Evaluation of Design Alternatives for a Cluster File System

Murthy Devarakonda, Ajay Mohindra, Jill Simoneaux, and William H. Tetzlaff
IBM Thomas J. Watson Research Center, Hawthorne, NY.


Based on implementation experience and measurements, this paper
presents an evaluation of design alternatives to a cluster
file system.  The file system is targeted for IBM cluster
systems, Scalable POWERparallel and AIX HACMP/600.  We considered a
shared disk approach where serialized, multiple instances of a
single-system file system directly access file data as disk blocks,
and a shared file system approach which is the conventional
method of distributing file system function between a client and a
server.  We conclude that the shared disk approach suffers formt eh
difficulties of metadata serialization, pooor write-sharing
performance, and read throughput.

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