Document Type

Technical Report

Publication Date

11-8-1994

Technical Report Number

PCS-TR94-226

Abstract

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.

Comments

A shorter version of this paper appeared in OSDI, although this TR has more recent numbers. The OSDI version is available here. A more complete journal version is here. The simulator software is also available.

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