IBM Unveils Upgrade Of Parallel File System - InformationWeek

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IBM Unveils Upgrade Of Parallel File System

Enhancements in the latest version include an accelerated file identification process for managing tiered storage, and support for pools of storage that can be comprised of tape.

IBM on Monday introduced an upgrade of its General Parallel File System software, which acts like a search engine to identify and move files between storage pools and feed high-speed business intelligence and scientific computers.

GPFS version 3.2 features new policy-based automation capabilities that tightly integrate an organization's information lifecycle management (ILM) policies into the file system. ILM is the process of managing data from its creation and original placement to its eventual archival or deletion.

GPFS uses file virtualization technology to analyze and identify data and to support policy-based file operations on billions of files in hours, according to IBM. In a pre-release version, IBM claims the system was able to scan 1 billion files in less than three hours.

Enhancements in the latest version include an accelerated file identification process for managing tiered storage, and support for pools of storage that can be comprised of tape. Other enhancements to GPFS include clustered network file system management. "GPFS achieves high levels of performance by making it possible to read and write data in parallel, distributed across multiple disks or servers," Scott Handy, VP of marketing and strategy for IBM Power Systems, said in a statement.

GPFS is designed for data-intensive applications, such as risk management and other forms of financial analysis, data mining to determine customer buying behaviors across massive data sets, engineering design, digital media and entertainment, seismic data processing, weather modeling and scientific research. The file system can operate across multi-petabytes of storage and hundreds or thousands of nodes.

GPFS Version 3.2, which is scheduled for release Oct. 5, supports the IBM System p product line, including the new POWER6-based System p 570 server, and machines based on Intel or Advanced Micro Devices processors such as IBM's System x. Supported operating systems include AIX Version 5.3 and selected versions of Red Hat and SUSE Linux distributions.

IBM is not the only storage vendor interested in file systems for large-scale cluster computing. Sun Microsystems this month said it has inked a deal to acquire assets of software provider Cluster File Systems, which includes the open source Lustre File System.

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