As the I/O needs of parallel scientific applications increase, file systems for multiprocessors are being designed to provide applications with parallel access to multiple disks. Many parallel file systems present applications with a conventional Unix-like interface that allows the application to access multiple disks transparently. This interface conceals the parallelism within the file system, which increases the ease of programmability, but makes it difficult or impossible for sophisticated programmers and libraries to use knowledge about their I/O needs to exploit that parallelism. Furthermore, most current parallel file systems are optimized for a different workload than they are being asked to support. We introduce Galley, a new parallel file system that is intended to efficiently support realistic parallel workloads. Initial experiments, reported in this paper, indicate that Galley is capable of providing high-performance I/O to applications that access data in patterns that have been observed to be common.
(Note: You should probably get The Galley Parallel File System, which will appear in Parallel Computing, instead of this older paper.)
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(Copyright (c) 1996 by ACM)