Abstract: Systems, methods, and apparatus for providing data storage services storage using self-organizing replica management. In one embodiment, a cellular system operates storage objects, for example, data files, for clients. The system stores the storage objects as generally more than one substitutable replica, with each replica being stored on a separate cell. In some aspects, the system maintains multiple layers of overlapping trees and uses them for managing storage object replicas. In other aspects, a single self specializing substitutable cell performs dynamic specialization of itself in the system, while persistence is provided by the system as a whole. In other aspects, the system gives replicas special status while their storage object is being updated and returns them to a state of being fully substitutable after all changes have been successfully propagated to the replicas.