[Beowulf] Considering BeeGFS for parallel file system

Joe Landman joe.landman at gmail.com
Mon Mar 18 09:14:28 PDT 2019

On 3/18/19 12:02 PM, Prentice Bisbal via Beowulf wrote:
> Will,
> Several years ago,when I was at Rutgers, Joe Landman's company, 
> Scalable Informatics (RIP), was trying to sell be on BeeGFS over 
> Lustre and GPFS. At the time, I was not interested. Why not? BeeGFS 
> was still relatively new, and Lustre  and GPFS had larger install 
> bases, and

Yeah ... those were the days ...

> therefore bigger track records. I was the only System admin in a group 
> with aspirations to be the one-stop shop for a very large research 
> institution, and to become a national-level HPC center. As a result, I 
> was more risk-adverse than I normally would be.  I didn't want to take 
> a risk with a relatively unproven system, no matter how good it's 
> performance was. I also wanted to use a system where there was an 
> abundance of other sys admins with expertise I could lean on if I 
> needed to.
> Fast forward 4-5 years, and the situation has completely changed. At 
> SC18, it seemed every booth was using or promoting BeeGFS, and 
> everyone was saying good things about it. If were in the same 
> situation today, I wouldn't hesitate to consider BeeGFS.
> In fact, I feel bad for not giving it a closer look at the time, 
> because it's clear Joe and his team at his late company were on to 
> something and were clearly ahead of their time with promoting BeeGFS.

Thanks.  I seem to be hearing this from many corners these days.

In simple terms, there are a few different risks.  One is making a 
choice on a smaller entity, a smaller market share participant providing 
the services/support you need.  Another risk is following the herd and 
giving up the advantages that an alternative choice might bring.

BeeGFS is not a market risk.  It is an established player, it works 
well, the team is excellent, the code is excellent.  Note: I have no 
financial interest in BeeGFS's success/failure in the market as I am not 
working on selling high performance storage and computing systems.

The smaller companies selling integrated packages of BeeGFS atop 
reasonable designed hardware should likely be some of your first stops 
in considering your options.  They are far more focused/dependent upon 
business than the big shops, and this translates into usually far 
superior service.  I'd suggest avoiding the majority of resellers, as 
their business strategy is to steer you in a particular direction versus 
working with you to design what you need (the smaller shops do this).

If you want to do this yourself atop your existing kit, go for it.  Its 
not hard to set up/configure.

Joe Landman
e: joe.landman at gmail.com
t: @hpcjoe
w: https://scalability.org
g: https://github.com/joelandman
l: https://www.linkedin.com/in/joelandman

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