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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mmperfmon query

The new Spectrum Scale has been out for a few weeks now, so I think I should introduce a new function that’s been added for the purpose of performance monitoring.
Some of you may remember the performance monitor that comes with GSS. Its now been added to Spectrum Scale, and is recording various metrics for GPFS, Object, NFS, and SMB (depending on what you have installed). It will start automatically for some metrics (there are other more complex ones that can be enabled). So here’s a few variations to introduce the new command to look at the metrics being gathered.

mmperfmon query Metric[,Metric....]  |  Key[,Key...]  | NamedQuery  [StartTime EndTime | Duration] [ options ]


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Pizza fuels hands on meet up

Earlier this week on a sunny Manchester morning I hosted our second ‘meet the devs’ GPFS user group session. In February we met in London and had a very open discussion with a short demo. This session had different attendees in a different city, with different food and a different focus.

Our focus was hands on testing of the upcoming 4.1.1 release and specifically the protocol related work done in the UK. After some minimal slideware all attendees were provided some hardware and a GPFS development engineer. This was following pizza and coffee, which meant everyone was energised and ready.

What did we all learn? You can’t plan for fire alarms and using laptops for a demo to run virtual clusters with no network can be challenging! Enough said.

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Meet the devs kicks off … am I a GPFS imposter?

This morning I set off from Manchester to London to run my first ‘Meet the Devs’ GPFS User Group session concerned about two things: Firstly, my wife is due for our second child in 5 weeks – let’s hope she doesn’t go into labour whilst I’m a few hours away. Secondly, I felt the fear of being an imposter, accompanied by the adrenaline rush I get when I go on stage and perform. Am I really in a position to have a fruitful meeting with a set of very experienced and capable GPFS users? Am I prepared enough? Am I a GPFS imposter?

Think. Prepare. Rehearse. And breathe.

I suddenly felt a lot better. But, I’m a manager these days and as a result less hands on, I’ve never used GPFS as a real user/administrator and my background is C++ development not in system administrator or architecting solutions.

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