IBM Spectrum Scale is a flexible parallel file system, but that flexibility comes at the price of some complexity. The well-designed command line interface and product consistency go a long way to mitigate that complexity, but it still takes time to master a technology as sophisticated as a parallel file system. Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to run Spectrum Scale in a test playground, or even a home lab, and be able to experiment even with advanced features, without worrying that you are violating a license? In the past, IBM GPFS was available through IBM’s Academic Initiative, allowing GPFS to be used for free for education sponsored by a faculty member — this was how I learned how to use GPFS — but Spectrum Scale has never been available under the Academic Initiative, or for use in a home lab.
Now, the IBM Spectrum Scale Developer Edition lets you run Spectrum Scale in a test environment or home lab, for no charge. Available for the normally-supported versions of Linux on both x86_64 platform, this is licensed for non-production use for up to 12 TiB of storage. The features are the same as the Data Management Edition, so you can put advanced Spectrum Scale features through all its paces. This is not a trial with an expiration baked into it — you can use it long-term.
Personally I have a few “spare time” programming projects I have wanted to develop on top of Spectrum Scale as Open Source. I have also wanted to develop some lab exercises to help others learn how to use Spectrum Scale — and know others can actually try these. With the Developer Edition, this becomes possible.
What could you do with the Spectrum Scale Developer Edition?