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In this paper we describe the evolution of Global File Systems from the concept of a few years ago, to a first demonstration using hardware Fibre Channel frame encoding into IP packets, to a native GFS, to a full prototype demonstration, and finally to a production implementation. The surprisingly excellent performance of the Global File Systems over standard TCP/IP Wide Area Networks has made them a viable candidate for the support of Grid Supercomputing. The implementation designs and performance results are documented within this paper. We also motivate and describe the authentication extensions we made to the IBM GPFS file system, in collaboration with IBM. In several ways Global File Systems are superior to the original approach of wholesale file movement between grid sites and we speculate as to future modes of operation.
Date of Conference: 12-18 Nov. 2005