Abstract: Many scientific applications that run on today's multiprocessors are bottlenecked by their file I/O needs. Even if the multiprocessor is configured with sufficient I/O hardware, the file-system software often fails to provide the available bandwidth to the application. Although libraries and improved file-system interfaces can make a significant improvement, we believe that fundamental changes are needed in the file-server software. We propose a new technique, disk-directed I/O, that flips the usual relationship between server and client to allow the disks (actually, disk servers) to determine the flow of data for maximum performance. Our simulations show that tremendous performance gains are possible. Indeed, disk-directed I/O provided consistent high performance that was largely independent of data distribution, and close to the maximum disk bandwidth.
Keywords: parallel-IO, parallel computing, file system
Copyright © 1994 by David Kotz.The copy made available here is the authors' version; for a definitive copy see the publisher's version described above.
See also later version kotz:diskdir-tr.