Space accounting for storage system snapshots

US Patent 9,753,932
September 5, 2017

A facility for snapshot space accounting for a storage system, such as a filesystem is disclosed. The facility enables users to quickly and easily determine the amount of storage space that would be released or recovered if a snapshot were to be purged. The facility may work in conjunction with, or as part of, a snapshot service. The facility maintains an expiration data structure and a count data structure and uses these data structures in implementing the disclosed snapshot space accounting techniques. The expiration data structure represents the life cycle of each snapshot element maintained by the facility while the count data structure represents, for pairs of snapshots, the size of the information stored in the snapshot data that expired and that spans the corresponding pair of snapshots.