Experience from two years of visualizing flash with SSDPlayer

Gala Yadgar, Roman Shor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Data visualization is a thriving field of computer science, with widespread impact on diverse scientific disciplines, from medicine and meteorology to visual data mining. Advances in large-scale storage systems, as well as low-level storage technology, played a significant role in accelerating the applicability and adoption of modern visualization techniques. Ironically, "the cobbler's children have no shoes": Researchers who wish to analyze storage systems and devices are usually limited to a variety of static histograms and basic displays. The dynamic nature of data movement on flash has motivated the introduction of SSDPlayer, a graphical tool for visualizing the various processes that cause data movement on solid-state drives (SSDs). In 2015, we used the initial version of SSDPlayer to demonstrate how visualization can assist researchers and developers in their understanding of modern, complex flash-based systems. While we continued to use SSDPlayer for analysis purposes, we found it extremely useful for education and presentation purposes as well. In this article, we describe our experience from two years of using, sharing, and extending SSDPlayer and how similar techniques can further advance storage systems research and education.

Original languageEnglish
Article number31
JournalACM Transactions on Storage
Issue number4
StatePublished - Nov 2017


  • Analysis
  • Flash
  • SSD
  • Simulation
  • Storage system management
  • Visualization

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Hardware and Architecture


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