[lustre-discuss] Running IBM Power boxes as OSSs?

Patrick Farrell paf at cray.com
Fri Sep 1 05:44:15 PDT 2017

While I can't speak to Intels intentions, I can say this:

Lustre clients work well on Power architectures (see, for example, LLNL), so a lot of the work is done and there shouldn't be any endianness issues in the network part of the code.

I suspect the server code would also build for such an architecture, because why not?  If it didn't, it would likely be minimal effort to make it do so.

HOWEVER, the server code has other internal endianness dependencies because it works with on disk data formats.  I know a few years ago there were some patches from people who found endianness issues there (failure to swab to correct on disk endianness on either write or read or both), but my understanding is they were from inspection (rather than real use experience) and I have no idea if they found everything.

So my fear - which others might be able to speak better to - would be those subtler things that work fine if you only use one endianness in production.  Not basic build & run functionality.

Best of luck!

From: lustre-discuss <lustre-discuss-bounces at lists.lustre.org> on behalf of Andrew Holway <andrew.holway at gmail.com>
Sent: Friday, September 1, 2017 6:48:58 AM
To: Daniel Kidger
Cc: lustre-discuss
Subject: Re: [lustre-discuss] Running IBM Power boxes as OSSs?

my 0.02¢

This question is quite interesting considering Big Blue offers the competing GPFS filesystem on Power.  I have it on fairly good authority that Intel bought Whamcloud in order to compete with IBM for future very large (exascale) supercomputer installations. Power architecture is seemingly quite formidable in the supercomputing space so having a combined filesystems and processor architecture is very important for intel if they want to compete in the HPC space.

I doubt that Intel, as the current guardians of Lustre would allow any serious work on supporting a Power power port. I guess this would be a bit of an own goal!

On 1 September 2017 at 12:24, Daniel Kidger <daniel.kidger at uk.ibm.com<mailto:daniel.kidger at uk.ibm.com>> wrote:

This is my first posting to the list.
I have worked off an on with Lustre since a helping set up a demo at SC02 in Baltimore.
A long time has passed and I now find myself at IBM.
The question I have today is:

Are any sites running with IBM POWER hardware for their Lustre servers i.e. MDS and OSSs?
The only references I find are very old, certainly long before the availability of little-endian RedHat.

And if not, what are likely to be the pain points and hurdles in building and running Lustre on non-x86 platforms like POWER?


Daniel Kidger
IBM Systems, UK
daniel.kidger at uk.ibm.com<mailto:daniel.kidger at uk.ibm.com>
+44 (0)7818 522266<tel:+44%207818%20522266>
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