IBM United States
Software Announcement 201-193
June 26, 2001
IBM General Parallel File System Available on IBM xSeries Running Linux
At a Glance
IBM General Parallel File System for Linux (GPFS) is a shared disk file system that allows access to files within a cluster of IBM xSeries servers from any IBM server in the cluster running Red Hat Linux 7.1.
This GPFS file system is similar to the one used with the RS/6000 SP. It offers a fast, highly available, highly scalable, shared file system modified for Linux applications.
GPFS for Linux offers improved system performance, file consistency, increased data availability, enhanced system flexibility, and simplified administration.
For ordering, contact:
Your IBM representative, an IBM Business Partner, or IBM Americas Call Centers at 800-IBM-CALL (Reference: SE001).
General Parallel File System (GPFS) is a parallel file system that works on a shared disk model. It allows access to files from any server in the system and provides high-performance file I/O to parallel jobs running on multiple nodes, or to serial applications that are scheduled based upon processor availability.
GPFS has been available on AIX® for IBM's UNIX® systems: both IBM pSeries and RS/6000® workstations and/or servers running HACMP/ES. Now, GPFS for Linux, Version 1 is available for clusters of IBM xSeries machines.
GPFS offers many of the standard UNIX file system interfaces, allowing many applications to execute without modification or recompiling. Many of the UNIX file system utilities are also supported by GPFS.
GPFS for Linux is designed to operate with the Linux kernel providing the basic operating system services and the routing of file system calls requiring GPFS data. It uses Topology Services for network adapter status, node connectivity information, and reliable messaging services and uses Group Services for distributed coordination and synchronization service. Both of these components were previously available only with IBM Parallel System Support Programs for AIX on the RS/6000 SP system and with the IBM High Availability Cluster Multi-Processor/ES for AIX. Also a component of the GPFS for Linux product is Network Shared Disk (NSD), which provides remote disk access capability and global disk naming. You can have a cluster of 32 IBM xSeries machines, Models 330 and 340, with disks directly attached or a cluster of up to 32 machines with NSD servers.
General Parallel File System (GPFS) provides file system services to parallel and serial applications running on the Red Hat Linux 7.1 operating environment. GPFS allows parallel applications simultaneous access to the same file, or different files in the same file system, from any node in the GPFS nodeset while managing a high level of control over all file system operations. A nodeset is a group of nodes that all run the same level of GPFS and operate on the same file system. Serial applications can be dynamically assigned to processors based on utilization and achieve high-performance access to their data from wherever they run.
Using GPFS to store and retrieve files allows multiple processes or applications on all nodes in the nodeset simultaneous access to the same file using standard file system calls. It increases aggregate bandwidth of the file system by spreading reads and writes across multiple disks; allowing concurrent reads and writes from multiple nodes is key in parallel processing.
The use of multi-attached Netfinity FAStT500 Fiber Channel disks or network twin-tailed SCSI/Fibre Channel disks, and backup shared disk servers, allows applications to continue to operate without interruption in the event of server or adapter failure.
GPFS is a logging file system that creates separate logs for each node. These logs record the allocation and modification of metadata, aiding in fast recovery and restoration of data consistency in the event of node failure. With a minimum of three servers, GPFS failover support allows you to organize your hardware to minimize single points of failure.
GPFS supports a maximum file system size of 1.2 terabytes (TB). Multilevel indirect block support allows file sizes up to the largest supported GPFS file system size. System control of these values allows effective caching of i-nodes and may improve the performance of some applications. In addition, GPFS is a striping file system which distributes disk blocks across all disks, thereby maximizing their combined throughput.
GPFS uses a sophisticated token management system to provide data consistency while allowing multiple, independent concurrent access to the same file from anywhere in the cluster. When hardware resource demands are high, GPFS can find an available path to the file system data.
System flexibility is provided with GPFS; you can add or delete disks while the file system is mounted.
GPFS for Linux provides SAN support and supports Fibre Channel and SCSI disks up to 32 servers.
Included with GPFS is a portability layer to the Linux kernel that is
encapsulated in a kernel module. This kernel module is provided as
source and multiple binaries that can be used for Red Hat 7.1 Linux
kernels supporting SMP, UP, and varying memory options. Should the
customer run a kernel that does not match the configuration for one of
the portability layer binaries, a simple recompilation specific to the
customer's kernel may be done.
Accessibility by People with Disabilities
The following feature supports use by people with disabilities:
This program is not impacted by euro currency.
GPFS for Linux runs on specific models of rack-optimized IBM xSeries hardware and is positioned as a complementary offering to GPFS for AIX. It is targeted for customers who require a robust scalable file system on a lower-cost, open, Intel-based server platform.
For scientific and technical computing, GPFS is ideal for high-performance parallel file transfer and parallel I/O to single or multiple files. GPFS's key strengths are its superior scalability and performance, its ability to support extremely large files, and its failure recovery supporting practical larger configurations.
GPFS is particularly appropriate in an environment where the aggregate peak need for data exceeds the capability of a single file system server.
