Goals and Challenges


Data-intensive applications demonstrate common requirements with respect to the need for data storage and I/O processing. These requirements lead to several core challenges:

Challenges related to cloud storage

In the area of cloud data management, a significant milestone is the emergence of the Map-Reduce parallel programming paradigm, currently used on most cloud platforms, following the trend set up by Amazon. At the core of Map-Reduce frameworks lies a key component, which must meet a series of specific requirements that have not fully been met yet by existing solutions: the ability to provide efficient fine-grain access to the files, while sustaining a high throughput in spite of heavy access concurrency. Additionally, as thousands of clients simultaneously access shared data, it is critical to preserve fault-tolerance and security requirements.

Challenges related to data-intensive HPC applications

The requirements exhibited by climate simulations specifically highlight a major, more general research topic. They have been clearly identified by international panels of experts like IESP, EESI, ETP4HPC in the context of HPC simulations running on post-Petascale supercomputers. A jump of one order of magnitude in the size of numerical simulations is required to address some of the fundamental questions in several communities such as climate modeling, solid earth sciences or astrophysics. In this context, the lack of data- intensive infrastructures and methodologies to analyze huge simulations is a growing limiting factor. The challenge is to find new ways to store and analyze massive outputs of data during and after the simulation without impacting the overall performance.

The overall goal of the KerData project-team is to bring a substantial contribution to the effort of the research community to address the above challenges. KerData aims to design and implement distributed algorithms for scalable data storage and input/output management for efficient large-scale data processing. We target two main execution infrastructures: cloud platforms and post-Petascale HPC supercomputers. We are also looking at other kinds of infrastructures (that we are considering as secondary), e.g. hybrid platforms combining enterprise desktop grids extended to cloud platforms. Our collaboration portfolio includes international teams that are active in this area both in Academia (e.g., Argonne National Lab, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Barcelona Supercomputing Centre) and Industry (Microsoft, IBM).