Date of Award

5-2013

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Legacy Department

Computer Engineering

Advisor

Ligon, Walter B

Committee Member

Hoover , Adam

Committee Member

Martin , Jim

Abstract

Due to processors reaching the maximum performance allowable by current technology, architectural trends for computer systems continue to increase the number of cores per processing chip to maximize system performance. Most estimates suggest massively parallel systems will be available within the decade, containing millions of cores and capable of exaFlops of performance. New models of execution are necessary to maximize processor utilization and minimize power costs for these exascale systems. ParalleX is one such execution model, which attempts to address inefficiencies of current execution models by exposing fine-grained parallelism, increasing system utilization using asynchronous workflow, and resolving resource contention through the use of adaptive and dynamic resource scheduling.
A particularly important aspect of these exascale execution models is the design of the I/O subsystem, which has seen limited performance increases compared to processor and network technologies. Parallel file systems have been designed to help alleviate the poor performance of storage technologies by distributing file data across multiple nodes of a parallel system to maximize the aggregate throughput attainable by file system clients. However, the design of parallel file systems needs to be modified to
explicitly address the inherent high-latency of remote file system operations without degrading file system performance and scalability.
We present modifications to OrangeFS, a high-performance, working model parallel file system geared towards the facilitation of research in the field of parallel I/O, to help address the inefficiencies of current file systems. We deem our resultant parallel file system implementation ParalleX File System (PXFS), as it attempts to support the features required by the I/O subsystem of the ParalleX execution model. Specifically, PXFS offers mechanisms for masking the latency of file system operations, defining meaningful computation to be overlapped with file system communication, and maintaining the high-performance and scalability exhibited by OrangeFS. Our results indicate PXFS successfully improves file system performance and supports the semantics of ParalleX with limited programmer intervention, potentially simplifying the design and increasing the performance of many ParalleX applications.

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