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Cleaning out old ROMIO file system drivers

January 5th, 2016

I’m itching to discard some of the little-used file system drivers in ROMIO.

  • GPFS: IBM’s GPFS file system still sees several key deployments
  • NFS: It’s everywhere, even though implementing MPI-IO consistency
    semantics over NFS is difficult at best

  • TESTFS: I find this debugging-oriented file system useful occasionally.
  • UFS: the generic Unix file system driver will be useful for as long as
    POSIX APIs are present.

  • PANFS: Panasas still contributes patches.
  • XFS: SGI’s XFS file system is part of SGI’s MPT, and they still contribute

  • PVFS2: Recent versions are called “OrangeFS”, but the API is still the same and still provides several optimizations not available in other file system drivers.
  • Lustre: deployed on a big chunk of the fastest supercomputers.


  • PIOFS: IBM’s old parallel file system for the SP/2 machine.
  • BlueGene/L: superseded by the BlueGene driver, itself superseded by GPFS.
  • BlueGene: The architecture-specific pieces were merged into a “flavor” of
    gpfs for Blue Gene.

  • BGLockless: this hack (see the bglockess page) lived on far longer than it
    should have.

  • GridFTP: I don’t know if this even compiles any more.
  • NTFS: MPICH has dropped Windows support for several years now.
  • PVFS: superseded by PVFS2 ten years ago.
  • HFS: The HP/Convex (remember convex?) parallel file system. I found a
    mention of a machine deployed in 1995.

  • PFS: the paragon (!) file system.
  • SFS: the “Supercomputing File System” from NEC.
  • ZoidFS: an old research project for a filesystem-independent protocol for
    I/O forwarding. While the ZoidFS driver might work, we know that folks
    trying to resurrect the old IOFSL project in 2015 are finding it…

Do you use a file system on the Deprecate/Delete list? Please let me ([email protected]) know!


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