Kang, Qiao; Lee, Sunwoo; Hou, Kai-yuan; Ross, Robert; Agrawal, Ankit; Choudhary, Alok; Liao, Wei-Keng
Two-phase I/O is a well-known strategy for implementing collective MPI-IO functions. It redistributes I/O requests among the calling processes into a form that minimizes the file access costs. As modern parallel computers continue to grow into the exascale era, the communication cost of such request redistribution can quickly overwhelm collective I/O performance. This effect has been observed from parallel jobs that run on multiple compute nodes with a high count of MPI processes on each node. To reduce the communication cost, we present a new design for collective I/O by adding an extra communication layer that performs request aggregation among processes within the same compute nodes. This approach can significantly reduce inter-node communication contention when redistributing the I/O requests. We evaluate the performance and compare it with the original two-phase I/O on Cray XC40 parallel computers (Theta and Cori) with Intel KNL and Haswell processors. Using I/O patterns from two large-scale production applications and an I/O benchmark, we show our proposed method effectively reduces the communication cost and hence maintains the scalability for a large number of processes.