Understanding and Finding Crash-Consistency Bugs in Parallel File Systems


Jinghan Sun, Chen Wang, Jian Huang, and Marc Snir, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign


Parallel file systems (PFSes) and parallel I/O libraries have been the backbone of high-performance computing (HPC)infrastructures for decades. However, their crash consistency bugs have not been extensively studied, and the corresponding bug-finding or testing tools are lacking. In this paper, we first conduct a thorough bug study on the popular PFSes, such as BeeGFS and OrangeFS, with a cross-stack approach that covers HPC I/O library, PFS, and interactions with local file systems. The study results drive our design of a scalable testing framework, named PFSCheck. PFSCheck is easy to use with low-performance overhead, as it can automatically generate test cases for triggering potential crash-consistency bugs, and trace essential file operations with low overhead. PFSCheck is scalable for supporting large-scale HPC clusters, as it can exploit the parallelism to facilitate the verification of persistent storage states.

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@inproceedings {254300,
author = {Jinghan Sun and Chen Wang and Jian Huang and Marc Snir},
title = {Understanding and Finding {Crash-Consistency} Bugs in Parallel File Systems},
booktitle = {12th USENIX Workshop on Hot Topics in Storage and File Systems (HotStorage 20)},
year = {2020},
url = {https://www.usenix.org/conference/hotstorage20/presentation/sun},
publisher = {USENIX Association},
month = jul

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