The Anzere personal storage system


Managing a user's personal data (photos, contacts, music, etc.) without recourse to large-scale, online service providers like Facebook, Google, or Yahoo is a topic of considerable research interest at the moment. A personal approach is attractive from a social point of view because it retains more of a degree of privacy and control, and may be resilient to provider failures due to attacks or insolvency.

The goal of the Anzere system is to preserve a user's personal data by replicating it, and making it selectively available according to the user's preferences, which are expressed as a set of replication policies. The problem is complicated by the limited storage resources on some devices (such as phones), the bandwidth required to replicate data quickly, and the fact that the set of devices involved might change without warning (for example, due to failure, theft, or purchase of new hardware).


Anzere is a storage system which replicates a user's personal data (photos, music, etc.) across an ensemble of physical and virtual devices owned (or rented on demand) by a single user, in the spirit of systems like Cimbiosys and Perspective.

In Anzere, objects are replicated according to policies that do not need to refer to specific devices, but are based on device properties, and the system adapts to the arrival and departure of new devices. Anzere obtains its replication actions by solving a constrained cost-based optimization problem derived from the set of replication policies. In this optimization process, Anzere can also choose to acquire additional storage on-demand from cloud providers if this results in a "better" configuration of the system.

Anzere is built on the Rhizoma platform and includes an overlay network, monitoring infrastructure, ECLiPSe constraint solver, data replication based on PRACTI, and Paxos for consistency. Anzere currently runs on mobile phones (Nokia N810,N900), laptops and desktops, and VMs on PlanetLab and Amazon EC2.


Current project members:

  • Ercan Ucan 
  • Qin Yin 

Past contributors:

  • Oriana Riva
  • Dejan Juric (Master's student)
  • Robert Grandl (Master's student)


Anzere is released under the Apache License Version 2.0.


  • Establishing efficient routes between personal clouds, Ercan Ucan, Timothy Roscoe. In Proceedings of NETYS 2013, Marrakech, Morocco, May 2013. [PDF]
  • Policy expressivity in the Anzere personal cloud, Oriana Riva, Qin Yin, Dejan Juric, Ercan Ucan, Timothy Roscoe. In Proceedings of SoCC 2011, Cascais, Portugal, October 2011.
  • Dexferizer: A service for data transfer optimization, Ercan Ucan, Timothy Roscoe. In Proceedings of IWQoS 2011, San Jose, CA, USA, June 2011.
    [PDF] [Slides]
  • The Anzere personal storage system, Oriana Riva, Qin Yin, Dejan Juric, Ercan Ucan, Robert Grandl, Timothy Roscoe. Poster at OSDI 2010 Poster Session, Vancouver, Canada, October 2010.