Welcome!

Java Authors: Elizabeth White, Amy Lindberg, Liz McMillan, Nikita Ivanov, Greg Schulz

Related Topics: AJAX & REA, Java, XML, SOA & WOA, PowerBuilder, Virtualization

AJAX & REA: Blog Post

Where Is My Disk Space?

An HTML 5 File System Visualizer

by Nick Mueller, Zetta.net

Hello new users! The file system visualizer can be found at wheresmydiskspace.com - continue reading to learn more about the development of the tool and the visualization options.

Before buying more storage space it's a good idea to make sure your existing space isn't filled with redundant or old data - or hundreds of downloaded cat videos.

Disk capacity is increasing and while prices continue to drop, those savings are offset by demands for new capacity to store more and larger files. Not only does this mean more primary disk space, but 2x that amount for backups.

Zetta co-founder Lou Montulli may have the answer to this problem. Recently Lou combined his experience with browsers and storage in creating an open-source tool - a File System Visualizer (www.wheresmydiskspace.com) - for analyzing storage usage.

Lou was a founding engineer at Netscape in 1994 when he helped create the first commercial web browser Netscape Navigator. Over the years he's been responsible for the development of many browser related innovations, and co-founded Zetta.net in 2008 - where he continues to serve as VP of Engineering and Chief Scientist.

"The tool was conceived as a method for visualizing multiple aspects of any large file set: an existing file system, a backup or an archive," he says. "This can be a great tool to use if you find yourself running low on disk space and need to find files to delete to free up space."

The tool makes heavy use of the Data-Driven Documents JavaScript library together with jQuery, Dojo, PrettyPhoto, JavaScript and Scalable Vector Graphics. Sponsored by Zetta, all the source code for the File System Visualizer is available and a BSD license allows anyone to use it, commercially and non-commercially, free of charge.

"Part of the challenge and opportunity of this tool was writing it in JavaScript and using HTML as the user interface," Lou says. "I was part of the team who wrote the very first web browsers, so I was personally motivated to design a tool that takes advantage of some of the great new technologies coming out of HTML5, Mozilla.org and the broader web community."

Getting Started
The File System Visualizer is free to use and doesn't require installing any software. You just need a web browser that supports SVG and has a fast JavaScript engine. Go to www.wheresmydiskspace.com. The home page has a few video demonstration of the product that you can view before running the software.

Or you can:

  1. Click the link at the top of the page to take you directly to the visualizer.
  2. There you have three options: you can look at some sample data sets, use a Java applet to collect the data from your local machine and create a manifest file detailing what is in the file system, or you can load a manifest file created in a previous scan.
  3. If you choose to do a new scan, and there are a large number of folders, the software will prompt you to save the manifest to your disk rather than keeping it in the browser.

Test Setup
We recently had the File System Visualizer tested on a Windows 7 desktop with a third generation Intel Core i7 processor and 16 GB RAM. The scan took approximately 5 minutes. When completed, a message came up that there were 52,993 folders.

The software can analyze a local disk, or an administrator can run it remotely on any mountable drive. At this point it runs on Windows (32-bit and 64-bit) and OSX.

Visualizing Your Data
After running the scan, the software then presents seven different views of the data. The views are illustrated at the top of the page and you can click on any of the images to access that view of the data.

Summary Page - This showed that the test computer had 353.1 GB of data in 52,993 folders containing 364,931 items, with an average file size of 967.7 KB.

Visual Tree - This gives a hierarchical tree visualization of the data. On the left is a pull-down box where you can select to view the data by size, by type or by date. There is also a slider where you can select the tree display depth from one to seven levels.

Screenshot of the Tree View

Viewing by size shows a hierarchical view of the file system and the amount of data in each folder with up to seven levels of depth. To look at just the contents of a single folder, rather than the entire file system at once, just click on the dot next to that folder.

Viewing by type at the first level divided the data into known types and uncategorized. Going to the second depth level divided the uncategorized by their file extension and the categorized into groups such as disk images, games, database, software development, fonts, plugins, office types, settings, executables, media, backup and system. For most of those categories, going to the next level would give the file extensions, but some categories (media, office types and encodings) would further subdivide before getting to their final level.

Viewing by date, the first level divides the data into "1 year and older" and "within 1 year" and shows the GB of data in each category. Taking it to the second level splits the "within 1 year" branch into five levels and the "1 year and older" into each of the years for which you have data. There is no third level available.

Hierarchical List - This view presents the data in list rather than tree format. To get to deeper levels, click the + sign next to any of the categories. In addition to the file names, there are columns for Size in Directory, Total Size and % with children. When you click on the headers for the columns, up and down arrows appear, making it look like the data is sortable by those columns, but it isn't.

