Long-Term File Activity Patterns in a UNIX Workstation Environment

Appeared in Proceedings of the 6th Goddard Conference on Mass Storage Systems and Technologies / 15th IEEE Symposium on Mass Storage Systems.

Abstract

As mass storage technology becomes more affordable for sites smaller than supercomputer centers, understanding their file access patterns becomes crucial for developing systems to store rarely used data on tertiary storage devices such as tapes and optical disks. This paper presents a new way to collect and analyze file system statistics for UNIX-based file systems. The collection system runs in user-space and requires no modification of the operating system kernel. The sta- tistics package provides details about file system operations at the file level: cre- ations, deletions, modifications, etc.
The paper analyzes four months of file system activity on a university file system. The results confirm previously published results gathered from supercom- puter file systems, but differ in several important areas. Files in this study were considerably smaller than those at supercomputer centers, and they were accessed less frequently. Additionally, the long-term creation rate on workstation file systems is sufficiently low so that all data more than a day old could be cheaply saved on a mass storage device, allowing the integration of time travel into every file system.

Publication date:
March 1998

Authors:
Timothy Gibson
Ethan L. Miller

Projects:
Archival Storage

Available media

Full paper text: PDF

Bibtex entry

@inproceedings{gibson-msst98,
  author       = {Timothy Gibson and Ethan L. Miller},
  title        = {Long-Term File Activity Patterns in {a} {UNIX} Workstation Environment},
  booktitle    = {Proceedings of the 6th Goddard Conference on Mass Storage Systems and Technologies / 15th  IEEE
Symposium on Mass Storage Systems},
  pages        = {355-372},
  month        = mar,
  year         = {1998},
}
Last modified 6 Jun 2019