Meet the Devs – Oxford

On Feb 24th, the latest iteration of the Spectrum Scale – Meet the Devs took place in Oxford. We met on the Oxford University campus and as always, the meeting was well attended. I had the pleasure of meeting some new members in addition to catching up with a few familiar faces. Simon Thompson, the User Group Chair, introduced three IBMers from the Mainz Germany Lab, Ulf Troppens, Simon Lorenz and Stefan Schmidt. After the introductions by Simon and our hosts from Oxford, we started the meeting.

Ulf Troppens started the meeting off by introducing his German colleagues, and he presented a high-level overview of Spectrum Scale’s history through 4.2.

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Performance Round Table – Round Two

On January 12th, Paul Roberts, Patrick Byrne, Sophie Carsten and I ran a second iteration of performance talks with a small subset of UK Spectrum Scale users. As Paul covered in a previous post, the goal of the meeting was to have an informal chat with these users to gain insights on how they use their clusters, what issues they have concerning their cluster’s performance, and what we can do to help improve the product. We met in the IBM Manchester Development Lab, which allowed us to have developers from the performance, install and upgrade, and system health teams available to discuss the product.

As is the case with all Spectrum Scale User Group meetings, the participants were very happy and open to discuss their Spectrum Scale deployments with us. Since the meeting was designed to be an open and free-flowing meeting, there were a few issues raised by the users and our conversations ebbed and flowed from there.

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Meet the Devs – Edinburgh

The fourth and final instalment of the 2015 UK Spectrum Scale User Group “Meet the Devs” series recently took place in Edinburgh, and I had the privilege of helping Simon Thompson and Joe Taylor lead the discussions.

Not only was this my first “Meet the Devs” meeting, but it was also my first time spending any real time in Edinburgh (as is the case with most places I have visited lately). Joe and I took the first flight out of Manchester the morning of the event, and after a short taxi ride, we were at the University of Edinburgh.

As Simon mentioned, we had a mixed group of attendees – some new faces and some familiar faces. Some travelled a very short distance and one of the attendees flew in from Germany to meet and share ideas with us.

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Performance Roundtable

Last Friday (25th Sept) Rick Welp and I held an informal “Spectrum Scale Performance” roundtable (although for the sake of transparency I must admit that the table was more rectangular than round). The chosen venue was IBM Southbank which neither of us had previously had the pleasure of visiting. The idea was to get together with a small number of GPFS/Spectrum Scale power users
and take advantage of their years of experience to gain insight into the kind of real world issues they deal with and more importantly what we can do to help mitigate them.

To add to that the idea of this post is to share some of the topics we discussed with the wider community and hopefully generate further discussion/ideas. We will look to hold another session, probably in Manchester, in the not too distant future and will be looking for willing participants.

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Meet the Devs #3 – Report

Last week the third ‘meet the devs’ event took place, this time in Warwick. This was my first visit to IBM Warwick and after a short walk from the train station the first thing that struck me was the size of the site. It always reminds me of the sheer size of IBM when I visit these sites I barely knew existed but are many times the size of our lab in Manchester.

Having arrived and got set up it was great to see a mixture of familiar faces and first time attendees. This makes me confident that people are finding these sessions valuable if they are attending multiple sessions, whilst also ensuring we are involving and getting input from a widening range of users.

The release of Spectrum Scale 4.1.1 was the first release that our development team in Manchester was involved with. With that work now a month behind us, this meeting was an opportunity to look forward to what is coming in 4.2 – targetted in for release in Q4 this year.

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