Modeling and Simulating Flash Based Solid-State Disks for Operating Systems

Solid-State Disks (SSDs) made out of Flash devices have gained a lot of prominence in recent years due to their increasing performance and endurance. A number of mechanisms are being proposed to improve the performance and reliability of these devices from technological and operating system perspectives, to integrate them into personal computers and enterprise systems. Most of such proposals are being implemented and evaluated directly on top of these SSDs and require sophisticated framework and infrastructure for thorough performance evaluation. On the other hand, to our knowledge, very little has been done on modeling Flash devices and building efficient Flash simulators that can be used to simulate SSDs. Such models and simulators can give insights to make design decisions, save a lot of cumbersome work for setup and implementation, save hardware costs and allow researchers to focus on the real methods that are being proposed.

This paper presents a linear model for NAND-based Flash devices based on the internal architecture of these devices. Parameters of the model are presented along with micro-benchmarks that can be used to extract these parameters. The model is validated on the STEC Zeus Flash SSD and extracted parameters are used to build a Flash simulator as a kernel extension in the AIX operating system. A key feature of the simulator is that it simulates I/O requests by maintaining minimal state information and is independent of the internal organization of a Flash SSD. The simulator is validated using commercial and raw-IO applications through experimentation on the simulator and real Flash disks.

By: Kaoutar El Maghraoui; Gokul Kandiraju; Joefon Jann; Pratap Pattnaik

Published in: RC24825 in 2009


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