FAST 2002 Abstract
Timing-accurate Storage Emulation
John Linwood Griffin, Jiri Schindler, Steven W. Schlosser,
John S. Bucy, Gregory R. Ganger,
Carnegie Mellon University
Timing-accurate storage emulation fills an important gap
in the set of common performance evaluation techniques
for proposed storage designs: it allows a researcher to
experiment with not-yet-existing storage components in
the context of real systems executing real applications.
As its name suggests, a timing-accurate storage emulator
appears to the system to be a real storage component
with service times matching a simulation model of that
component. This paper promotes timing-accurate storage
emulation by describing its unique features, demonstrating
its feasibility, and illustrating its value. A prototype,
called the Memulator, is described and shown to
produce service times within 2% of those computed by
its component simulator for over 99% of requests. Two
sets of measurements enabled by the Memulator illustrate
its power: (1) application performance on a modern
Linux system equipped with a MEMS-based storage device
(no such device exists at this time), and (2) application
performance on a modern Linux system equipped
with a disk whose firmware has been modified (we have
no access to firmware source code).
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