Bringing I/O Scalability and Availability to Linux and AIX Clusters
Lyle Gayne, IBM
As parallel and large scale computing has moved from specialized "Supercomputers" (with their traditionally exotic technology and commensurate price) to more flexible, cost-effective cluster environments, the scaling of practical compute capability has created demands for comparable scalability of I/O performance and capacity. The aggregation of large numbers of not completely reliable modular components (be they processors, network or disk) has simultaneously forced software failure survivability into the same domain. A reasonable degree of success in these two domains uncovers and forces further issues to the fore. This technical presentation will discuss IBM's efforts to meet this evolving set of Cluster I/O challenges in both Linux and AIX cluster environments, highlighting the technical issues, progress to date, and the still impending challenges.
Linux is rapidly making inroads today in its traditional areas of strength - Appliances, Web Serving, and High Performance Computing. But Linux also has the potential to be a key technology for the next generation of e-business - a potential that will only be reached if real and perceived limitations, technical and otherwise, in Linux and Linux Clusters today are removed. To that end, IBM and others are working with the Linux community to make Linux and Linux clusters more enterprise-capable, and are working with customers and ISVs to encourage its wider use within the enterprise. This talk will discuss the potentially strategic importance of Linux, position its capability today relative to other mainstream Unix solutions for HPC, and investigate possible scenarios of its evolution over time that will determine its ability to attain its potential as a strategic e-business technology.