The DiskSim Simulation Environment (v4.0)
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DiskSim v4.0 includes bug fixes and three primary additions: the DIXtrac disk characterization tool [Schindler99], a MEMS-based storage device model [Griffin00, Schlosser03], and a new layout model generic enough for all logical-to-physical mappings that we have seen.
DiskSim is an efficient, accurate, highly-configurable disk system
simulator originally developed at the University of Michigan and enhanced at
CMU to support research into various aspects of storage subsystem
architecture. It is written in C and requires no special system software
(just basic POSIX interfaces). DiskSim includes modules for most secondary
storage components of interest, including device drivers, buses, controllers,
adapters, and disk drives. DiskSim also includes support for a number
of externally-provided trace formats and internally-generated synthetic
workloads, and includes hooks for inclusion in a larger scale system-level
simulator. It has been used in a variety of published studies (and
several unpublished studies) to understand modern storage subsystem
to understand how storage performance relates to overall system performance
DiskSim has been validated both as part of a more comprehensive system-level model and as a standalone subsystem. In particular, the disk module (which is extremely detailed) has been carefully validated against 10 different disk models from 5 different manufacturers. The accuracy demonstrated exceeds that of any other disk simulator known to the authors (e.g., see Ruemmler and Wilkes' article in the March 1994 issue of IEEE Computer).
Parameters for some disks against which we have validated DiskSim are included with the source code release (see below). For 4 of these disks, the parameters were extracted by a set of semi-automated, on-line algorithms described in [Worthington95, Worthington96]. For another 5 disks, the parameters were extracted automatically by a disk characterization tool called DIXtrac. Additional DIXtrac-provided parameters are added periodically to our on-line database of disk parameters.
A fairly complete description of what DiskSim can do and how to use it can be found in the Reference Manual below.
NOTE: Microsoft Research has created an idealized SSD model for DiskSim 4.0 (used in the USENIX 2008 paper "Design Tradeoffs for SSD Performance") and is sharing it under a limited non-commercial (click-through) license from the Microsoft Research download site.
NOTE: Instead of contacting the authors directly to find out more, or comment on disksim, please send mail to .
DiskSim has been made freely available in order to further storage
system research (and computer system research that in some way includes
the storage system). All we ask is that you let us know, if and when
you can, that you are using and what kind of fabulous things you do
There are two public mailing lists for DiskSim:
These mailing lists are moderated such that only subscribers can post; please subscribe before mailing the list.
An archive of past disksim email list posts is available at http://sos.ece.cmu.edu/pipermail/disksim/.