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Input/Output in Parallel and Distributed Computer Systems


The computational performance of multiprocessors continues to improve by leaps and bounds, fueled in part by rapid improvements in processor and interconnection technology. I/O performance thus becomes ever more critical, to avoid becoming the bottleneck of system performance. In this paper we provide an introduction to I/O architectural issues in multiprocessors, with a focus on disk subsystems. While we discuss examples from actual architectures and provide pointers to interesting research in the literature, we do not attempt to provide a comprehensive survey. We concentrate on a study of the architectural design issues, and the effects of different design alternatives.