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As storage systems evolve, the block-based design of today's disks is becoming inadequate. As an alternative, object-based storage devices (OSDs) offer a view where the disk manages data layout and keeps track of various attributes about data objects. By moving functionality that is traditionally the responsibility of the host OS to the disk, it is possible to improve overall performance and simplify management of a storage system. The capabilities of OSDs will also permit performance improvements in parallel file systems, such as further decoupling metadata operations and thus reducing metadata server bottlenecks. In this work we present an implementation of the Parallel Virtual File System (PVFS) integrated with a software emulator of an OSD and describe an infrastructure for client access. Even with the overhead of emulation, performance is comparable to a traditional server-fronted implementation, demonstrating that serverless parallel file systems using OSDs are an achievable goal.
Date of Conference: 10-16 Nov. 2007