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Open Access Publications from the University of California

ExaHDF5: Delivering Efficient Parallel I/O on Exascale Computing Systems

  • Author(s): Byna, Surendra
  • Breitenfeld, Scot
  • Dong, Bin
  • Koziol, Quincey
  • Pourmal, Elena
  • Robinson, Dana
  • Soumagne, Jerome
  • Tang, Houjun
  • Vishwanath, Venkatram
  • Warren, Richard
  • et al.

Scientific applications at exascale generate and analyze massive amounts of data. A critical requirement of these applications is the capability to access and manage this data efficiently on exascale systems. Parallel I/O, the key technology enables moving data between compute nodes and storage, faces monumental challenges from new applications, memory, and storage architectures considered in the designs of exascale systems. As the storage hierarchy is expanding to include node-local persistent memory, burst buffers, etc., as well as disk-based storage, data movement among these layers must be efficient. Parallel I/O libraries of the future should be capable of handling file sizes of many terabytes and beyond. In this paper, we describe new capabilities we have developed in Hierarchical Data Format version 5 (HDF5), the most popular parallel I/O library for scientific applications. HDF5 is one of the most used libraries at the leadership computing facilities for performing parallel I/O on existing HPC systems. The state-of-the-art features we describe include: Virtual Object Layer (VOL), Data Elevator, asynchronous I/O, full-featured single-writer and multiple-reader (Full SWMR), and parallel querying. In this paper, we introduce these features, their implementations, and the performance and feature benefits to applications and other libraries.

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