A Multiprocessor Extension to the Conventional File System Interface


Nils Nieuwejaar and David Kotz. A Multiprocessor Extension to the Conventional File System Interface. Technical Report number PCS-TR94-230, Dartmouth Computer Science, September 1994. ©Copyright the authors. Later revised as nieuwejaar:strided2-tr.


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. By tracing all the activity of a parallel file system in a production, scientific computing environment, we show that many applications exhibit highly regular, but non-consecutive I/O access patterns. Since the conventional interface does not provide an efficient method of describing these patterns, we present an extension which supports strided and nested-strided I/O requests.

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