I/O in Parallel and Distributed Systems


David Kotz and Ravi Jain. I/O in Parallel and Distributed Systems. Encyclopedia of Computer Science and Technology, pages 141–154. Edited by Allen Kent and James G. Williams. Volume 40, Marcel Dekker, Inc., 1999. ISBN13: 9780824722937. ©Copyright Marcel Dekker, Inc. Supplement 25.


We sketch the reasons for the I/O bottleneck in parallel and distributed systems, pointing out that it can be viewed as a special case of a general bottleneck that arises at all levels of the memory hierarchy. We argue that because of its severity, the I/O bottleneck deserves systematic attention at all levels of system design. We then present a survey of the issues raised by the I/O bottleneck in six key areas of parallel and distributed systems: applications, algorithms, languages and compilers, run-time libraries, operating systems, and architecture.

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