BSC takes one of top spots in the IO500’s “10-Node Challenge” at SC19

22 November 2019

The Storage Systems for Extreme Computing team from Barcelona Supercomputing Center (BSC) has taken the number 4 spot in the IO500’s ‘10-Node Challenge’ with GekkoFS. This ephemeral file system was developed in partnership with Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz (JGU) as part of the Horizon 2020 NEXTGenIO project and Germany’s SPPEXA programme.

The IO500’s “10-Node Challenge” list is a global ranking that uses multiple concurrent processes running in 10 compute nodes to benchmark the I/O performance of a HPC storage system in terms or bandwidth and throughput. GekkoFS’ score of 125 ranks it fourth in IO500’s 10-Node Challenge List and ninth in IO500’s Full List, with an average 21.41 GiB/s of bandwidth and an average of 728,680 operations per second.

The IO500 benchmark was run on the 34 compute nodes of the NEXTGenIO prototype cluster. NEXTGenIO, an R&D project involving EPCC, Intel, Fujitsu, Arm, ECMWF, TUD, Arctur and BSC which has been granted €8 million in funding by the European Commission, has developed a high-performance computing (HPC) cluster based on Intel® Optane™ DC persistent memory technology. Each of the prototype’s 34 nodes is equipped with two second-generation Intel® Xeon® Scalable processors and 3TB of Intel® Optane™ DC persistent memory, thus providing approximately 102TB of persistent I/O capacity to HPC applications.

Within the project, BSC collaborated with JGU in the design and development of GekkoFS, a file system capable of aggregating the local I/O capacity and performance of each compute node to produce a high-performance storage space that can be accessed in a distributed manner. This storage space allows HPC applications and simulations to run in isolation from each other with regards to I/O, which reduces interferences and improves performance.

GekkoFS is available via the NEXTGenIO GitHub:



Running from 2015- 2019 and funded by the European Union with a budget of over €8 million, the Next Generation I/O project (NEXTGenIO) aimed to design and prototype a new, scalable, high-performance, energy efficient computing platform to address the challenge of delivering scalable I/O performance to exascale applications. The consortium partners in the project were EPCC, Intel, Fujitsu, Technische Universität Dresden, Barcelona Supercomputing Center, the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts, Allinea and Arctur.

NEXTGenIO received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation programme under Grant Agreement no. 671951.

For more detailed information on the project please visit the project website: