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GPFS is a proprietary parallel filesystem developed by IBM originally for handling large multimedia files on a cluster of networked computers.

The School maintains a small (~5TB) scratch filesystem for researchers who want to temporarily share data between servers and workstations, and who want to have more performance than NFS. Because of the networking and security requirements, we do not normally mount GPFS filesystems on desktop machines.

If you would like to use GPFS, then please submit an RT ticket with your requirements.

Please note that the GPFS filesystem will EOL when we switch to SL7 as it's no longer possible to obtain driver support on the version we have licensed.

GPFS Usage

GPFS should not be used for:

  • long term storage of data (it's not mirrored or backed up)
  • Personal files: it's supposed to service research machines
  • tools and libraries: There are better ways of sharing these files round.

It should be used for:

  • writing temporary files from running jobs
  • sharing data that is being actively used on multiple research machines
  • here you need faster than afs diskspace to data that's too big to fit on a local disk.

The golden rule is that, if you are not actively(*) using data on GPFS, please remove it.

(*) This is subjective but, if it's research you're finished with, or data you've not touched in months, you should remove it.

More information about GPFS can be found on wikipedia and at the ibm GPFS site.

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