High Performance I/O

Adrian Jackson, Fiona Reid, Joachim Hein, Alejandro Soba, Xavier Saez

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Parallelisation, serial optimisation, compiler tuning, and many more techniques are used to optimise and improve the performance scaling of parallel programs. One area which is frequently not optimised is file I/O. This is because it is often not considered to be key to the performance of a program and also because it is traditionally difficult to optimise and very machine specific. However, in the current era of Peta- and Exascale computing it is no longer possible to ignore I/O performance as it can significantly limit the scaling of many codes when executing on very large numbers of processors or cores. Furthermore, as producing data is the main purpose of most simulation codes any work that can be undertaken to provide improved performance of I/0 can be applicable to a very large range of simulation codes, and provide them with improved functionality (i.e. the ability to produce more data).This paper describes some of the issues surrounding I/O, the technology that is commonly deployed to provide I/O on HPC machines and the software libraries available to programmers to undertake I/O. The performance of all these aspects of I/O on a range of HPC systems were investigated by the authors and a represented in this paper to motivate the discussions in the paper.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceeding PDP '11 Proceedings of the 2011 19th International Euromicro Conference on Parallel, Distributed and Network-Based Processing
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 2011
Event19th Euromicro International Conference on Parallel, Distributed and Network-Based Processing (PDP) - Ayia Napa, Turkey
Duration: 9 Feb 201111 Feb 2011

Publication series

ISSN (Print)1066-6192


Conference19th Euromicro International Conference on Parallel, Distributed and Network-Based Processing (PDP)
CityAyia Napa


  • GPFS
  • HDF5
  • HPC
  • I/O
  • Lustre
  • MPI-I/O
  • NetCDF
  • optimisation
  • parallelisation


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