Argonne National Laboratory

24/7 Characterization of Petascale I/O Workloads

Title24/7 Characterization of Petascale I/O Workloads
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2009
AuthorsCarns, PH, Latham, R, Ross, RB, Iskra, K, Lang, S, Riley, K
Conference NameProceedings of the First Workshop on Interfaces and Abstractions for Scientific Data Storage
Date Published09/2009
Conference LocationNew Orleans, LA, USA
Other NumbersANL/MCS-P1660-0809

Developing and tuning computational science applications to run on extreme scale systems are increasingly complicated processes. Challenges such as managing memory access and tuning message-passing behavior are made easier by tools designed specifically to aid in these processes. Tools that can help users better understand the behavior of their application with respect to I/O have not yet reached the level of utility necessary to play a central role in application development and tuning. This deficiency in the tool set means that we have a poor understanding of how specific applications interact with storage. Worse, the community has little knowledge of what sorts of access patterns are common in today�s applications, leading to confusion in the storage research community as to the pressing needs of the computational science community. This paper describes the Darshan I/O characterization tool. Darshan is designed to capture an accurate picture of application I/O behavior, including properties such as patterns of access within files, with the minimum possible overhead. This characterization can shed important light on the I/O behavior of applications at extreme scale. Darshan also can enable researchers to gain greater insight into the overall patterns of access exhibited by such applications, helping the storage community to understand how to best serve current computational science applications and better predict the needs of future applications. In this work we demonstrate Darshan�s ability to characterize the I/O behavior of four scientific applications and show that it induces negligible overhead for I/O intensive jobs with as many as 65,536 processes.