Ceph is a massively scalable open source storage system which is operated on-premise by companies who want to essentially build the equivalent of Amazon S3 (but run in-house) and provides object, block, and file storage. Businesses deploy Ceph to their existing commodity on-premise hardware and scale out their storage as needed. While S3 is probably the easiest solution right off the shelf for startups and other small technology companies, companies with specific security needs and those with on premise architecture are welcoming this open source alternative. As one developer put it, “unless you know you need it you probably don’t, yet.”
The company was cofounded and launched in May 2012 by several of the original open source Ceph authors including Sage Weil, who serves as CEO & Chief Architect of InkTank and was formerly cofounder of Dreamhost. InkTank also boasts Dreamhost as a featured customer, where they power the DreamObjects scalable object storage service.
At OpeStack Summit last month GigaOm’s Barb Darrow indicated that “Ceph is hot, hot, hot”. According to her post:
Based on an informal poll of speakers and attendees, Ceph storage is where it’s at. The Swift storage system? Not so hot. Best Buy moved from Gluster to Ceph because of the latter’s self-healing capabilities. Ceph offers object and block storage all in one integrated product while Swift handles object storage only. Mirantis EVP Boris Renski said Swift, which comes out of Rackspace, has lots of production installs, but Ceph is viewed as having a more “elegant” architecture. “Unlike Swift, you can use Ceph as the backend for both object and block.” Also, because of a better algorithm for handling data replication, it can promise better scaling, he said, although Mirantis has not fully tested that out yet.
The VAR Guy (a great blog btw if you are just getting into reading about enterprise tech) covered Cuttlefish, the latest release of Ceph, noting that InkTank has been developing impressive channel partners in the past year:
That update, combined with the close relationships Inktank has forged with other big-name partners including SUSE, Canonical and Dell, promises to raise Ceph’s profile within the channel even further, and cement its key role in open-source Big Data computing. That’s a lot of momentum for a storage platform that essentially had no commercial presence at all until about a year ago. We’ll stay tuned as Ceph and Inktank continue to move forward.
An air of inevitability forming around Ceph and InkTank. Watch this space.
To learn more I recommend this talk from OSCON by Ross Turk: