IBM General Parallel File System for Linux on pSeries extends your file system options to pSeries servers running Linux

IBM United States Software Announcement 203-330
December 9, 2003

 ENUS203-330.PDF (55KB)

Table of contents   Document options  
At a glance Publications
Overview Technical information
Key prerequisites Ordering information
Planned availability date Terms and conditions
Description IBM Electronic Services
Product positioning Prices
Reference information Order now
Offering Information  
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At a glance

The IBM General Parallel File System (GPFS) is modified to deliver a fast, highly available, highly scalable shared file system for Linux applications on pSeries processors. It allows users access to files spanning multiple disk drives on multiple nodes.

GPFS for Linux on pSeries offers:

  • Improved system performance
  • File consistency
  • Increased data availability
  • Enhanced system flexibility
  • Simplified administration

For ordering, contact:

Your IBM representative or IBM Americas Call Centers at 800-IBM-CALL (Reference: RE001).
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IBM General Parallel File System (GPFS) for Linux on pSeries® is designed to allow users shared access to files within a cluster of IBM eServer pSeries servers from any IBM server in the cluster running UnitedLinux.

GPFS can allow parallel applications simultaneous access to the same files, or different files, from any node in the GPFS nodeset, while managing a high level of control over all file system operations.

This newest member of the GPFS family, GPFS for Linux on pSeries, is similar to the one used with the IBM eServer Cluster 1600 and 1350 and supports most of the function available on the GPFS for Linux on IBM eServer xSeries® product.
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Key prerequisites
  • pSeries servers
  • One of the following UnitedLinux 1.0 for PowerPC® Service Pack 3 distributions:
    • SuSE Linux Enterprise Server 8
    • Turbolinux Enterprise Server 8
    • Connectiva Linux Enterprise Edition 8

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Planned availability date

December 19, 2003
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GPFS for Linux on pSeries furnishes many of the standard UNIX® file system interfaces that can allow most applications to execute without modification or recompiling.

GPFS can increase the aggregate bandwidth of the file system by spreading reads and writes to a single file across multiple disks attached to multiple nodes. Allowing concurrent reads and writes from multiple nodes is key in parallel processing.

The traditional file access modes of read (r), write (w), and execute (e) have been extended to include a fourth access mode — control (c). This mode can be used to specify who can manage the access control list for a file, other than the file owner and root user.

The use of multi-attached TotalStorage® FAStT Storage servers can allow applications to operate without interruption in the event of server or adapter failure.

GPFS provides the ability to create a logical copy, or "snapshot," of an entire GPFS file system at a single point in time. This snapshot capability is designed to allow a backup or mirror application to run concurrently with user updates and still obtain a consistent copy of the file system as of the time it was created.

GPFS creates separate logs for each node, recording the allocation and modification of metadata, and aiding in fast recovery and restoration of data consistency in the event of node failure. With a minimum of two nodes, GPFS failover support lets you organize your hardware to minimize single points of failure. Additionally, GPFS for Linux allows the creation of a single-node nodeset.

GPFS supports very large file systems. The maximum tested file system size is 75 TB. The maximum theoretical file system size possible for GPFS based on architectural parameters is 1 petabyte. File systems up to the maximum tested size are supported, but support for larger file systems may be provided through a special bid process. Multilevel indirect block support allows file sizes up to the largest tested GPFS file system size (minus the space required for metadata).

System control of these values allows effective caching of i-nodes and may improve the performance of some applications. GPFS is a striping file system that distributes disk blocks across all disks in a file system, 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.

GPFS is highly flexible, allowing you to add or delete disks while the file system is mounted. GPFS for Linux on pSeries provides clustered file system support for up to 128 nodes.

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. A simple recompilation specific to the customer's kernel must be done.

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Product positioning

GPFS for Linux on pSeries is designed to provide customers a robust, scalable file system running Linux on POWER servers. GPFS is ideal for high-performance parallel file transfer and parallel I/O to single or multiple files. The key strengths of GPFS are its superior scalability and performance, its ability to support extremely large files, and its failure recovery, making larger configurations practical.

