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Monday, March 4 • 3:30pm - 3:50pm
Data Storage & I/O Performance: Providing Balanced Systems and Expectations with the IO500

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For years, high performance computing has been dominated by the overwhelming specter of Linpack and the Top500.  Many sites, tempted by the allure of fleeting Top500 glory, chased architectures well-suited to Linpack but to the detriment of their core workflows.  Despite this, the Top500 has overall provided value to the community by bringing attention to HPC and driving competition and innovation in processor architectures.  Two years ago, with these observations in mind, we formed a comparable list for HPC storage called the IO500.  

The IO500 seeks to provide more balance for HPC.  By creating a complementary list to the Top500, we hope that sites that pursue these lists will design machines that work well for both the Top500 and the IO500 thereby resulting in generally more balanced overall data centers.  Additionally, the IO500 consists of a suite of benchmarks designed to identify a storage system's range of possible performance.  For too long, storage vendors and data centers have only published their "hero" bandwidth numbers which provides a tremendous disservice to the community by creating unreasonable and unattainable performance expectations.  Accordingly, the IO500 forces submitters to report both their "hero" numbers as well as their performance using notoriously challenging patterns of both data and metadata.  This provides the community with an understanding of both a system's possible and its probable potentials.

Over two years, we have now had three lists and collected over sixty submissions across more than twenty institutions and nine different file systems.  All collected data is publicly available such that the community can begin to discover which file systems (and which configurations) will best serve their particular workflow balance.

In this talk, we will present a brief history and motivation of the IO500 and spend the majority of the time attempting to find trends and other observations from the submissions received thus far.



Monday March 4, 2019 3:30pm - 3:50pm CST
Room 280