I read an article on the Register recently, written by storage expert Martin Glassborow who, when discussing IBM’s General Parallel File System suggested: “It’s a howitzer of a product ….yet in the decade-and-a-bit that I have been involved with it, IBM almost never sells it. Customers do buy it but really you have to know about it first; most IBM sales would have no idea where to start, nor even when it might be appropriate.”
Martin is obviously right, GPFS is IBM’s crown jewels hidden away and locked in the deepest darkest dungeon! IBM does have literally hundreds of thousands of customers though and we don’t always hear about them. Plus, for every SONAS or V7000U system that IBM has sold, they have GPFS in them; so unbeknown to the end user they are using GPFS!
We work in the HPC space and, as one of the commenters on the article rightly points out, if you’re in this market you’ll hardly ever find a cluster without GPFS [it is not always sites with multiple PetaBytes of data either, but sites with complex storage environments that require strong data management].
We have also taken GPFS to a number of customers outside of HPC to dozens of private sector organisations for example WRN, RMS, IMD, Smoke and Mirrors and Landmark Solutions. Plus, many academic institutes such as University of Edinburgh, Technium Pembrokeshire and the University of Westminster. Go GPFS Go!