The concept of a parallel file system for workstation clusters was presented in 1993 by Moyer and Sunderam (see [MS93]). PIOUS supports process groups on a heterogeneous workstation cluster in accessing common data on disk drives. The first version of PIOUS tries to cover the following issues:
PIOUS consists of a set of PIOUS data servers (PDS) which coordinate the offered services and a set of library calls where the library has to be linked to the application program. PDS access data on disk drives and run on every workstation which has at least one part of a distributed file. They run independently and are controlled by the PIOUS service coordinator (PSC). Library functions transfer I/O calls to a set of PDS/PSC requests.
PIOUS defines so called ``parafiles''. These are 2 dimensional file structures where the segments are scattered block-wise over the disks. For a more detailed description of this data structure and a performance analysis of PIOUS see [MS93].