David Kotz and Nils Nieuwejaar. Flexibility and Performance of Parallel File Systems. In Proceedings of the Third International Conference of the Austrian Center for Parallel Computation (ACPC), pages 1-11, September 1996. Springer-Verlag. Invited paper. DOI 10.1007/3-540-61695-0_1.

Abstract: As we gain experience with parallel file systems, it becomes increasingly clear that a single solution does not suit all applications. For example, it appears to be impossible to find a single appropriate interface, caching policy, file structure, or disk-management strategy. Furthermore, the proliferation of file-system interfaces and abstractions make applications difficult to port.

We propose that the traditional functionality of parallel file systems be separated into two components: a fixed core that is standard on all platforms, encapsulating only primitive abstractions and interfaces, and a set of high-level libraries to provide a variety of abstractions and application-programmer interfaces (APIs).

We present our current and next-generation file systems as examples of this structure. Their features, such as a three-dimensional file structure, strided read and write interfaces, and I/O-node programs, re specifically designed with the flexibility and performance necessary to support a wide range of applications.

Keywords: parallel-IO, parallel computing, file system


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See also earlier version kotz:flexibility.