Scalable I/O Tracing and Analysis

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Executive Summary

As supercomputer performance approached and then surpassed the petaflop level, I/O performance has become a major performance bottleneck for many scientific applications. Several tools exist to collect I/O traces to assist in the analysis of I/O performance problems. However, these tools either produce extremely large trace files that complicate performance analysis, or sacrifice accuracy to collect high-level statistical information. The authors propose a multi-level trace generator tool, ScalaIOTrace, that collects traces at several levels in the HPC I/O stack. ScalaIOTrace features aggressive trace compression that generates trace files of near constant size for regular I/O patterns and orders of magnitudes smaller for less regular ones. This enables the collection of I/O and communication traces of applications running on thousands of processors.

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