Measurement and Analysis of Large-Scale Network File System Workloads

Appeared in Proceedings of the 2008 USENIX Technical Conference.


In this paper we present the analysis of two large-scale network file system workloads. We measured CIFS traffic for two enterprise-class file servers deployed in the NetApp data center for a three month period. One file server was used by marketing, sales, and finance departments and the other by the engineering department. Together these systems represent over 22 TB of storage used by over 1500 employees, making this the first ever large-scale study of the CIFS protocol.

We analyzed how our network file system workloads compared to those of previous file system trace studies and took an in-depth look at access, usage, and sharing patterns. We found that our workloads were quite different from those previously studied; for example, our analysis found increased read-write file access patterns, decreased read-write ratios, more random file access, and longer file lifetimes. In addition, we found a number of interesting properties regarding file sharing, file re-use, and the access patterns of file types and users, showing that modern file system workload has changed in the past 5–10 years. This change in workload characteristics has implications on the future design of network file systems, which we describe in the paper.

Publication date:
June 2008

Andrew Leung
Shankar Pasupathy
Garth Goodson
Ethan L. Miller

Scalable File System Indexing
Ultra-Large Scale Storage
Tracing and Benchmarking

Available media

Full paper text: PDF
Presentation: slides

Bibtex entry

  author       = {Andrew Leung and Shankar Pasupathy and Garth Goodson and Ethan L. Miller},
  title        = {Measurement and Analysis of Large-Scale Network File System Workloads},
  booktitle    = {Proceedings of the 2008 USENIX Technical Conference},
  month        = jun,
  year         = {2008},
Last modified 5 Aug 2020