Flexibility and Performance of Parallel File Systems


David Kotz and Nils Nieuwejaar. Flexibility and Performance of Parallel File Systems. Proceedings of the International Conference of the Austrian Center for Parallel Computation (ACPC), volume 1127 in Lecture Notes in Computer Science, pages 1–11. Springer-Verlag, September 1996. doi:10.1007/3-540-61695-0_1. ©Copyright Springer-Verlag. Invited paper. Revision of kotz:flexibility.


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.

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Projects: [galley]

Keywords: [pario]

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