Burst buffers (BBs) are increasingly exploited in contemporary supercomputers to bridge the performance gap between compute and storage systems. The design of BBs, particularly the placement of these devices and the underlying network topology, impacts both performance and cost. As the cost of other components such as memory and accelerators is increasing, it is becoming more important that HPC centers provision BBs tailored to their workloads.
This work contributes a provisioning system to provide accurate, multi-tenant simulations that model realistic application and storage workloads from HPC systems. The framework aids HPC centers in modeling their workloads against multiple network and BB configurations rapidly. In experiments with our framework, we provide a comparison of representative Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility (OLCF) I/O workloads against multiple BB designs. We analyze the impact of these designs on latency, I/O phase lengths, contention for network and storage devices, and choice of network topology.