General Parallel File System

Efficient storage management for big data applications

Explosions of data, transactions, and digitally-aware devices are straining IT infrastructure and operations, while storage costs and user expectations are increasing. The IBM General Parallel File System™ (GPFS™), a high-performance enterprise file management platform, can help you move beyond simply adding storage to optimizing data management.

Whether you are working with big data analytics, have the need to manage large amounts of structured and unstructured data, or simply require the ability to store and forward large amounts of file based data quickly, reliably and efficiently, you need a clustered file system. These systems safely support high performance data and offer consistent access to a common set of data from multiple servers. GPFS can bring together the power of multiple file servers and multiple storage controllers, to provide higher reliability thus outperforming single file server solutions.

Customers use GPFS to do low latency analytics, high-speed back up and recovery, high-speed file ingest, and optimize data workflow, enabling faster business process performance. GPFS provides your business with:

Optimize storage utilization, maximize return on investments

IBM General Parallel File System™ (GPFS™) currently powers many commercial and scientific applications requiring high-speed access to large volumes of data such as:

GPFS provides online storage management, scalable access, and integrated information lifecycle management tools capable of managing petabytes of data and billions of files. By virtualizing your file storage space and allowing multiple systems and applications to share common pools of storage, GPFS provides you the flexibility to transparently administer the infrastructure without disrupting applications, thus lowering storage costs, and reducing management overhead.

What's more, GPFS is designed to ensure there is no single point of failure. Unlike some file systems designs, GPFS is not reliant on centralized management to determine file location and placement. This ensures continuous and highly available access to data in case of software or hardware node failures.

GPFS also features Active File Management (AFM) technology. AFM is a powerful remote file caching technology that ensures high performance access to file based information no matter where it might be geographically located. This important feature is useful for organizations that share large volumes of file based data and require high levels of information availability no matter where it resides. So applications demanding high SLA requirements will benefit from AFM.

GPFS – It’s not just storage it’s data management

The growth of data has placed a strain on IT infrastructure as organizations add more storage hardware. However, in the end, it's not about storage, it's about data management. Traditional network-attached storage solutions are restricted in performance, security and scalability. A single file server cannot scale, and even a roomful of file servers is not flexible enough to provide the dynamic, data access 24 hours a day every day of the week that a data-intensive computing environment requires. To overcome these issues, you need to look at a new, more effective approach to managing data.

The IBM GPFS™ not only enables high-performance, file-based storage access, it also can help in optimizing data management. GPFS™ provides proven reliable access to a common set of file data using a single global namespace. This enables centralized visibility and administration features to help better manage storage costs. Specifically:

GPFS can reduce data duplication and make more efficient use of storage components by combining isolated islands of information into a centralized, high-performance storage infrastructure. It also can help improve server hardware utilization by allowing dynamic storage access to all data from any node. By improving storage use, optimizing process workflow and simplifying storage administration, GPFS lets you take a multipronged approach toward better data management resulting in lower storage costs.

Solutions powered by GPFS

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IBM DCS3700 and GPFS - Big Data Storage Solutions

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To help us make GPFS better you can submit your comments and questions to gpfs@us.ibm.com