Protocols support overview: Integration of protocol access methods with GPFS

IBM Spectrum Scale™ provides additional protocol access methods. Providing these additional file and object access methods and integrating them with GPFS™ offers several benefits. It enables users to consolidate various sources of data efficiently in one global namespace. It provides a unified data management solution and enables not only efficient space utilization but also avoids having to make unnecessary data moves just because access methods might be different.

The additional protocol access methods that are integrated with GPFS are file access that use NFS and SMB and object access by using OpenStack Swift. While each of these server functions (NFS, SMB and Object) use open source technologies, this integration adds value by providing scaling and by providing high availability by using the clustering technology in GPFS.

The CES BLOCK service provides iSCSI protocol support. You can export a file resident in a GPFS™ file system as a virtual iSCSI volume to an iSCSI initiator by using the iSCSI protocol.

All the protocol nodes must be running the supported operating systems, and the protocol nodes must be all Power®, in both big and little endian mode, or all Intel. Although the other nodes in the GPFS cluster could be on other platforms and operating systems.

For information about supported operating systems for protocol nodes and their required minimum kernel levels, see IBM Spectrum Scale FAQ in IBM® Knowledge Center.

Like GPFS, the protocol serving functionality is also delivered only as software.

For more information, see IBM Spectrum Scale FAQ in IBM Knowledge Center.

Along with the protocol-serving function, the delivery includes the installation toolkit as well as some performance monitoring infrastructure.

Note: Even though some of the components that are provided are open source, the specific packages that are provided must be used. If there are existing versions of these open source packages on your system, they must be removed before you install this software.

Several commands are introduced or enhanced to enable the use of the described functions.

For information on the use of CES including administering and managing the protocols, see Implementing Cluster Export Services.

IBM Spectrum Scale enables you to build a data ocean solution to eliminate silos, improve infrastructure utilization, and automate data migration to the best location or tier of storage anywhere in the world. You can start small with just a few commodity servers by fronting commodity storage devices and then grow to a data lake architecture or even an ocean of data. IBM Spectrum Scale is a proven solution in some of the most demanding environments with massive storage capacity under the single global namespace. Furthermore, your data ocean can store either files or objects and you can run analytics on the data in-place, which means that there is no need to copy the data to run your jobs.

The installation toolkit is provided to help with the installation and configuration of GPFS as well as protocols.

Note: The installation toolkit is only supported on some operating systems. Therefore, all nodes in the cluster must be running on supported operating systems if you want to use the spectrumscale install command. All protocol nodes must be on supported operating systems if you want to use the spectrumscale deploy command.

In addition to the installation toolkit, IBM Spectrum Scale also includes a performance monitoring toolkit. Sensors to collect performance information are installed on all protocol nodes, and one of these nodes is designated as a collector node. The mmperfmon query command can be used to view the performance counters that have been collected.

The mmhealth command can be used to monitor the health of the node and the services hosted on that node.

Some protocol use considerations: