The MPI-IO standard creates a huge opportunity to break out of the traditional file system I/O methods. As a software layer between the user and the file system, an MPI-IO library can potentially optimize I/O on behalf of the user with little to no user intervention. This is all possible because of the rich data description and communication infrastructure MPI-2 offers. Powerful data descriptions and some of the other desirable features of MPI-2, however, make MPI-IO challenging to implement. By creating a new collective I/O implementation that allows developers to easily tinker and play with new optimizations or combinations of different techniques, research can proceed faster and be quickly and reliably deployed.
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