IBM Spectrum Scale and IBM Elastic Storage System Network Guide

A draft IBM Redpaper publication

Updated 30 November 2020

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IBM Form #: REDP-5484-00

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Authors: Kedar Karmarkar, John Lewars, Sandeep R. Patil, Sandeep Naik, Kevin Gildea, Rakesh Chutke, Larry Coyne


High speed IO workloads are moving away from the SAN to Ethernet and IBM® Spectrum Scale is pushing the network limits. The IBM Spectrum® Scale team has discovered that many existing infrastructure Ethernet networks used for years to support a variety of applications are not designed to provide a high-performance data path concurrently to many clients from many servers.

IBM Spectrum Scale is not the first product to use Ethernet for storage access. Technologies like Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE), scale out NAS and IP connected storage (iSCSI and others) leverage Ethernet though IBM Spectrum Scale, as the leader in parallel IO performance, provides the best performance and value when used on a high-performance network. This paper is based on lessons learned in the field deploying IBM Spectrum Scale on Ethernet and InfiniBand networks.

This IBM Redpaper answers questions like, "How can I prepare my network for high performance storage?" and "How do I know when I am ready?" and "How can I tell what is wrong?" when deploying IBM Spectrum Scale and IBM Elastic Storage® Server (ESS). This document can help IT architects get the design right up front, and it can help the IBM Spectrum Scale administrator work effective with the networking team to quickly resolve issues.

Table of contents

Chapter 1. IBM Spectrum Scale Introduction
Chapter 2. Network planning and best practices for IBM Spectrum Scale/IBM ESS
Chapter 3. Implementation Recommendations
Chapter 4. Network Monitoring and Troubleshooting
Appendix A. GPFS Lease Configuration Variables Impact to Expel Timing Flows
Appendix B. nsdperf command examples

These pages are Web versions of IBM Redbooks- and Redpapers-in-progress. They are published here for those who need the information now and may contain spelling, layout and grammatical errors. This material has not been submitted to any formal IBM test and is published AS IS. It has not been the subject of rigorous review. Your feedback is welcomed to improve the usefulness of the material to others.

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