Flattened List - This is a sortable, non-hierarchical list of the folders. When viewing by Size, in addition to File Name, there are seven other sortable columns of data in each folder, including Size and Number of Items. The Type and Date views are similarly sortable. In none of these views can you look at a subtree, only at the entire file system. To view a subtree, go to one of the other views and narrow it down to the subtree and view type you want, and then click on the Flattened List visualization.

Your hard drive in "sun burst" view.

Sunburst - A type of pie chart, with rings showing each of the levels of depth. The chart can display each slice as an even size, or can adjust the sizes by the file count or amount of data in the slice. Clicking on any of the slices will move that folder or data point into the center circle, with the rings showing the subfolders or subcategories of that particular subdirectory.

Tree Map - A box type view of the data. As with the Sunburst, the boxes can be sized equally, or sized by data size or number of files. Clicking on any of the boxes will show the details within that subdirectory or data type.

Bubble Chart - This gives two layout options for showing the data: Bubble Chart or Circle Pack. The Bubble Chart shows bubbles for all the items in that category sized by the amount of data in that folder or file type. The Circle Pack presents a hierarchical view of the bubbles. In either view, clicking on a bubble or circle will give the bubbles showing the subcategories of that item.

Conclusion
The File System Visualizer is a quick and easy way to gain understanding of what's on your file system. It's intuitive to use and within minutes, you can start locating what is taking up disk space. Then you can delete or archive anything that is no longer needed, or establish policies to prevent wasted space. Then, if additional storage space is still needed, you can give management a clear visual presentation of how storage is being used in your environment. You can start visualizing your hard drive right now.

Nick is Zetta's Corporate Reporter, and has been writing and telling stories about technology with blogs, social media, and content marketing since the days when the BBS reigned.

More Stories By Derek Kol

Derek Kol is a technology specialist focused on SMB and enterprise IT innovations.

