Investigation of an Optimistic based Concurrency Control Mechanism for Parallel File Systems

C.L.C. Gray and M. Hobbs (Australia)


Parallel File Systems, Concurrency Control, Performance.


Parallel file systems offer improved performance over traditional file systems by allowing processes to access file data, stored over a number of disks, in parallel. When this file is to be accessed by many processes at the same time for reading and writing, the problem of maintaining file consistency is introduced. The general approach to maintaining file consistency is through the use locks which grant a single process exclusive access to the file. Existing studies have found parallel file systems and associated applications rarely experience conflict, resulting in unnecessary overheads from locks being acquired. This paper examines an alternate approach to maintaining file consistency, which is based on optimistic concurrency control. This approach was shown to have a much smaller overhead when compared with traditional lock-based approaches; especially in situations when there is little contention. This paper presents the design, implementation and initial testing results of an optimistic based concurrency control mechanism.

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