As phase-change optical recording technology matures, partnerships emerge between companies to provide a complete optical data storage solution. A supplier of optical media and a optical disk drive supplier must exchange information, based on prototype evaluations, to establish media and drive specifications which optimize overall performance. For example, in the development of write strategies which result in acceptable jitter and media life, testing is important. But it can be very time-consuming to explore the effects of the many design parameters by iterating on media configurations in the laboratory. Therefore, simulation becomes an attractive option, if it (a) is verifiable using laboratory measurements, (b) requires a minimum number of media parameters, and (c) provides sufficient accuracy to enable good design decisions for both media and drive. For optimal jitter and media life, the simulation should point the way to a write strategy which precisely controls media temperature and cooling rate.