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Center for Research in Storage Systems

A random write workload running with and without Ascar

Automatic Storage Contention Alleviation and Reduction system (Ascar) is a novel storage traffic management system for improving the bandwidth utilization and fairness of resource allocation. Ascar regulates I/O traffic from the clients using a rule based algorithm that controls the congestion window and request rates; it requires no runtime coordination between clients or with a central coordinator. Ascar produces rules in an unsupervised manner by systematically exploring the solution space of possible rule designs and evaluating the target workload under the candidate rule sets. Evaluation shows that our Ascar prototype can improve the throughput of all tested workloads – some by as much as 35%. The optimization time and controller overhead are unrelated to the scale of the system; thus, it has the potential to support millions of clients. As a pure client-side solution, Ascar needs no change to either the hardware or server software.


The Center for Research in Storage Systems (CRSS) is a partnership between academia and industry to explore and develop new technologies and techniques to improve the manageability, scalability, security, reliability, longevity, and performance of storage systems. CRSS researchers conduct high-quality, industrially-relevant fundamental research, often in collaboration with CRSS industrial members. CRSS also facilitates collaboration in research and education, and provides pathways to simplify direct transfer of university developed ideas, research results, and technology to its industrial sponsors, helping them to improve their competitive posture in the global marketplace. CRSS also focuses on providing talented graduate and undergraduate students the technical background and industry interaction they will use as they go on to become the next generation of scientists and engineers.

Research Program

CRSS conducts research in a wide range of storage-related fields, including archival storage, scalable distributed indexing and non-hierarchical file systems, large-scale distributed storage systems, file systems for next-generation storage devices, and data deduplication. We also have particular focus in cross-cutting issues such as security and reliability in file and storage systems. While CRSS was established in 2013, it inherits a long history of advanced storage research from the Storage Systems Research Center in the Jack Baskin School of Engineering. We encourage you to learn about SSRC projects that predate the formation of CRSS.

More information

Please see the CRSS fact sheet for more information on the Center and its organization. You're also encouraged to browse the Web site for more information about research at CRSS. Please note that some parts of the site are restricted to CRSS sponsors.

If you're interested in becoming an industrial member of CRSS, please contact our Executive Director, Dr. Andy Hospodor or one of the CRSS faculty, Prof. Ethan Miller and Prof. Darrell Long. Prospective students interesting in working in the CRSS can contact one of the faculty, and are encouraged to communicate with current students to learn about their experiences working as part of CRSS.

Contact us

You can reach us by contacting individual faculty, staff, or students, or you can reach us at:

Center for Research in Storage Systems
Jack Baskin School of Engineering
University of California
1156 High Street
Santa Cruz, CA 95064  USA
Phone: +1 (831) 459-2817
Fax: +1 (831) 459-1041
Director: Prof. Ethan L. Miller
Executive Director: Dr. Andy Hospodor

Engineering 2 Building CRSS Labs:
E2-381: +1 (831) 459-4458
E2-383: +1 (831) 459-1371
E2-380: no phone

Last modified 18 Nov 2014
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This material is based on work supported in part by the National Science Foundation under grant IIP-1266400. Any opinions, findings and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.