A User-Friendly Approach for Tuning Parallel File Operations

Robert McLay, Doug James, Si Liu, John Cazes, William Barth
2014 SC14: International Conference for High Performance Computing, Networking, Storage and Analysis  
The Lustre file system provides high aggregated I/O bandwidth and is in widespread use throughout the HPC community. Here we report on work (1) developing a model for understanding collective parallel MPI write operations on Lustre, and (2) producing a library that optimizes parallel write performance in a user-friendly way. We note that a system's default stripe count is rarely a good choice for parallel I/O, and that performance depends on a delicate balance between the number of stripes and
more » ... ber of stripes and the actual (not requested) number of collective writers. Unfortunate combinations of these parameters may degrade performance considerably. For the programmer, however, it's all about the stripe count: an informed choice of this single parameter allows MPI to assign writers in a way that achieves near-optimal performance. We offer recommendations for those who wish to tune performance manually and describe the easy-to-use T3PIO library that manages the tuning automatically.
doi:10.1109/sc.2014.24 dblp:conf/sc/McLayJLCB14 fatcat:q4gd6xfnfnewhofkcwmk4jnr3i