[Beowulf] GPFS on Linux (x86)

Scott Atchley atchley at myri.com
Thu Sep 14 05:08:12 PDT 2006

On Sep 11, 2006, at 10:14 PM, Brent Franks wrote:

> Hello,
> We have been researching GPFS from IBM and are very interested in what
> looks like promising performance and scalability.
> Does anyone use GPFS, we are looking at running it in a distributed
> mode, rather than using one central SAN.
> Additionally, the sales information seems to be rather elusive.  We
> have contacted IBM, however the channels we contact have all been
> somewhat dissapointing as we have had to educate the sales people on
> what the product is.
> We are very interested in setting up a trial of the software and then
> purchasing if it meets our needs.  Does anyone have a contact at IBM
> or solutions provider who is familiar with GPFS and could send out an
> eval kit?  30 or 60 day time bomb would be fine, we just need to
> justify to management that it will indeed work for our application.
> Any help would be greatly appreciated.
> Thanks and kindest regards,
> - Brent

Hi Brent,

You do not mention what interconnect (protocol or advertised  
throughput) that you are considering. If you are considering gigabit  
Ethernet, you can skip the rest of this message.

If, however, you are considering something faster than gigabit  
Ethernet, bear in mind that GPFS only can use TCP (as far as I know).  
You will be limited to the performance of the TCP on your  
interconnect. If you are using TCP/IP/Ethernet, then expect a very  
high CPU load. If you are considering an IB solution, look closely at  
their IPoIB results.

Some filesystems can take advantage of the underlying (non-Ethernet)  
fabric to achieve higher throughput and lower CPU usage.


Scott Atchley
Myricom Inc.

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