Virtual Guard: A Track-Based Translation Layer for Shingled Disks

Website Maintenance Alert

Due to scheduled maintenance, the USENIX website will not be available on Tuesday, December 17, from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm Pacific Daylight Time (UTC -7). We apologize for the inconvenience.

If you are trying to register for Enigma 2020, please complete your registration before or after this time period.


Mansour Shafaei and Peter Desnoyers, Northeastern University


Virtual Guard (Vguard) is a track-based static mapping translation layer for shingled magnetic recording (SMR) drives. Data is written in-place by caching data from the next track in the shingling direction, allowing direct overwrite of sectors in the target track. This enables Vguard to take advantage of track-level locality, nearly eliminating cleaning for many workloads. We compare performance of Vguard to an available drive-managed SMR drive analyzed and modeled in previous research. Vguard reduces the 99.9% latency by 15× for real-world traces, and maximum latency by 32% for synthetic random write workloads.

Open Access Media

USENIX is committed to Open Access to the research presented at our events. Papers and proceedings are freely available to everyone once the event begins. Any video, audio, and/or slides that are posted after the event are also free and open to everyone. Support USENIX and our commitment to Open Access.

@inproceedings {203388,
author = {Mansour Shafaei and Peter Desnoyers},
title = {Virtual Guard: A Track-Based Translation Layer for Shingled Disks},
booktitle = {9th {USENIX} Workshop on Hot Topics in Storage and File Systems (HotStorage 17)},
year = {2017},
address = {Santa Clara, CA},
url = {},
publisher = {{USENIX} Association},
month = jul,