Accelerating I/O Forwarding in IBM Blue Gene/P Systems

TitleAccelerating I/O Forwarding in IBM Blue Gene/P Systems
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2010
AuthorsVishwanath, V, Hereld, M, Iskra, K, Kimpe, D, Morozov, V, Papka, ME, Ross, RB, Yoshii, K
Conference NameSC 10
Date Published11/2010
Conference LocationNew Orleans, Louisiana

Current leadership-class machines suffer from a significant imbalance between their computational power and their I/O bandwidth. I/O forwarding is a paradigm that attempts to bridge the increasing performance and scalability gap between the compute and I/O components of leadership-class machines to meet the requirements of data-intensive applications by shipping I/O calls from compute nodes to dedicated I/O nodes. I/O forwarding is a critical component of the I/O subsystem of the IBM Blue Gene/P supercomputer currently deployed at several leadership computing facilities. In this paper, we evaluate the performance of the existing I/O forwarding mechanisms for BG/P and identify the performance bottlenecks in the current design. We augment the I/O forwarding with two approaches: I/O scheduling using a work-queue model and asynchronous data staging. We evaluate the efficacy of our approaches using microbenchmarks and application-level benchmarks on leadership-class systems.