On implementing MPI-IO portably and with high performance

Rajeev Thakur, William Gropp, Ewing Lusk

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

Abstract

We discuss the issues involved in implementing MPI-IO portably on multiple machines and file systems and also achieving high performance. One way to implement MPI-IO portably is to implement it on top of the basic Unix I/O functions (open, lseek, read, write, and close), which are themselves portable. We argue that this approach has limitations in both functionality and performance. We instead advocate an implementation approach that combines a large portion of portable code and a small portion of code that is optimized separately for different machines and file systems. We have used such an approach to develop a high-performance, portable MPI-IO implementation, called ROMIO. In addition to basic I/O functionality, we consider the issues of supporting other MPI-IO features, such as 64-bit file sizes, non-contiguous accesses, collective I/O, asynchronous I/O, consistency and atomicity semantics, user-supplied hints, shared file pointers, portable data representation, and file preallocation. We describe how we implemented each of these features on various machines and file systems. The machines we consider are the HP Exemplar, IBM SP, Intel Paragon, NEC SX-4, SGI Origin2000, and networks of workstations; and the file systems we consider are HP HFS, IBM PIOFS, Intel PFS, NEC SFS, SGI XFS, NFS, and any general Unix file system (UFS). We also present our thoughts on how a file system can be designed to better support MPI-IO. We provide a list of features desired from a file system that would help in implementing MPI-IO correctly and with high performance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages23-32
Number of pages10
DOIs
StatePublished - 1999
EventProceedings of the 1999 6th Workshop on I/O in Parallel and Disbributed Systems, IOPADS '99 (The ACM Federated Computing Research Conference, FCRC'99) - Atlanta, GA, USA
Duration: May 5 1999May 5 1999

Conference

ConferenceProceedings of the 1999 6th Workshop on I/O in Parallel and Disbributed Systems, IOPADS '99 (The ACM Federated Computing Research Conference, FCRC'99)
CityAtlanta, GA, USA
Period5/5/995/5/99

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science(all)

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