IBM General Parallel File System (IBM GPFS) is a file system used to distribute and manage data across multiple servers, and is implemented in many high-performance computing and large-scale storage environments.
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GPFS is among the leading file systems for high performance computing (HPC) applications. Storage used for large supercomputers is often GPFS-based, and GPFS is also popular for commercial applications requiring high-speed access to large volumes of data, such as digital media, seismic data processing and engineering design.
It is described as a parallel file system because GPFS data is broken into blocks and striped across multiple disks in an array, then read in parallel when data is accessed. This allows for feaster read and write speeds.
EDITOR'S NOTE: The name IBM GPFS was changed in 2015 to Spectrum Scale and the product is now a part of the IBM Spectrum family of Software-Defined Storage.