IBM has announced that it will begin shipping version 3.2 of its General Parallel File System (GPFS) software on October 5, 2007. GPFS enables high-end technical and high performance computing, and it is able to scale to multi-petabytes or thousands of nodes accessing a single file system.

As its name implies, GPFS provides concurrent access at lightning speed across multiple disk drives and storage devices. GPFS achieves high levels of performance by providing a single consolidated view of information across disparate systems, making it possible to read and write data in parallel across multiple disks or even servers.

GPFS runs on AIX as well as the Linux operating systems.

According to IBM, the pre-release version of GPFS was able to scan a staggering one billion files in less than three hours in an internal benchmark. Indeed, GPFS can support stunning access speeds of 130+GB/sec to a single file on a two-petabyte file system.

The latest release of GPFS offers improvements in scalability and performance, simplified manageability, monitoring, and availability. It also adds policy-driven automation and support for clustered network file system (NFS) into its bag of features.