arXiv:2405.03830v1 Announce Type: new
Abstract: Merkle hash trees are the state-of-the-art method to protect the integrity of storage systems. However, using a hash tree can severely degrade performance, and prior works optimizing them have yet to yield a concrete understanding of the scalability of certain designs in the context of large-scale cloud storage systems. In this paper, we take a first-principles approach to analyzing hash tree performance for storage by introducing a definition of an optimal hash tree and a principled methodology for evaluating hash tree designs. We show that state-of-the-art designs are not scalable; they incur up to 40.1X slowdowns over an insecure baseline and deliver 95% of optimal read and write performance and up to 4.2X speedups over the state-of-the art. Our novel methodology and DHT design provides a new foundation in the search for integrity mechanisms that can operate efficiently at scale.

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