[Cluster 2010] TRACER: A Trace Replay Tool to Evaluate Energy-Efficiency of Mass Storage Systems

Improving energy efficiency of mass storage systems has become an important and pressing research issue in large HPC centers and data centers. New energy conservation techniques in storage systems constantly spring up; however, there is a lack of systematic and uniform way of accurately evaluating energy-efficient storage systems and objectively comparing a wide range of energy-saving techniques. This research presents a new integrated scheme, called TRACER, for evaluating energyefficiency of mass storage systems and judging energy-saving techniques. The TRACER scheme consists of a toolkit used to measure energy efficiency of storage systems as well as performance and energy metrics. In addition, TRACER contains a novel and accurate workload-control module to acquire power varying with workload modes and I/O load intensity. The workload generator in TRACER facilitates a block-level trace replay mechanism. The main goal of the workload-control module is to select a certain percentage (e.g., anywhere from 10% to 100%) of trace entries from a real-world I/O trace file uniformly and to replay filtered trace entries to reach any level of I/O load intensity. TRACER is experimentally validated on a general RAID5 enterprise disk array. Our experiments demonstrate that energy-efficient mass storage systems can be accurately evaluated on full scales by TRACER. We applied TRACER to investigate impacts of workload modes and load intensity on energy-efficiency of storage devices. This work shows that TRACER can enable storage system developers to evaluate energy efficiency designs for storage systems.