Definition

IBM General Parallel File System (IBM GPFS)

Contributor(s): Sarah Wilson

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.

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.

IBM GPFS also provides other management features such as high availability, replication, mirroring, policy-based automation and disaster recovery.

EDITOR'S NOTEThe 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.

This was last updated in November 2015

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How do you think IBM's GPFS compares to other file systems such as open source Lustre?
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Another thought which high volumes of data could utilize GPFs would be hospitals and medical facilitities and associations. Between the need for high security and large amounts of storage needed ths would make a necessary application. This would also work well throughout the enterprise of a large company. The importance of disaster recovery would be vital for medical data as well as financial data.
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