Learning to Share: A Study of Sharing Among Home Storage Devices

Carnegie Mellon University Parallel Data Lab Technical Report CMU-PDL-07-107, October 2007.

Brandon Salmon, Frank Hady (Intel Corp.), Jay Melican (Intel Corp.)

Electrical and Computer Engineering
Carnegie Mellon University
Pittsburgh, PA 15213


As an increasing number of home and personal electronic devices create, use, and display digitized forms of data, it is becoming more important to be able to easily share data among these devices. This paper discusses an observation of a home data sharing system constructed from currently available technologies. We deployed this system into two households for two and half weeks and studied the impact of the system on household data usage and device management. We focus on users’ perceptions of the system’s advantages, the reasons home users employed multiple devices, the ways home users managed their devices, and how some distributed file system concepts were ill-suited to the home environment.

KEYWORDS: home storage, ethnography, user study, distributed file systems, management, security

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