@ThingsExpo Stories
The security devil is always in the details of the attack: the ones you've endured, the ones you prepare yourself to fend off, and the ones that, you fear, will catch you completely unaware and defenseless. The Internet of Things (IoT) is nothing if not an endless proliferation of details. It's the vision of a world in which continuous Internet connectivity and addressability is embedded into a growing range of human artifacts, into the natural world, and even into our smartphones, appliances, and physical persons. In the IoT vision, every new "thing" - sensor, actuator, data source, data con...
The Internet of Things will put IT to its ultimate test by creating infinite new opportunities to digitize products and services, generate and analyze new data to improve customer satisfaction, and discover new ways to gain a competitive advantage across nearly every industry. In order to help corporate business units to capitalize on the rapidly evolving IoT opportunities, IT must stand up to a new set of challenges. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jeff Kaplan, Managing Director of THINKstrategies, will examine why IT must finally fulfill its role in support of its SBUs or face a new round of...
DevOps Summit 2015 New York, co-located with the 16th International Cloud Expo - to be held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY - announces that it is now accepting Keynote Proposals. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time to wait for long development cycles that produce software that is obsolete at launch. DevOps may be disruptive, but it is essential.
WebRTC defines no default signaling protocol, causing fragmentation between WebRTC silos. SIP and XMPP provide possibilities, but come with considerable complexity and are not designed for use in a web environment. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Matthew Hodgson, technical co-founder of the Matrix.org, discussed how Matrix is a new non-profit Open Source Project that defines both a new HTTP-based standard for VoIP & IM signaling and provides reference implementations.
The 3rd International Internet of @ThingsExpo, co-located with the 16th International Cloud Expo - to be held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY - announces that its Call for Papers is now open. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the biggest idea since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago.
The definition of IoT is not new, in fact it’s been around for over a decade. What has changed is the public's awareness that the technology we use on a daily basis has caught up on the vision of an always on, always connected world. If you look into the details of what comprises the IoT, you’ll see that it includes everything from cloud computing, Big Data analytics, “Things,” Web communication, applications, network, storage, etc. It is essentially including everything connected online from hardware to software, or as we like to say, it’s an Internet of many different things. The difference ...
"There is a natural synchronization between the business models, the IoT is there to support ,” explained Brendan O'Brien, Co-founder and Chief Architect of Aria Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at the 15th International Cloud Expo®, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Connected devices and the Internet of Things are getting significant momentum in 2014. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Jim Hunter, Chief Scientist & Technology Evangelist at Greenwave Systems, examined three key elements that together will drive mass adoption of the IoT before the end of 2015. The first element is the recent advent of robust open source protocols (like AllJoyn and WebRTC) that facilitate M2M communication. The second is broad availability of flexible, cost-effective storage designed to handle the massive surge in back-end data in a world where timely analytics is e...
How do APIs and IoT relate? The answer is not as simple as merely adding an API on top of a dumb device, but rather about understanding the architectural patterns for implementing an IoT fabric. There are typically two or three trends: Exposing the device to a management framework Exposing that management framework to a business centric logic Exposing that business layer and data to end users. This last trend is the IoT stack, which involves a new shift in the separation of what stuff happens, where data lives and where the interface lies. For instance, it's a mix of architectural styles ...
Scott Jenson leads a project called The Physical Web within the Chrome team at Google. Project members are working to take the scalability and openness of the web and use it to talk to the exponentially exploding range of smart devices. Nearly every company today working on the IoT comes up with the same basic solution: use my server and you'll be fine. But if we really believe there will be trillions of these devices, that just can't scale. We need a system that is open a scalable and by using the URL as a basic building block, we open this up and get the same resilience that the web enjoys.
An entirely new security model is needed for the Internet of Things, or is it? Can we save some old and tested controls for this new and different environment? In his session at @ThingsExpo, New York's at the Javits Center, Davi Ottenheimer, EMC Senior Director of Trust, reviewed hands-on lessons with IoT devices and reveal a new risk balance you might not expect. Davi Ottenheimer, EMC Senior Director of Trust, has more than nineteen years' experience managing global security operations and assessments, including a decade of leading incident response and digital forensics. He is co-author of t...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Gridstore™, the leader in hyper-converged infrastructure purpose-built to optimize Microsoft workloads, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Gridstore™ is the leader in hyper-converged infrastructure purpose-built for Microsoft workloads and designed to accelerate applications in virtualized environments. Gridstore’s hyper-converged infrastructure is the industry’s first all flash version of HyperConverged Appliances that include both compute and storag...
The 3rd International Internet of @ThingsExpo, co-located with the 16th International Cloud Expo - to be held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY - announces that its Call for Papers is now open. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the biggest idea since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago.
P2P RTC will impact the landscape of communications, shifting from traditional telephony style communications models to OTT (Over-The-Top) cloud assisted & PaaS (Platform as a Service) communication services. The P2P shift will impact many areas of our lives, from mobile communication, human interactive web services, RTC and telephony infrastructure, user federation, security and privacy implications, business costs, and scalability. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Robin Raymond, Chief Architect at Hookflash, will walk through the shifting landscape of traditional telephone and voice services ...
Explosive growth in connected devices. Enormous amounts of data for collection and analysis. Critical use of data for split-second decision making and actionable information. All three are factors in making the Internet of Things a reality. Yet, any one factor would have an IT organization pondering its infrastructure strategy. How should your organization enhance its IT framework to enable an Internet of Things implementation? In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, James Kirkland, Chief Architect for the Internet of Things and Intelligent Systems at Red Hat, described how to revolutioniz...
The 3rd International @ThingsExpo, co-located with the 16th International Cloud Expo - to be held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY - announces that it is now accepting Keynote Proposals. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the most profound change in personal and enterprise IT since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago. All major researchers estimate there will be tens of billions devices - computers, smartphones, tablets, and sensors - connected to the Internet by 2020. This number will continue to grow at a rapid pace for the next several decades.
The Internet of Things will greatly expand the opportunities for data collection and new business models driven off of that data. In her session at @ThingsExpo, Esmeralda Swartz, CMO of MetraTech, discussed how for this to be effective you not only need to have infrastructure and operational models capable of utilizing this new phenomenon, but increasingly service providers will need to convince a skeptical public to participate. Get ready to show them the money!
"Matrix is an ambitious open standard and implementation that's set up to break down the fragmentation problems that exist in IP messaging and VoIP communication," explained John Woolf, Technical Evangelist at Matrix, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
We are reaching the end of the beginning with WebRTC, and real systems using this technology have begun to appear. One challenge that faces every WebRTC deployment (in some form or another) is identity management. For example, if you have an existing service – possibly built on a variety of different PaaS/SaaS offerings – and you want to add real-time communications you are faced with a challenge relating to user management, authentication, authorization, and validation. Service providers will want to use their existing identities, but these will have credentials already that are (hopefully) i...
The Internet of Things promises to transform businesses (and lives), but navigating the business and technical path to success can be difficult to understand. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Sean Lorenz, Technical Product Manager for Xively at LogMeIn, demonstrated how to approach creating broadly successful connected customer solutions using real world business transformation studies including New England BioLabs and more.