16 J U N E 2 0 1 5 VO L . 4 0 , N O . 3 www.usenix.orgFILE SYSTEMS AND STORAGEOn Making GPFS Truly GeneralD E A N H I L D E B R A N D A N D F R A N K S C H M U C KGPFS (also called IBM Spectrum Scale) began as a research projectthat quickly found its groove supporting high performance comput-ing (HPC) applications [1, 2]. Over the last 15 years, GPFS branchedout to embrace general file-serving workloads while maintaining its originaldistributed design. This article gives a brief overview of the origins of numer-ous features that we and many others at IBM have implemented to makeGPFS a truly general file system.Early DaysFollowing its origins as a project focused on high-performance lossless streaming of multi-media video files, GPFS was soon enhanced to support high performance computing (HPC)applications, to become the “General Parallel File System.” One of its first large deploymentswas on ASCI White in 2002—at the time, the fastest supercomputer in the world. This HPC-focused arch...