Browse Prior Art Database

Providing and Managing a Single User Image for Replicated Multimedia Files

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000117902D
Original Publication Date: 1996-Jul-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Mar-31
Document File: 2 page(s) / 96K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Harter, JL: AUTHOR [+4]

Abstract

With the increasing popularity of multimedia, there is an ever growing demand for software and hardware that can support the high speed transport of mass amounts of data in a time-dependent manner. Quite often, multimedia files, commonly referred to as assets, are in great demand by end users. This demand must be handled in some way in order to adequately serve the needs of the users in such a manner that there is no risk of "video jitter" or "video breakup". One system resource which may be constrained is the disk bandwidth, which is the rate at which data can be read off a disk. One way to deal with disk bandwidth limitations is to stripe the data across multiple disks, thereby distributing the read requests for a particular asset among multiple disks in the striped set.

This text was extracted from an ASCII text file.
This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 52% of the total text.

Providing and Managing a Single User Image for Replicated Multimedia
Files

      With the increasing popularity of multimedia, there is an ever
growing demand for software and hardware that can support the high
speed transport of mass amounts of data in a time-dependent manner.
Quite often, multimedia files, commonly referred to as assets, are in
great demand by end users.  This demand must be handled in some way
in order to adequately serve the needs of the users in such a manner
that there is no risk of "video jitter" or "video breakup".  One
system resource which may be constrained is the disk bandwidth, which
is the rate at which data can be read off a disk.  One way to deal
with disk bandwidth limitations is to stripe the data across multiple
disks, thereby distributing the read requests for a particular asset
among multiple disks in the striped set.  This effectively increases
the number of users which can be viewing the single asset at a given
time.  Disk striping assists in providing an increased amount of
bandwidth for an asset, but if one of the disks in the striped set
fails, the ability to gain access to the asset is limited unless the
asset has been replicated to another disk or striped set.  Therefore,
replication is a desirable feature for a system attempting to satisfy
the availability requirements of many users.

Replication introduces the following problems:
  o  Users should not need to be aware that multiple copies of a
      single asset exist.  Therefore, there is a need to present to
the
      user a single point of reference to a particular asset without
      the user being aware that multiple copies exist.
  o  The system has a need to manage multiple copies of a single
asset
      so that users can be diverted from a failed replica or from a
      disk whose bandwidth is constrained.

      To solve the problems described above, there was a need to
maintain information about the asset as a whole and its individual
replicas, and to provide a means for presenting asset information to
the end user.  The solution to this problem was to introduce a file
containing general information about the asset as well as specific
information about and location of the individual replicas.  This
software solution is known as the "Metafile".

The metafile consists of a header portion containing information such
as, but not...