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.

Next, Stefan Schmidt led the GUI presentation. Since we have covered this in the past couple of Meet the Dev sessions, Stefan presented a quick overview of the look and feel of the GUI and then moved into more detail on the functional aspects. Stefan was able to take many good suggestions and questions back to the development team from the User Group, and I am sure the GUI will benefit from this feedback. The group was particularly interested in the power of the ILM policy engine and how we could leverage this feature in future releases.

Following the GUI presentation, the pizza delivery man made his ever popular arrival, and we started our lunch break with pizza and soft drinks. A few left over doughnuts from the morning were also snacked on and after about an hour’s break we went back to the agenda with food in our stomachs.

After lunch, Simon Lorenz covered the Spectrum Scale’s implementation of the object protocol. There was a lot of interest from this group as it represents a new opportunity for Spectrum Scale users to manage their data. Simon covered the details of how to use and manage the system, and we discussed the technical depths of the protocol.

Once Simon completed his talk, Jez Tucker from PixIT Media took to the white board to show how he used MCStore through the Open Beta to show how one can leverage this technology.

Finally, Indulis walked us through a metadata planning tool he has been developing to help customers understand the impact of metadata block sizes. By understanding how our user group configure and use their systems, he can help provide guidelines to our community to better improve their metadata usage.

I would like to thank the community for allowing me to participate in the group. As I am moving onto a new role with IBM, I will be less involved with the User Group in the future, but I’ll be keeping an interested eye on the product and the community as it continues to evolve.