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Issue No. 02 - February (2011 vol. 22)
ISSN: 1045-9219
pp: 260-272
Wei-keng Liao , Northwestern University, Evanston
MPI collective I/O has been an effective method for parallel shared-file access and maintaining the canonical orders of structured data in files. Its implementation commonly uses a two-phase I/O strategy that partitions a file into disjoint file domains, assigns each domain to a unique process, redistributes the I/O data based on their locations in the domains, and has each process perform I/O for the assigned domain. The partitioning quality determines the maximal performance achievable by the underlying file system, as the shared-file I/O has long been impeded by the cost of file system's data consistency control, particularly due to the conflicted locks. This paper proposes a few file domain partitioning methods designed to reduce lock conflicts under the extent-based file locking protocol. Experiments from four I/O benchmarks on the IBM GPFS and Lustre parallel file systems show that the partitioning method producing minimum lock conflicts wins the highest performance. The benefit of removing conflicted locks can be so significant that more than thirty times of write bandwidth differences are observed between the best and worst methods.
Parallel I/O, MPI-IO, parallel file system, file locking, Lustre, GPFS.

W. Liao, "Design and Evaluation of MPI File Domain Partitioning Methods under Extent-Based File Locking Protocol," in IEEE Transactions on Parallel & Distributed Systems, vol. 22, no. , pp. 260-272, 2010.
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