On implementing MPI-IO portably and with high performance.

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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, seek, 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, ... continued below

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16 pages

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Thakur, R.; Gropp, W. & Lusk, E. November 30, 1998.

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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, seek, 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, noncontiguous accesses, collective I/O, asynchronous I/O, consistency and atomicity semantics, user-supplied hints, shared file pointers, portable data representation, file preallocation, and some miscellaneous features. 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.

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16 pages

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  • 6th Workshop on I/O in Parallel and Distributed Systems (IOPADS '99), Atlanta, GA (US), 05/05/1999

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  • Report No.: ANL/MCS-P732-1098
  • Grant Number: W-31109-ENG-38
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 775253
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc715413

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Office of Scientific & Technical Information Technical Reports

Reports, articles and other documents harvested from the Office of Scientific and Technical Information.

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  • November 30, 1998

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Sept. 29, 2015, 5:31 a.m.

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  • March 29, 2016, 8:25 p.m.

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Thakur, R.; Gropp, W. & Lusk, E. On implementing MPI-IO portably and with high performance., article, November 30, 1998; Illinois. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc715413/: accessed April 24, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.