Skip to Main Content
Parallel file systems are designed to mask the ever-increasing gap between CPU and disk speeds via parallel I/O processing. While they have become an indispensable component of modern high-end computing systems, their inadequate performance is a critical issue facing the HPC community today. Conventionally, a parallel file system stripes a file across multiple file servers with a fixed stripe size. The stripe size is a vital performance parameter, but the optimal value for it is often application dependent. How to determine the optimal stripe size is a difficult research problem. Based on the observation that many applications have different data-access clusters in one file, with each cluster having a distinguished data access pattern, we propose in this paper a segmented data layout scheme for parallel file systems. The basic idea behind the segmented approach is to divide a file logically into segments such that an optimal stripe size can be identified for each segment. A five-step method is introduced to conduct the segmentation, to identify the appropriate stripe size for each segment, and to carry out the segmented data layout scheme automatically. Experimental results show that the proposed layout scheme is feasible and effective, and it improves performance up to 163% for writing and 132% for reading on the widely used IOR and IOzone benchmarks.