POSIX provides a model of a widely portable file system, but the portability and optimization needed for parallel I/O cannot be achieved with the POSIX interface.
The significant optimizations required for efficiency (e.g., grouping , collective buffering [7,15,48,52,58], and disk-directed I/O ) can only be implemented if the parallel I/O system provides a high-level interface supporting partitioning of file data among processes and a collective interface supporting complete transfers of global data structures between process memories and files. In addition, further efficiencies can be gained via support for asynchronous I/O, strided accesses, and control over physical file layout on storage devices (disks). The I/O environment described in this chapter provides these facilities.
Instead of defining I/O access modes to express the common patterns for accessing a shared file (broadcast, reduction, scatter, gather), we chose another approach in which data partitioning is expressed using derived datatypes. Compared to a limited set of predefined access patterns, this approach has the advantage of added flexibility and expressiveness.