Parallel file systems are gaining in popularity in high-end computing centers as well as commercial data centers. High-end computing systems are expected to scale exponentially and to pose new challenges to their storage scalability in terms of cost and power. To address these challenges scientists and file system designers will need a thorough understanding of the design space of parallel file systems. Yet there exist few systematic studies of parallel file system behavior at petabyte- and exabyte scale. An important reason is the significant cost of getting access to large-scale hardware to test parallel file systems. To contribute to this understanding we are building a parallel file system simulator that can simulate parallel file systems at very large scale. Our goal is to simulate petabyte-scale parallel file systems on a small cluster or even a single machine in reasonable time and fidelity. With this simulator, file system experts will be able to tune existing file systems for specific workloads, scientists and file system deployment engineers will be able to better communicate workload requirements, file system designers and researchers will be able to try out design alternatives and innovations at scale, and instructors will be able to study very large-scale parallel file system behavior in the class room. In this paper we describe our approach and provide preliminary results that are encouraging both in terms of fidelity and simulation scalability.