pNFS: A New Standard for Shared, High-Performance Parallel I/O

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Executive Summary

Parallel NFS (pNFS) is a new standard under development by the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) in conjunction with NFS Version 4.1 (NFSv4.1). The goal of pNFS is to create an industry-standard framework for shared, high-performance parallel I/O suitable for use with data-intensive scientific, engineering, and other applications running on large compute clusters. This white paper discusses the basic operation of pNFS, describes the pros and cons of the available data layouts, and discusses the current state of development and testing. Guidance is also provided for implementation planning.

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