Disk-directed I/O for MIMD Multiprocessors
[kotz:diskdir]David Kotz. Disk-directed I/O for MIMD Multiprocessors. Proceedings of the Symposium on Operating Systems Design and Implementation (OSDI), pages 61–74. USENIX Association, November 1994. ©Copyright David Kotz. Updated as Dartmouth TR PCS-TR94-226 on November 8, 1994. Honorable mention as “Best Paper”. Later revised as kotz:diskdir-tr.
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.
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