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Exascale Storage Group Aims to Bring I/O Up to Speed

HPC Wire (04/05/12) Michael Feldman

The European Open File System consortium created an Exascale IO Workgroup (EIOW) with the goal of designing and building open source, input/output middleware to meet the needs for exascale storage.  Xyratex’s Peter Braam, one of the principal drivers behind EIOW, helped facilitate much of the initial discussion on the topic.  “One point that we all agreed with is that we need to start with the applications, putting aside current models, and what is it that applications will require in the exascale era,” Braam says.  He notes the new initiative focuses on what users need, and the increased focus on I/O will address previous imbalances.  When managing data on an exascale level, there is demand for a new paradigm, which is why exascale development is the focus of the new initiative, Braam says.  The first working group focused on how application programmers envision using huge data stores and what their requirements are.  He says the three requirements that were most prominent were how can applications influence the life cycle of the data in terms of reuse, longevity, and importance; the topic of nested metadata providing bundles with all the data belonging to an application; and schemas to describe metadata and data structure.

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