FreeLoader: Scavenging desktop storage resources for scientific data

Sudharshan S. Vazhkudai, Xiaosong Ma, Vincent W. Frech, Jonathan W. Strickland, Nandan Tammineedi, Stephen L. Scott

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

42 Citations (Scopus)


High-end computing is suffering a data deluge from experiments, simulations, and apparatus that creates overwhelming application dataset sizes. End-user workstations - despite more processing power than ever before - are ill-equipped to cope with such data demands due to insufficient secondary storage space and I/O rates. Meanwhile, a large portion of desktop storage is unused. We present the FreeLoader framework, which aggregates unused desktop storage space and I/O bandwidth into a shared cache/scratch space, for hosting large, immutable datasets and exploiting data access locality. Our experiments show that FreeLoader is an appealing low-cost solution to storing massive datasets, by delivering higher data access rates than traditional storage facilities. In particular, we present novel data striping techniques that allow FreeLoader to efficiently aggregate a workstation's network communication bandwidth and local I/O bandwidth. In addition, the performance impact on the native workload of donor machines is small and can be effectively controlled.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the ACM/IEEE 2005 Supercomputing Conference, SC'05
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2005
Externally publishedYes
EventACM/IEEE 2005 Supercomputing Conference, SC'05 - Seatle, WA, United States
Duration: 12 Nov 200518 Nov 2005


OtherACM/IEEE 2005 Supercomputing Conference, SC'05
CountryUnited States
CitySeatle, WA



  • Distributed storage
  • Parallel I/O
  • Scientific data management
  • Serverless storage system
  • Storage cache
  • Storage scavenging
  • Striped storage

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Engineering(all)

Cite this

Vazhkudai, S. S., Ma, X., Frech, V. W., Strickland, J. W., Tammineedi, N., & Scott, S. L. (2005). FreeLoader: Scavenging desktop storage resources for scientific data. In Proceedings of the ACM/IEEE 2005 Supercomputing Conference, SC'05 (Vol. 2005). [1560008]