Supercomputing 2007 Storage Challenge Finalist

September 11, 2007

MPICH2 (Argonne National Laboratory) and mpiBLAST (Virginia Tech) have collaborated using the ParaMEDIC framework to land a finalist slot in the SC07 storage challenge. MPICH2 powers ParaMEDIC (short for Parallel Metadata Environment for Distributed I/O and Computing), allowing it to accelerate mpiBLAST by as much as 25-fold in a distributed I/O and computing environment.

In this competition, we plan to demonstrate ParaMEDIC, an environment that decouples computation and I/O in applications and drastically reduces I/O overhead through metadata processing. Specifically, for mpiBLAST, ParaMEDIC partitions worker processes into compute and I/O workers. Compute workers convert their output to metadata, and send it to I/O workers. I/O workers process this metadata to re-create the actual output and write it to the filesystem. This allows ParaMEDIC to cut down on the I/O time, thus accelerating mpiBLAST several fold (demonstrated a 5-fold improvement on the teragrid).