Why two scale-out NAS, IBM? One's a pickup, the other's a juggernaut

www.theregister.co.uk | 3/8/2018 | Staff
hubbog (Posted by) Level 3
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Analysis IBM already had a scale-out NAS (filer) when it announced Spectrum NAS last month: Spectrum Scale, which can grow to 16,000-plus nodes. Why does it need another?

The two overlap in the same way as a Dodge pickup and a Mack truck. Sure, they can both carry small loads but using a Mack truck for Dodge pickup loads is a waste of money. If they both turn up for a load then one of them is in the wrong place.

Vehicles - Trucks - Spectrum - NAS - Spectrum

We know how to contrast and compare pickup vehicles and trucks. How are Spectrum NAS and Spectrum Scale alike yet different?

Spectrum Scale is IBM's mature scale-out and parallel access file system that supports from 1 to 16,384 nodes. It used to be called GPFS (General Parallel File System). A specific CES (Cluster Export Services) cluster of its nodes provides NAS access as a gateway to Spectrum Scale data.

CES - NFS - V4 - Server - Message

CES supports NFS v4 and Server Message Block (SMB) v3 access. It is based on Samba software and IBM has good links with the Samba and Microsoft SMB people.

There can be from 1 to 16 SMB nodes. IBM does not say how many NFS nodes there can be in a CES cluster.

Spectrum - Scale - Scale - CES - X86

Spectrum Scale and Scale CES can run on x86, POWER and z System (mainframe) hardware, and these must run the RHEL 7 operating system. All nodes in a CES SMB cluster must be identical.

IBM doesn't say Spectrum Scale CES has no single point of failure but does claim high availability.

Spectrum - Scale - CES - Nodes - Configuration

All Spectrum Scale CES nodes see the same configuration data. The state of opened files is shared among the CES nodes so that data integrity is maintained.

There is a central CES address pool of IP addresses distributed among the nodes.

Spectrum - Scale - CES - Features - Performance

We understand that Spectrum Scale CES can use the full features and performance of the...
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