Argonne National Laboratory

Implementation and Evaluation of MPI Nonblocking Collective I/O

TitleImplementation and Evaluation of MPI Nonblocking Collective I/O
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2015
AuthorsSeo, S, Latham, R, Zhang, J, Balaji, P
Conference NameCCGrid 2015
Other NumbersANL/MCS-P5284-0115

The well-known gap between relative CPU speeds and storage bandwidth results in the need for new strategies for managing I/O demands. In large-scale MPI applications, collective I/O has long been an effective way to achieve higher I/O rates, but it poses two constraints. First, although overlapping collective I/O and computation represents the next logical step toward a faster time to solution, MPI’s existing collective I/O API provides only limited support for doing so. Second, collective routines (both for I/O and communication) impose a synchronization cost in addition to a communication cost. The upcoming MPI 3.1 standard will provide a new set of nonblocking collective I/O operations to satisfy the need of applications. We present here initial work on the implementation of MPI nonblocking collective I/O operations in the MPICH MPI library. Our implementation begins with the extended two-phase algorithm used in ROMIO’s collective I/O implementation. We then utilize a state machine and the extended generalized request interface to maintain the progress of nonblocking collective I/O operations. The evaluation results indicate that our implementation performs as well as blocking collective I/O in terms of I/O bandwidth and is capable of overlapping I/O and other operations. We believe that our implementation can help users try nonblocking collective I/O operations in their applications.