GPFS is particularly appropriate in an environment where the aggregate peak need for data exceeds the capability of a single file system server.
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Reference information

Refer to Software Announcement 203-331 , dated December 9, 2003.

Refer to Software Announcement 203-332 , dated December 9, 2003.


The e-business logo, pSeries, xSeries, PowerPC, and TotalStorage are registered trademarks of International Business Machines Corporation in the United States or other countries or both.
UNIX 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.

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Offering Information

Product information will be available through the Offering Information Web site at:

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No publications are shipped with this program; however, the following publications are available from the Web:

  • IBM General Parallel File System for Clusters: Concept, Planning, and Installation Guide (GA22-7968)
  • IBM General Parallel File System for Clusters: Administration and Programming Reference (SA22-7967)
  • IBM General Parallel File System for Clusters: Problem Determination Guide (GA22-7969)
  • IBM General Parallel File System: Data Management API Guide (GA22-7966)

These displayable manuals are viewable in PDF formats from:

They are also available at the IBM eServer Cluster Information Center:

The IBM Publications Center

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. Payment options for orders are via credit card or customer number. A large number of publications are available online in various file formats, and they can all be downloaded free of charge.

The IBM Publications Notification System

The Publications Notification System (PNS) enables subscribers to set up profiles of interest by order number/product number. PNS subscribers automatically receive notifications by e-mail of all new publications defined in their profiles. These may then be ordered/downloaded via the Publications Center.
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Technical information

Hardware requirements

pSeries® servers or Cluster 1600

  • 100 Mb Ethernet or 1 Gb Ethernet
  • IBM TotalStorage® FAStT disk

Note: Refer to the GPFS Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) available from the following Web site for the full list of formally qualified disk subsystems and servers:

Software requirements

GPFS V2.2 requires one of the following UnitedLinux 1.0 for PowerPC® Service Pack 3 Linux operating systems:

  • SuSE Linux Enterprise Server 8
  • Turbolinux Enterprise Server 8
  • Connectiva Linux Enterprise Edition 8, powered by UnitedLinux 1.0 for IBM pSeries

A GPFS Portability Layer, which is source code licensed under the Berkeley Software Distribution (BSD) terms, is included in the distribution package with GPFS for Linux and is compiled by the user to produce a set of kernel module binaries for GPFS.

For kernel levels validated by GPFS, consult the FAQs available at:

Compatibility: GPFS file systems and nodesets must follow these coexistence guidelines:

  • A GPFS file system may only be accessed from a single nodeset.
  • All nodes in a GPFS nodeset must be defined to be in the GPFS cluster.
  • All nodes in a GPFS nodeset must be at the same GPFS release level.

Performance considerations: The supported scaling limit is 128 nodes for the pSeries Linux environment.

The supported file system size is up to 75 terabytes (TB). This is a testing limit, which may be increased asynchronously to any release.

For the latest GPFS supported file system size and scaling limits, consult the FAQs available from:

Planning information

Direct customer support: For technical support or assistance, go to:

Or contact your IBM representative for additional assistance.

In addition, IBM Installation Services for Linux on pSeries and IBM eServer xSeries® clusters provides the technical resources needed to plan, install, support, and configure Linux cluster solutions. Refer to the following Web site:

Packaging: GPFS for Linux on pSeries V2.2 is distributed on a single CD-ROM (LCD4-7431). The License Information (LI) is provided with the product in softcopy. Publications are not shipped on the product media but are available online.

Security, auditability, and control

The announced program uses the security and auditability features 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.
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Ordering information

GPFS V2.2 has one charge unit based on the active number of processors in the server or cluster running GPFS for the supported operating environment. A new order includes one-year IBM Software Maintenance. Upgrades may be acquired via the IBM Software Maintenance agreement up to the current level of use authorized for the qualifying program.

