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R&D: IMRSim, Disk Simulator for Interlaced Magnetic Recording Technology

Release IMRSim as open-source IMR disk simulation tool and hope to attract more scholars into related research on IMR technology.

Arxiv has published an article written by Zhimin Zeng, Xinyu Chen, Laurence T Yang, and Jinhua Cui, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan, China.

Abstract: The emerging interlaced magnetic recording (IMR) technology achieves a higher areal density for hard disk drive (HDD) over the conventional magnetic recording (CMR) technology. IMR-based HDD interlaces top tracks and bottom tracks, where each bottom track is overlapped with two neighboring top tracks. Thus, top tracks can be updated without restraint, whereas bottom tracks can be updated by the time-consuming read-modify-write (RMW) or other novel update strategy. Therefore, the layout of the tracks between the IMR-based HDD and the CMR-based HDD is much different. Unfortunately, there has been no related disk simulator and product available to the public, which motivates us to develop an open-source IMR disk simulator to provide a platform for further research. We implement the first public IMR disk simulator, called IMRSim, as a block device driver in the Linux kernel, simulating the interlaced tracks and implementing many state-of-the-art data placement strategies. IMRSim is built on the actual CMR-based HDD to precisely simulate the I/O performance of IMR drives. While I/O operations in CMR-based HDD are easy to visualize, update strategy and multi-stage allocation strategy in IMR are inherently dynamic. Therefore, we further graphically demonstrate how IMRSim processes I/O requests in the visualization mode. We release IMRSim as an ope