Wrap-up of the first Spectrum Scale User Group in Australia – October 2016

Ah wonderful Melbourne, I haven’t been in Melbourne for a few years but it doesn’t seem to change that much, still a nice place to enjoy.

It was quite a long flight from Perth but all went smoothly with the event thanks to efforts by Justin Glen from DDN (sponsoring organisation) and Scott Fadden – IBM (sponsoring organisation).

So after a great catch-up dinner and chat with Scott Fadden and other attendees such as Suda from Mellanox and Justin from DDN, it was off to bed for an early start for check-ins the next morning (fortunately I ran the desk alongside a great coffee or two – Melbourne is definitely the place for coffee).

We began the first User group meeting in Australia early, on the top floor of the Sofitel Melbourne. Lovely cool and sunny conditions, we had all the function room windows open.

We had about 22 people attend, including resellers and integrators and a number of technical staff from a number of Australian Universities, the CSIRO, the Bureau of Meteorology and Pawsey Supercomputing Centre.

I opened with a quick introduction to the days agenda, OHS and some information about spectrumscale.org for people new to Spectrum Scale.

My Executive Director at Pawsey, Dr Neil Stringfellow, painted a great introduction to us on filesystems and their importance in HPC and Supercomputing and then we were straight into a forward view and trends presentation by Scott Fadden.

We then had a DDN Technical presentation by Daniel on AFM to link fast on-campus caches with off-campus private cloud.

Next we had a number of site reports, both formally prepared and informally, Ian from CSIRO presented a great set of details on use and metadata project requiements, Ben from University of Melbourne, Naren from the Bureau of Meteorology (who have just got their GPFS file system from DDN to use with their new Cray).
Sandisk provided and inside view on flash and it’s challenge to disk – thanks Greg for an insider’s view of current and future storage hardware insights.

After lunch (which was enjoyable and really quite good) we had a great presentation from Jeff from Pawsey on improvements on backups for GPFS, and then Greg from CSIRO presented on site setup and use of GPFS. It was great throughout having the opportunity to ask questions both of Scott and others presenting, Scott is a great facilitator and good discussion ensued.

Those presenting also discussed with all attending on a number of items like scratch purge policy, failure group setup and in the Q and A session I ran we discussed and number of configuration items and options.

Great interaction, very good to see, it was constructive and very useful for all attending I found out – I distributed a survey to all which is being used to shape future events. We are already planning the next event in April in Sydney, watch for my next announcement shortly. I hope to have some presentations authorized for distribution available soon.