Applications have varying requirements of consistency, replication, availability etc. and often would like to have control over these settings. WheelFS is a solution to that end. This is a very practical problem with different systems wanting to turn these knobs differently.
2. What is the solution's main idea (nugget)?
The key contribution of this paper is introducing a set of cues using which applications can better specify the properties they would prefer, in the functioning of the distributed file system. These cues can better control the trade-offs between consistency, availability and placement.
3. Why is solution different from previous work?
The solution is different from previous work in that WheelFS provides explicit high-level knobs to control the functioning of the system. But I did find it hard to clearly point out the contrast w.r.t. prior work.
4. Do you think the work will be influential in 10 years? Why or why not?
Yes, I definitely think these principles will be influential. But to be fair, many of these “cues” have already been deployed in specialized settings and it would be interesting to see how people react to this “generic” architecture. In my opinion, preference would still be for a specialized solution that is tailored for the scenario in hand, and works.