Improving the availability of supercomputer job input data using temporal replication

Chao Wang, Zhe Zhang, Xiaosong Ma, Sudharshan S. Vazhkudai, Frank Mueller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Citations (Scopus)


Storage systems in supercomputers are a major reason for service interruptions. RAID solutions alone cannot provide sufficient protection as 1) growing average disk recovery times make RAID groups increasingly vulnerable to disk failures during reconstruction, and 2) RAID does not help with higher-level faults such failed I/O nodes. This paper presents a complementary approach based on the observation that files in the supercomputer scratch space are typically accessed by batch jobs whose execution can be anticipated. Therefore, we propose to transparently, selectively, and temporarily replicate "active" job input data by coordinating the parallel file system with the batch job scheduler. We have implemented the temporal replication scheme in the popular Lustre parallel file system and evaluated it with real-cluster experiments. Our results show that the scheme allows for fast online data reconstruction, with a reasonably low overall space and I/O bandwidth overhead.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)149-157
Number of pages9
JournalComputer Science - Research and Development
Issue number3-4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2009
Externally publishedYes



  • Batch job scheduler
  • Parallel file system
  • Reliability
  • Supercomputer
  • Temporal replication

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science(all)

Cite this