Program name: GPFS for Linux on pSeries V2.2

New users of GPFS for Linux on pSeries V2.2 should specify type 5765, model G20, and the one-time charge (OTC) feature number with a quantity equal to the total number of active processors in the server or cluster running the supported operating system in which GPFS will be installed.

                                          Program      feature
Description                               number       number
Per active processor                      5765-G20     0001
Block of 250 active processors(1)         5765-G20     0002
The feature for a block of 250 active processors is provided for convenience with large orders. A quantity of one for this feature will order a license for 250 active processors.

Program name                              Medium       number
GPFS for Linux on pSeries V2.2            CD-ROM       5809

This software license includes IBM Software Maintenance, previously referred to as Software Subscription and Technical Support. All distributed software licenses include Software Maintenance for a period of 12 months from the date of acquisition. Extending coverage for a total of three years from date of acquisition may be elected.

For a new user to register for future upgrades of the program described in this announcement, specify 5771-GLP for one-year registration or 5773-GLP for three-year registration and the billing feature with a quantity equal to the number of licenses in the base 5765-G20 license contract.

OTC One-Year Software Maintenance 5771-GLP

                                            after-    Current
                     Registration  Renewal  license   licensee
                     (no charge)   billing  billing   supply
                     feature       feature  feature   feature
Program Name         number        number   number    number
GPFS for Linux
 on pSeries V2.2                                       5809
Per active processor  0455          0457     0459
Block of 250          0456          0458     0460

OTC Three-Year Software Maintenance 5773-GLP

                                            after-    Current
                     Registration  Renewal  license   licensee
                     (no charge)   billing  billing   supply
                     feature       feature  feature   feature
Program Name         number(2)     number   number    number
GPFS for Linux
 on pSeries V2.2                                       5809
Per active processor   0407          0409     0411
Block of 250           0408          0410     0412
The registration features for 5773-GLP are priced for the second and third years only of the three-year contract.

Customization options (5765-G20): Select the following feature number to customize your order with this delivery option if desired. This feature can be specified on the initial or MES orders.

Description                                         number
Expedite shipments
Local IBM Office Expedite                           3445
 (for IBM use only)

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Terms and conditions

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

This software license includes Software Maintenance, previously referred to as Software Subscription and Technical Support.

The following agreements apply for maintenance and do not require customer signatures:

  • IBM Agreement for Acquisition of Support (Z125-6011)
  • Addendum for Support (Software Maintenance) for Select iSeries™ and pSeries Programs (Z125-6495)

Limited warranty applies: Yes

Warranty: This program has warranty for a minimum of one year from acquisition from IBM or an authorized IBM Business Partner. The warranty provided to the customer, for at least one year from acquisition, is access to databases (read Web sites) for program information, FAQs, including any known fixes to defects, which the customer can download or obtain otherwise and install at leisure.

Money-back guarantee: If for any reason you are dissatisfied with the program, return it within 30 days from the invoice date, to the party (either IBM or its reseller) from whom you acquired it, for a refund. This applies only to your first acquisition of the program.

Program technical support: Technical support of a program product will be available for a minimum of three years from the general availability date, as long as your Software Maintenance is in effect. This technical support allows you to obtain assistance (via telephone or electronic means) from IBM for product-specific, task-oriented questions regarding the installation and operation of the program product. Software Maintenance also provides you with access to updates, releases, and versions of the program.

Copy and use on home/portable computer: No

Volume orders (IVO): Yes, contact your IBM representative.

Passport Advantage® applies: No

Software Maintenance applies: Yes

IBM Software Maintenance is a one-year or three-year contract offering that enables customers to maintain software product version and release currency for selected AIX® and UNIX®-based software products at a predetermined cost. Voice support during normal business hours is included at no additional charge for the first year. One year of Software Maintenance is included in the price of the original license. For products participating in IBM Software Maintenance, customers can receive all software product version and release upgrades and voice support announced during the contract period. If customers allow either the one-year or three-year Software Maintenance offering to expire without renewal, there will be a "Maintenance-after-license" option to enable reinstatement of the Software Maintenance offering, on a product-by-product basis.

