[Beowulf] fast file copying

Joe Landman landman at scalableinformatics.com
Wed May 2 07:16:14 PDT 2007

Geoff Galitz wrote:
> Hi folks,
> During an HPC talk some years ago, I recall someone mentioned a tool 
> which can copy large datasets across a cluster using a ring topology.  
> Perhaps someone here knows of this tool?

There are a few, commercial, and open source.

On the commercial side is exludus, xcp, and maybe one or two others. 
Exludus is basically a file pre-caching mechanism.  Java based.  xcp (by 
  Scalable) is MPI based.  It does a pretty good job of moving data.  \

On the open source side, I havent seen things other than the udp 
broadcast based tools (we had written one several years ago, named mcp), 
but anyone using a cluster will tell you that udp broadcast can be very 
detrimental to non-udp broadcast usage of the switch, say for logins, 
NFS, command and control, ...)

> More to the point, we are pushing around datasets that are about 
> 1Gbyte.  The datasets are pushed out to dozens of nodes all at once and 
> we foresee saturating the I/O system on our cluster as we grow.  We are 
> limited to using just the available disks and are looking for a 
> reasonable solution that can support this kind of simultaneous access.  

xcp might help.

>  Currently we push the data out using rsync, but if I don't get any 
> better ideas I may simply move to a pull system where the data is 
> fetched by HTTP.  I can get better throttling that way, at least.

For a few dozen nodes, this might work.


> -geoff
> Geoff Galitz
> geoff at galitz.org <mailto:geoff at galitz.org>
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Joseph Landman, Ph.D
Founder and CEO
Scalable Informatics LLC,
email: landman at scalableinformatics.com
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