This paper presents and evaluates the storage management and caching in PAST, a large-scale peer-to-peer persistent storage utility. PAST is based on a self-organizing, Internetbased overlay network of storage nodes that cooperatively route file queries, store multiple replicas of files, and cache additional copies of popular files.

In the PAST system, storage nodes and files are each assigned uniformly distributed identifiers, and replicas of a file are stored at nodes whose identifier matches most closely the file’s identifier. This statistical assignment of files to storage nodes approximately balances the number of files stored on each node. However, non-uniform storage node capacities and file sizes require more explicit storage load balancing to permit graceful behavior under high global storage utilization; likewise, non-uniform popularity of files requires caching to minimize fetch distance and to balance the query load.

We present and evaluate PAST, with an emphasis on its storage management and caching system. Extensive tracedriven experiments show that the system minimizes fetch distance, that it balances the query load for popular files, and that it displays graceful degradation of performance as the global storage utilization increases beyond 95%.