The following is general information regarding the Software Maintenance agreement:


  • Each eligible licensed software program will include one year of Software Maintenance (Software Subscription and Technical Support) in the price of the license.
  • A one-year and three-year prepay option (represented by two separate type/models) associated with each eligible licensed program are available.
  • The Software Maintenance type/models will have the same pricing structure as the license type/models they are associated with.
  • Each one-year and three-year Software Maintenance program number will have three sets of feature numbers for each priced entity:
    • A no-charge registration feature for the one-year contracts and a two-year priced feature (because the first year is included in the price of that license) for the three-year contracts.
    • A renewal feature of one or three years.
    • A Software Maintenance "after license" charge for customers who want to renew but have lapsed coverage.
    • The Software Maintenance order generated for this product will be a new order and have a new starting/ending period, separate from the one for the license already in effect.

Definition of software upgrade: An upgrade is either a new version (3.x.x to 4.x.x) or a new release (x.3.x to x.4.x) of an IBM program announced as eligible for which a customer enrolled under the IBM Software Maintenance offering is entitled. Software Maintenance entitles customers to future upgrades from only the latest announced version or release of an available eligible product.

Upgrades do not include programs sold separately from the enrolled program, but enhance the performance of that program or are considered add-ons or utilities. Programs that perform the same functions as the enrolled program but are installed on a non-AIX platform are not considered upgrades.

Note: Software preventative-maintenance releases x.x.1 to x.x.2 (modification level changes, updates, or refreshes) are released under the one-year or three-year maintenance program numbers but only when a supply feature has been announced. Supply features are only announced under the one-year and three-year options when there is an announced version/release change against the original program product. Service fixes (no-charge preventative maintenance) should be obtained by Software Maintenance customers in the same manner as non-Software Maintenance customers.

Example: Product A is offered under IBM Software Maintenance, and three months later program fixes are incorporated into the program package. This is considered an update that would not be obtained under the one-year or three-year maintenance numbers under the IBM Software Maintenance offering. Using the same example, three months after the program fixes were incorporated into the program package, IBM announces a new version of product A. At that time, a supply feature is announced for product A under the one-year and three-year maintenance programs. This allows customers who are entitled, either by purchase or with the first year of maintenance included with the license, to either the one-year or three-year maintenance offering for product A to order the upgrade under the one-year or three-year offering.

IBM may announce a product that can be substituted for an enrolled product. This product is neither a new version, a new release, nor a preventative maintenance release of that enrolled product. In most cases, this product has a different architecture, more function, and a higher license charge than the enrolled product. IBM may provide those customers enrolled in the IBM Software Maintenance offering access to this product at a discounted rate. The terms of this transaction will be included in the new product announcement.

Note: IBM will not offer stand-alone upgrades as a standard product offering. Stand-alone upgrades to this product/release, and its future versions and releases, will be considered only on a special-request basis by IBM.

Contract duration: The IBM Software Maintenance contracts are on a product-by-product basis and are offered for one or three years. One year of Software Maintenance is included with the purchase of a new license for the product. The three-year prepay option covers two additional years of coverage because the first year is included in the product license. The three-year prepay option can be purchased at the same time a license for an eligible product is purchased. Refunds do not apply if cancellation occurs during the one- or three-year contract period. Customers are not required to renew under either the one-year or three-year offering when the contract expires but will need to use the Maintenance-after-license option should they let the contract expire and want to acquire a new version or release of an eligible product. If the one-year or three-year contracts are not renewed, the one- or three-year contracts will be removed from IBM administrative systems. Contract transfers within an enterprise are allowed.

Payment options: Customers enroll in the plan at a reduced "initial" price at the same time a new license for an eligible program product is purchased. Customers can also enroll in the plan after purchase of a new license for an eligible program product but must purchase the "Maintenance-after-license" option.

Software Maintenance prices: The IBM Software Maintenance program prices are based on the published price of the software program at the time of the contract preparation.

