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Techniques for File System Simulation

Wilkes, John; Lazowska, Edward D.; Thekkath, Chandramohan A.

HPL-92-131

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Abstract: The design of file and disk systems is an extremely active area. This paper describes a collection of techniques for performing careful simulation-based evaluations of such systems. These techniques have novel aspects in the following areas: workload characterization, file system modeling, and disk behavior representation. They make feasible the detailed simulation of new I/O hardware and file system software, and of extensions to existing designs. In particular, using the techniques described here is likely to make comparative file system studies more accurate. In addition to these specific contributions, the paper makes two broader points. First, it argues that detailed simulations are appropriate and necessary in many cases. Second, it demonstrates that detailed models need not be difficult or time consuming to construct.

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