The Andrew File System was developed at Carnegie Mellon University (and named Andrew are the founder's first name), as part of a large project in next generation distributed systems in the mid 1980s. It has two main components; Vice and Venus: AFS has two main advantages over some other systems in terms of scaling:
  1. Prefix naming - path name prefixes are used to provide location
  2. Whole File Caching - the First access to a file causes it to appear in its entirety on the client machines local disk.
The development of the 3 versions of AFS through time is an instructive lesson in good distributed systems design, since the later phases solved problems that were preceived i nthe earlier versions by a series of refinements whcih were not precluded in any way by earlier designs. We look at this development next.