes. Moreover, adopting established query languages as file system interfaces is not practical because such languages are too complex for the common task of specifying file names, and file systems users would be forced to switch to a drastically different interface.

To address this problem, we present a query language (QUASAR) that combines a number of useful operations for search and view specification within file systems. QUASAR narrows down file system namespaces to smaller subsets, through searches based on link distance, and provides more meaningful results through searches based on inter-file relationships. Instead of being confronted with long lists of search results, users may employ QUASAR to define views for their searches, and then navigate views using the familiar abstraction of hierarchy browsing. In contrast to an abrupt transition to a different language, QUASAR provides a syntax that includes POSIX paths as well as added features that are suitable for naming. We demonstrate such features through a prototype file system that uses QUASAR queries to manage its namespace. We further discuss our thoughts on metadata typing.

Publication date:
September 2008

Sasha Ames
Carlos Maltzahn
Ethan L. Miller

Scalable File System Indexing

Available media

Full paper text: PDF

Bibtex entry

  author       = {Sasha Ames and Carlos Maltzahn and Ethan L. Miller},
  title        = {{QUASAR}: Interaction with File Systems Using a Query and Naming Language},
  institution  = {University of California, Santa Cruz},
  number       = {UCSC-SSRC-08-03},
  month        = sep,
  year         = {2008},
Last modified 5 Aug 2020