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2011 IEEE International Conference on Cluster Computing (2011)
Austin, Texas USA
Sept. 26, 2011 to Sept. 30, 2011
ISBN: 978-0-7695-4516-5
pp: 484-493
The demand for scalable I/O continues to grow rapidly as computer clusters keep growing. Much of the research in storage systems has been focused on improving the scale and performance of I/O throughput. Scalable file systems do a good job of scaling large file access bandwidth by striping or sharing I/O resources across many servers or disks. However, the same cannot be said about scaling file metadata operation rates. Most existing parallel file systems choose to concentrate all the metadata processing load on a single server. This centralized processing can guarantee the correctness, but it severely hampers scalability. This downside is becoming more and more unacceptable as metadata throughput is critical for large scale applications. Distributing metadata processing load is critical to improve metadata scalability when handling huge number of client nodes. However, a solution to speed up metadata operations has to address two challenges simultaneously, namely the scalability and reliability. In this paper, we have designed a decentralized metadata service layer and evaluated its benefits and shortcomings that concern parallel file systems. The main aim of this service layer is to maintain reliability and consistency in a distributed metadata environment. At the same time we also focus on improving the scalability of the metadata operations, and in turn, the scalability of the underlying parallel file system. As demonstrated by experiments, the approach presented in this paper achieves significant improvements over native parallel file systems by large margin for all the major metadata operations. With 256 client processes, our decentralized metadata service outperforms Lustre and PVFS2 by a factor of 1.9 and 23, respectively, to create directories. With respect to stat() operation on files, our approach is 1.3 and 3.0 times faster than Lustre and PVFS.
parallel filesystem, metadata, distributed coordination service, virtual filesystem

D. K. Panda, R. Rajachandrasekar, X. Besseron, V. Meshram, R. P. Darbha and X. Ouyang, "Can a Decentralized Metadata Service Layer Benefit Parallel Filesystems?," 2011 IEEE International Conference on Cluster Computing(CLUSTER), Austin, Texas USA, 2011, pp. 484-493.
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