ORNL and Sun Researchers Demonstrate Parallel NFS Over Lustre at IPDPS 2009

Researchers from the Future Technologies group at ORNL (Jeffrey Vetter and Weikuan Yu) and at Sun Microsystems (Oleg Drokin) have designed and implemented the first prototype of Parallel NFS over the scalable Lustre file system. Parallel NFS (pNFS) is an emergent open standard for parallelizing data transfer over a variety of I/O protocols. In a paper presented at the 23rd IEEE International Parallel and Distributed Processing Symposium, the team presented the design, implementation, and evaluation of lpNFS, a Lustre-based Parallel NFS. The benefits of using pNFS include portability across a range of back-end file systems with no changes to the client-side operating system. The initial performance evaluation shows that the performance of pNFS is comparable to that of native Lustre under many I/O workloads. Given these results, lpNFS appears to be a promising approach to providing a scalable, high performance, portable, datacenter-wide file system for DOE computing facilities.