[gpfsug-discuss] Experiences upgrading in place to GPFS 4.1?

Daniel Kidger daniel.kidger at uk.ibm.com
Fri Apr 17 13:15:40 BST 2015

Hi Chris,

The Crypto feature of GPFS 4.1  requires the addition of just one extra 
RPM over the standard edition. Other RPMs remain the same.
It also requires licenses for  "Advanced Edition". These are of the order 
of 30% more expensive than the standard edition.

The model for GPFS encryption at rest is that the client node fetches the 
encrypted file from the fileserver. 
The file remains encrypted in transfer and is only decrypted by the client 
node using a key it holds.
A result is end-to-end encryption as well as encryption of data at rest,

Encryption can be on a per file level if desired. Hence a way to migrate 
from an existing non-encrypted. setup. 
note inodes should be 4kB to make sure there is enough room to store the 
encryption attributes.

A side effect of adding encryption is that you also need additional remote 
key management (RKM) servers to handle the key management. These need 
licensed software.

I am sure DDN can help you with all of this.

Hope this helps,

Dr.Daniel Kidger
No. 1 The Square,

Technical Specialist  SDI (formerly Platform Computing)
Temple Quay,
Bristol  BS1 6DG
+44-07818 522 266
United Kingdom
+44-02392 564 121 (Internal ITN 3726 9250)

daniel.kidger at uk.ibm.com

From:   Frank Leers <fleers at gmail.com>
To:     gpfsug main discussion list <gpfsug-discuss at gpfsug.org>
Date:   16/04/2015 23:21
Subject:        Re: [gpfsug-discuss] Experiences upgrading in place to 
GPFS 4.1?
Sent by:        gpfsug-discuss-bounces at gpfsug.org

Hi Chris,

Since you mention GRIDScaler, I assume that you are a DDN customer and 
that you have a support contract with them.  If not, then feel free to 
take the advice that follows with a measure of salt although it mostly 
still applies ;-)
With 4.1, there are now 'Editions' of GPFS, which break out various 
feature sets into a tiered arrangement, with each tier being licensed (and 
possibly priced) differently.
Have a look here (Q 1.3) for the 4.1 licensing notes - 

With GPFS 3.5, you are most likely running the equivalent of the 'Standard 
Edition' today.  The crypto feature set comes with the 'Advanced Edition', 
which is licensed differently.

Have a look at Chapter 15 of the Advanced Admin Guide for 4.1 as a primer 


On Thu, Apr 16, 2015 at 1:33 PM, Garrison, E Chris <ecgarris at iu.edu> 

My site is working up to upgrading our paired GridScaler system from GPFS 
3.5 to 4.1. There is a mandate to provide encryption at rest, and that's 
an advertised feature of 4.1. We already have over 100 TB of data, 
synchronously replicated between two geographically separated sites, and 
we have concerns about how the upgrade, as well as the application of 
encryption to all that data, will go.

I'd like to hear from admins who've been through this upgrade. What 
gotchas should we look out for? Can it easily be done in place, or would 
we need some extra equipment to "slosh" our data to and from so that it is 
written to an encrypted GPFS?

Thank you for your time, and for any sage advice on this process.

Chris Garrison
Indiana University
Research Systems Storage

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