Product information will be available on day of announcement through Offering Information (OITOOL) at:
No hardcopy publications are shipped with this program. However, the following publications are available from the Web for download:
IBM General Parallel File System for Linux:
The Publication Notification System (PNS) is available by order number/product number. Customers currently subscribing to PNS will automatically receive notifications by e-mail. Customers who wish to subscribe can visit the PNS Web site location at:
The IBM Publications Center Portal:
The Publications Center is a worldwide central repository for IBM product publications and marketing material with a catalog of 70,000 items. Extensive search facilities are provided, as well as payment options via credit card. Furthermore, a large number of publications are available online in various file formats, which can currently be downloaded free of charge.
Note that PNS subscribers most often order their publications via the Publication Center.
Specified Operating Environment
Limitations: GPFS for Linux is supported on a maximum of 32 clustered xSeries servers. Support is only provided with the hardware and software specified in the requirements section of this announcement.
Performance Considerations: In a Network Shared Disk (NSD) environment, Myrinet network is suggested, 100 Mbit or 1 Gigabit Ethernet operating in full duplex mode is supported, and twin tailed SCSI/Fibre Channel disk attach is needed for failover.
IBM GPFS for Linux
GPFS Portability Layer
Security, Auditability, and Control
The announced program uses the security and auditability features of Red Hat Linux 7.1 of the Linux 2.4 operating system.
The customer is responsible for evaluation, selection, and implementation of security features, administrative procedures, and appropriate controls in application systems and communication facilities.
IBM General Parallel File System for Linux Version 1.1 has one charge unit based on server processors. This product is available in variable order quantities. The order quantity should reflect the number of processors within the server, or GPFS Storage Node, with one or more attached disks for accessing GPFS file systems.
Program Name: GPFS for Linux, Version 1.1
New users of GPFS for Linux Version 1.1 should specify Machine Type 5765, Model E78, asset feature number 9001, and the feature number tier equal to the total number of processors within the GPFS Storage Node which will be disk attached.
For example, if you have a 32 node cluster configured with NSD, and four of those nodes will be NF 6000R (4-way) GPFS Storage Nodes with disk attached, you would order the feature number for the Order Type Description of 9 to 16 processors with a quantity equal to 16 (four 4-way Storage Nodes attached to disk). Or, if you have a 4 node cluster of NF 4500R (2-way) nodes with directly attached or fully connected disk, you would order the feature number for the Order Type Description of 1 to 8 processors with a quantity equal to eight (four 2-way servers attached to disk).
OTC Medium Order-Type Program Feature Feature Description Number Number Number Medium 1 to 8 Processors 5765-E78 0001 5809 CD-ROM 9 to 16 Processors 5765-E78 0002 17 to 32 Processors 5765-E78 0003 33 to 64 Processors 5765-E78 0004 65 or More Processors 5765-E78 0005
OTC = One-Time Charge
Customization Options for 5765-E78: Select the appropriate feature numbers to customize your order to specify the delivery options desired. These features can be specified on the initial or MES orders.
Feature Description Number Initial Shipments Serial Number Only (suppresses shipment 3444 of media and documentation) Ship Media Only 3470 Update Shipments Ship Media Updates Only (suppresses 3480 update shipment of documentation) Suppress Updates (suppresses update 3482 shipment of media and documentation) Feature Description Number Expedite Shipments Local IBM Office Expedite 3445 (for IBM use only) Customer Expedite Process Charge 3446 ($30 charge for each product)
Expedite shipments will be processed to receive 72-hour delivery from the time IBM Software Delivery and Fulfillment (SDF) receives the order. SDF will then ship the order via overnight air transportation.
Terms and Conditions
The prices provided in this announcement are suggested retail prices for the U.S. only and are provided for your information only. Dealer prices may vary, and prices may also vary by country. Prices are subject to change without notice. For additional information and current prices, contact your local IBM representative.
OTC Order-Type Program Feature Description Number Number OTC 1 to 8 Processors 5765-E78 0001 $7,725 9 to 16 Processors 5765-E78 0002 7,475 17 to 32 Processors 5765-E78 0003 7,225 33 to 64 Processors 5765-E78 0004 6,975 65 or More Processors 5765-E78 0005 6,725
Contact your sales channel for Support Line pricing information.
Customer Financing: IBM Global Financing offers attractive financing to credit-qualified commercial and government customers and Business Partners in more than 40 countries around the world. IBM Global Financing is provided by the IBM Credit Corporation in the United States. Offerings, rates, terms, and availability may vary by country. Contact your local IBM Global Financing organization. Country organizations are listed on the Web at:
Use Priority/Reference Code: SE001 Phone: 800-IBM-CALL Fax: 800-2IBM-FAX Internet: firstname.lastname@example.org Mail: IBM Atlanta Sales Center Dept. SE001 P.O. Box 2690 Atlanta, GA 30301-2690
You can also contact your local IBM Business Partner or IBM representative. To identify them, call 800-IBM-4YOU.
Note: Shipments will begin after the planned availability date.