Argonne National Laboratory

I/O Performance Challenges at Leadership Scale

TitleI/O Performance Challenges at Leadership Scale
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2009
AuthorsLang, S, Carns, PH, Latham, R, Ross, RB, Harms, K, Allcock, WE
Conference NameProceedings of the Conference on High Performance Computing Networking, Storage and Analysis
Date Published07/2009
Conference LocationPortland, Oregon
Other NumbersANL/MCS-P1648-0709

Today�s top HPC systems run applications with hundreds of thousands of processes, contain hundreds of storage nodes, and must meet massive I/O requirements for capacity and performance. These leadership class systems face daunting challenges to deploying scalable I/O systems. In this paper we present a case study of the I/O challenges to performance and scalability on Intrepid, the IBM Blue Gene/P system at the Argonne Leadership Computing Facility. Listed in the top 5 fastest supercomputers of 2008, Intrepid runs computational science applications with intensive demands on the I/O system. We investigate the challenges to I/O at this scale, and evaluate the performance of the I/O hardware and software deployed on Intrepid. We show the file and storage system sustain high performance under varying workloads as the applications scale with the number of processes.