I have to develop a system which has to store lots of documents, and it will be unlikely to read them again (about 90% of all won't be read again).

I was reading IPFS specification and it looks like the insentives to keep documents copies won't work in my use case since it is unlikely to get a hit and get credit for it.

My question is: Do I need to create my own nodes to ensure that each document has at least two copies in the system or I can relay paying in some way to some nodes to keep this copy?

  • i am too looking for a way to store this type of data. so far ipfs and swarm requires some type of maintenance fee required for other nodes to keep your data. i was thinking of storing the data inside ethereum, but its too cost prohibitive due to the pricing and also the fact it's encoded in hex format. i'm testing my app with other blockchain storage units like nxt 's data cloud since it doesnt require a maintenance fee and its persistent across nodes. – Patoshi パトシ Apr 20 '17 at 20:36

The more times a piece of data is accessed in IPFS the more copies of it co-exist on the network. Therefore, if the data is useful in anyway then there will always be a copy of it residing on some node in the network.

Object pinning is used to describe when nodes ensure the survival of objects i.e. they may pay third parties to pin their object so that it’s always available.

White paper states:

3.5.3 Object Pinning Nodes who wish to ensure the survival of particular objects can do so by pinning the objects. This ensures the objects are kept in the node’s local storage. Pinning can be done recursively, to pin down all linked descendent objects as well. All objects pointed to are then stored locally. This is particularly useful to persist files, including references. This also makes IPFS a Web where links are permanent, and Objects can ensure the survival of others they point to.

Adding new data to IPFS doesn’t propagate to every node. Instead it broadcasts a message to the network stating that you have the data corresponding to a content address. If a node would like to access it then they can find it here. The data duplicated when another node requests it.

If you were sure that you would always have your nodes running to be able to 'serve' the data then I suppose could provide two copies yourself. Another option which I alluded to is to pay to have your data be persistent, using FileCoin.

Check out this video in which Juan Benet describes the possibilities of the technology. The Decentralized Web, IPFS and Filecoin

Hope this answers your question!

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  • I didn't know about FileCoin, interesting! – Pablo Yabo Apr 20 '17 at 22:19

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