Minimum contract value: None

Notification of upgrade availability and ordering: The Software Maintenance component of the Web server, where customers may register for e-mail notifications when Software Maintenance products are upgraded, can be found at:

IBM Operational Support Services — Support Line: No

Other support: IBM eServer pSeries Software Maintenance Agreement

AIX/UNIX upgrade protection applies: No

Entitled upgrade for current AIX/UNIX upgrade protection licensees: No

iSeries Software Subscription applies: No

Variable charges apply: No

Educational allowance available: Yes, 15% education allowance applies to qualified education institution customers.
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IBM Electronic Services

IBM has transformed its delivery of hardware and software support services to put you on the road to higher systems availability. Electronic Services is a Web-enabled solution that provides an exclusive, no-additional-charge enhancement to the service and support on the IBM eServer. You should benefit from greater system availability due to faster problem resolution and preemptive monitoring. Electronic Services is comprised of two separate, but complementary, elements: IBM Electronic Services news page and IBM Electronic Service Agent™.

The Electronic Services news page is a single Internet entry point that replaces the multiple entry points traditionally used to access IBM Internet services and support. Using the news page enables you to gain easier access to IBM resources for assistance in resolving technical problems.

The Electronic Service Agent is no-additional-charge software that resides on your system to proactively monitor events and transmit system inventory information to IBM on a periodic customer-defined timetable. The Electronic Service Agent tracks system inventory, hardware error logs, and performance information. If the server is under a current IBM maintenance service agreement or within the IBM warranty period, the Service Agent automatically reports hardware problems to IBM. Early knowledge about potential problems enables IBM to provide proactive service that maintains higher system availability and performance. In addition, information collected through the Service Agent will be made available to IBM service support representatives when they are helping answer your questions or diagnosing problems.

To learn how IBM Electronic Services can work for you, visit:

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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.

GPFS for Linux on pSeries V2.2

Order type                         Program    feature
description                        number     number       OTC
Per active processor               5765-G20   0001       $    857
Block of 250 active processors     5765-G20   0002        214,250

OTC One-Year Software Maintenance 5771-GLP

                     Registra-                      after-
                     tion          Renewal          license
                     N/C           billing          billing
                     feature       feature          feature
Program name         number   OTC  number    OTC    number    OTC
Per active processor 0455     N/C  0457    $   215  0459    $   323
Block of 250         0456     N/C  0458     53,750  0460     80,750

OTC Three-Year Software Maintenance 5773-GLP

                     Registra-                        after-
                     tion            Renewal          license
                     N/C             billing          billing
                     feature         feature          feature
Program name         number   OTC    number    OTC    number   OTC
Per active processor 0407   $   366  0409    $    581 0411   $    688
Block of 250         0408    91,500  0410     145,250 0412    172,000

IBM Global Financing

IBM Global Financing offers competitive financing to credit-qualified customers to assist them in acquiring IT solutions. Offerings include financing for IT acquisition, including hardware, software, and services, both from IBM and other manufacturers or vendors. Offerings (for all customer segments: small, medium, and large enterprise), rates, terms, and availability can vary by country. Contact your local IBM Global Financing organization or visit:

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Order now

To order, contact the Americas Call Centers or your local IBM representative.

To identify your local IBM representative, call 800-IBM-4YOU (426-4968).

 Phone:     800-IBM-CALL (426-2255)
 Fax:       800-2IBM-FAX (242-6329)
 Mail:      The Americas Call Centers
            Dept. RE001
            P.O. Box 2690
            Atlanta, GA  30301-2690
 Reference: RE001

The Americas Call Centers, our national direct marketing organization, can add your name to the mailing list for catalogs of IBM products.

Note: Shipments will begin after the planned availability date.


iSeries and Electronic Service Agent are trademarks of International Business Machines Corporation in the United States or other countries or both.
The e-business logo, eServer, pSeries, TotalStorage, PowerPC, xSeries, Passport Advantage, and AIX are registered trademarks of International Business Machines Corporation in the United States or other countries or both.
UNIX 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.

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