Today’s centralized, location-based data storage creates cybersecurity and risk management challenges for modern IT environments. A system like HTTP, where data is found and accessed based on the device it lives on, has inherent security risks, performance issues, and other flaws.
Content-addressed storage, achieved through a distributed file system like the InterPlanetary File System (IPFS), can improve data resilience, security, integrity, and performance. But optimizing your hardware infrastructure to run IPFS is a critical step to ensuring maximum performance.
The current HTTP protocol uses location-based addressing to find and fetch resources, such as HTML documents. In this centralized protocol, all data is stored and accessed on a single, centralized server. We access that data by retrieving it based solely on its location on the device.
This system has several inherent shortcomings. When data is housed on a single device, that device is vulnerable to cybersecurity threats of all kinds. The device is also subject to failure or poor performance. And that device can always be shut down or censored based on what entity manages the server, thereby eliminating the only source of the data housed on it. A content-addressed storage system, such as one based on the InterPlanetary File System (IPFS), avoids these inherent flaws.
Content-addressed storage is a method for storing content where each piece of data is assigned a unique content identifier (CID). Unlike a centralized, location-based protocol like HTTP, where resources are accessed based on location on a device, all content-addressed data can be found and retrieved based on its unique CID.
A content-addressed storage system features several benefits. It limits storage space by eliminating duplication, and it makes authentication easier because verifying the legitimacy of a single, unique instance of a piece of data is simpler than accounting for several copies of an object.
The InterPlanetary File System (IPFS) is a peer-to-peer distributed file system that enables content-addressed storage. IPFS defines itself as a “peer-to-peer hypermedia protocol designed to preserve and grow humanity's knowledge by making the web upgradeable, resilient, and more open.” IPFS aims to surpass HTTP and could become the impetus and foundation for the new Web3.0.
In IPFS, content is not housed in a single location but in several locations in a shared network using a distributed hash table (DHT). A user requests content based on its unique CID, IPFS retrieves that data from multiple nodes at once, and it is then delivered to the user in the most efficient way possible. This decentralized system allows bandwidth savings and improves data resilience, security, integrity, and performance.
The decentralized, content-addressed nature of IPFS gives clusters several benefits:
However, attaining the benefits of a distributed file system like IPFS is only possible with a sound infrastructure build.
The enhanced deduplication of IPFS makes it ideal for storing archival data.
IPFS helps you slash bandwidth costs when providing large amounts of data to users.
Storing data using IPFS helps speed up performance and unlock decentralized archiving to make working with or distributing large datasets easier.
Store large files off-chain and put permanent links in transactions with IPFS content addressing.
The infrastructure for IPFS delivers low-latency processing to enable the complex computations of cryptocurrency mining.
Easily build and deliver content on the decentralized web, including minting NFTs.
High-latency networks cause major obstacles for those with poor internet infrastructure. Peer-to-peer IPFS offers resilient access to data independent of latency or backbone connectivity.
Building infrastructure for an IPFS deployment requires several special considerations. Balancing your investment in CPU and GPU compute, memory, networking bandwidth, and storage devices is always a good strategy. But IPFS deployments generally require more focus on storage speed and density.
In general, an IPFS cluster requires high core count processors and we recommend a minimum of 32GB of memory. For data storage, a tiered storage system using a combination of NVMe, SSD, and HDD storage devices is ideal. Because IPFS requests data across a network instead of relying on a single device to provide the data at high speeds, HDD storage can provide adequate read/write speeds to make up an efficient high-volume storage layer for archival or ‘cold’ storage. Taking these factors into consideration will allow for efficient, simplified IPFS deployments.
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