Geriatrix: Aging what you see and what you don’t see. A file system aging approach for modern storage systems


Saurabh Kadekodi, Vaishnavh Nagarajan, and Gregory R. Ganger, Carnegie Mellon University; Garth A. Gibson, Carnegie Mellon University, Vector Institute


File system performance on modern primary storage devices (Flash-based SSDs) is greatly affected by aging of the free space, much more so than were mechanical disk drives. We introduce Geriatrix, a simple-to-use profile driven file system aging tool that induces target levels of fragmentation in both allocated files (what you see) and remaining free space (what you don't see), unlike previous approaches that focus on just the former. This paper describes and evaluates the effectiveness of Geriatrix, showing that it recreates both fragmentation effects better than previous approaches. Using Geriatrix, we show that measurements presented in many recent file systems papers are higher than should be expected, by up to 30% on mechanical (HDD) and up to 75% on Flash (SSD) disks. Worse, in some cases, the performance rank ordering of file system designs being compared are different from the published results.

Geriatrix will be released as open source software with eight built-in aging profiles, in the hopes that it can address the need created by the increased performance impact of file system aging in modern SSD-based storage.

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@inproceedings {215995,
author = {Saurabh Kadekodi and Vaishnavh Nagarajan and Gregory R. Ganger},
title = {Geriatrix: Aging what you see and what you {don{\textquoteright}t} see. A file system aging approach for modern storage systems},
booktitle = {2018 USENIX Annual Technical Conference (USENIX ATC 18)},
year = {2018},
isbn = {978-1-931971-44-7},
address = {Boston, MA},
pages = {691--704},
url = {},
publisher = {USENIX Association},
month = jul

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