IBM United States
Software Announcement 201-193
June 26, 2001

IBM General Parallel File System Available on IBM e(logo)server xSeries Running Linux

 ENUS201-193.PDF (33KB)


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 e(logo)server 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).

Overview

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 e(logo)server pSeries and RS/6000® workstations and/or servers running HACMP/ES. Now, GPFS for Linux, Version 1 is available for clusters of IBM e(logo)server 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 e(logo)server xSeries machines, Models 330 and 340, with disks directly attached or a cluster of up to 32 machines with NSD servers.

Key Prerequisites

  • IBM e(logo)server xSeries (Model 330 or 340)
  • One or more Netfinity® FAStT500 Fibre Channel disks or twin tailed SCSI/Fibre Channel disks
  • Red Hat Linux 7.1
  • GPFS Portability Layer, included on the product CD

Planned Availability Date

June 29, 2001

Description

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:

  • Operation by keyboard alone

Euro Currency

This program is not impacted by euro currency.

Product Positioning

GPFS for Linux runs on specific models of rack-optimized IBM e(logo)server 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.

Trademarks

 
xSeries and pSeries are trademarks of International Business Machines Corporation.
 
SP and the e-business logo are trademarks of International Business Machines Corporation in the United States or other countries or both.
 
AIX, RS/6000, and Netfinity are registered trademarks of International Business Machines Corporation in the United States or other countries or both.
 
UNIX is a registered trademark is a registered trademark of the Open Company in the United States and other countries.
 
Other company, product, and service names may be trademarks or service marks of others.

Offering Information

Product information will be available on day of announcement through Offering Information (OITOOL) at:

Publications

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:

  • Concepts, Planning, and Installation Guide
  • Administration and Programming Reference
  • Problem Determination Guide
  • RSCT Guide and Reference

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.

Technical Information

Specified Operating Environment

Hardware Requirements

  • IBM e(logo)server xSeries (Models 330 and 340) Pentium™ III Servers (minimum of three servers for failover)
  • 256 MB of real memory (minimum)
  • Enough disks to contain the file system

    In a Network Shared Disk (NSD) Configuration:

    • 100 Mbit Ethernet or 1 Gigabit Ethernet operating in full duplex mode or Myrinet
    • Twin tailed SCSI or twin tailed Fibre Channel disk attach needed for failover
    • SCSI disk subsystems or
    • Netfinity® FAStT500 Fibre Channel disk array
      • FAStT500 RAID controller unit
      • EXP 500 disk enclosures
      • FAStT Host adapters

    In a Direct Disk Attach Environment:

    • 100 Mbit Ethernet or 1 Gigabit Ethernet operating in full duplex mode or Myrinet
    • Netfinity FAStT500 Fibre Channel disk array connected to each node via a Fibre Channel switch
      • FAStT500 RAID controller unit
      • EXP 500 disk enclosures
      • FAStT Host adapters

Software Requirements

  • Red Hat Linux 7.1, as distributed and supported by Red Hat, including:
    • GNU C library (glibc) 2.2.2-10 or any later levels which maintain full backward compatibility
    • GNU Debugger (gdb) 5.0 or any later levels which maintain full backward compatibility
    • Korn Shell (ksh) 5.2 or any later levels which maintain full backward compatibility
    • GNU C Compiler (gcc) 2.96.81 or any later levels which maintain full backward compatibility
  • GPFS Portability Layer, a program licensed under the GNU General Public License and included in the distribution package with GPFS for Linux

Compatibility: IBM GPFS for Linux is not compatible with IBM GPFS for AIX®.

Limitations: GPFS for Linux is supported on a maximum of 32 clustered e(logo)server 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.

In a Direct Disk Attach environment, Myrinet, 100 Mb or 1 Gb Ethernet, operating in full duplex mode is supported and all nodes intended for GPFS use require local connection to the disks.

Planning Information

Customer Responsibilities: Have an understanding of the desired configuration of servers, clients, and disks prior to ordering.

Packaging: IBM GPFS for Linux is distributed in one CD-ROM which includes:

IBM GPFS for Linux

  • RPM images for SRC, RSCT, and GPFS
    • gpfs.base-*.i386.rpm
    • gpfs.msg.en_US-*.i386.rpm
    • gpfs.docs-*.i386.rpm
    • src-*.i386.rpm
    • rsct.basic-*.i386.rpm
    • rsct.core-*.i386.rpm
    • rsct.core.utils-*.i386.rpm
  • README file
  • IBM International Program License Agreement in multi-language booklet and its License Information in multiple languages (LI10-0677-00)
  • Proof of Entitlement
  • IBM General Parallel File System for Linux publications in PDF and HTML formats:
    • Concepts, Planning, and Installation Guide
    • Administration and Programming Reference
    • Problem Determination Guide
    • RSCT Guide and Reference

GPFS Portability Layer

  • GPL/gpfs.gpl-*.i386.rpm

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.

Ordering Information

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

Licensing: IBM International Program License Agreement. Proofs of Entitlement (PoEs) are required for all authorized use.

Limited Warranty Applies: Yes

Program Services: Available until December 31, 2002.

Money-Back Guarantee: Two-month, money-back guarantee

Copy and Use on Home/Portable Computer: No

Volume Orders (IVO): Yes. Contact your IBM representative.

Passport Advantage Applies: No

Passport Advantage Subscription Applies: No

IBM Operational Support Services — Support Line: Yes

AIX/UNIX® Upgrade Protection Applies: No

Entitled Upgrade for Current AIX/UNIX Upgrade Protection Licensees: No

AS/400® Software Subscription Applies: No

Variable Charges Apply: No

Educational Allowance Available: Yes, 15% education allowance applies to qualified education institution customers.

Prices

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:

Order Now

 Use Priority/Reference Code: SE001
 
 Phone:     800-IBM-CALL
 Fax:       800-2IBM-FAX
 Internet:  ibm_direct@us.ibm.com
 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.

Trademarks

 
xSeries is a trademark of International Business Machines Corporation.
 
The e-business logo is a trademark of International Business Machines Corporation in the United States or other countries or both.
 
Netfinity, AIX, and AS/400 are registered trademarks of International Business Machines Corporation in the United States or other countries or both.
 
Pentium is a trademark of Intel Corporation.
 
UNIX is a registered trademark is a registered trademark of the Open Company in the United States and other countries.
 
Other company, product, and service names may be trademarks or service marks of others.