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Suboptimal storage design has significant cost and power impact in large-scale datacenters (DCs). Performance, power and cost-optimized systems require deep understanding of target workloads, and mechanisms to effectively model different storage design choices. Traditional benchmarking is invalid in cloud data-stores, representative storage profiles are hard to obtain, while replaying applications in different storage configurations is impractical both in cost and time. Despite these issues, current workload generators are not able to reproduce key aspects of real application patterns (e.g., spatial/temporal locality, I/O intensity). In this paper, we propose a modeling and generation framework for large-scale storage applications. As part of this framework we use a state diagram-based storage model, extend it to a hierarchical representation, and implement a tool that consistently recreates DC application I/O loads. We present the principal features of the framework that allow accurate modeling and generation of storage workloads, and the validation process performed against ten original DC application traces. Finally, we explore two practical applications of this methodology: SSD caching and defragmentation benefits on enterprise storage. Since knowledge of the workload's spatial and temporal locality is necessary to model these use cases, our framework was instrumental in quantifying their performance benefits. The proposed methodology provides detailed understanding of the storage activity of large-scale applications, and enables a wide spectrum of storage studies, without the requirement to access application code and full application deployment.
Date of Publication: July-Dec. 2012