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Many I/O and data-intensive scientific applications use parallel I/O software to access files in high performance. On modern parallel machines, the I/O software consists of several layers, including high-level libraries such as Parallel netCDF and HDF, middleware such as MPI-IO, and low-level POSIX interface supported by the file systems. For the I/O software developers, ensuring data flow is important among these software layers with performance close to the hardware limits. This task requires understanding the design of individual libraries and the characteristics of data flow among them. In this paper, the authors propose a dynamic instrumentation framework that can be used to understand the complex interactions across different I/O layers from applications to the underlying parallel file systems.
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