GPFS in the Cloud: Storage Virtualization with NPIV on IBM System p and IBM System Storage DS5300

An IBM Redpaper publication


The IBM® General Parallel Filesystem (GPFS™) is known for its performance, scalability, availability, and manageability features. It is the file system used in many High Performance Computing (HPC) solutions, scaling to thousands of servers and serving multi-petabyte file systems. GPFS is also used in many non-HPC areas, such as database solutions, but typically has been deployed at a much smaller scale in those environments both in number of servers and size of the underlying storage subsystems.

This IBM Redpaper™ publication focuses on the use of GPFS in conjunction with server virtualization, where logical partitions (LPARs) access the external storage through a relatively new Fibre Channel storage virtualization technique called N_Port ID Virtualization (NPIV). From the GPFS perspective, this case is positioned between the two above extremes: Virtualization might increase the number of GPFS nodes to the scales typically seen in HPC clusters while the number of physical servers is still relatively small (as in other non-HPC environments).

Table of contents

Architectural decisions for GPFS and storage connectivity
Hardware components for the proof of concept
Storage virtualization planning
Configuring the infrastructure
Provisioning scenarios
Summary and outlook


Publish Date
29 September 2010

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