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Ceph Day Amsterdam 2012 (Object and Cloud Storage)
Ceph is used for deploying object storage, cloud storage and managed services

Recently while I was in Europe presenting some sessions at conferences and doing some seminars, I was invited by Ed Saipetch (@edsai) of Inktank.com to attend the first Ceph Day in Amsterdam.

Ceph day image

As luck or fate would turn out, I was in Nijkerk which is about an hour train ride from Amsterdam central station plus a free day in my schedule. After a morning train ride and nice walk from Amsterdam Central I arrived at the Tobacco Theatre (a former tobacco trading venue) where Ceph Day was underway, and in time for lunch of Krokettens sandwich.

Attendees at Ceph Day

Let's take a quick step back and address for those not familiar what is Ceph (Cephalanthera) and why it was worth spending a day to attend this event. Ceph is an open source distributed object scale out (e.g. cluster or grid) software platform running on industry standard hardware.

Dell server supporting ceph demoSketch of ceph demo configuration

Ceph is used for deploying object storage, cloud storage and managed services, general purpose storage for research, commercial, scientific, high performance computing (HPC) or high productivity computing (commercial) along with backup or data protection and archiving destinations. Other software similar in functionality or capabilities to Ceph include OpenStack Swift, Basho Riak CS, Cleversafe, Scality and Caringo among others. There are also the tin wrapped software (e.g. appliances or pre-packaged) solutions such as Dell DX (Caringo), DataDirect Networks (DDN) WOS, EMC ATMOS and Centera, Amplidata and HDS HCP among others. From a service standpoint, these solutions can be used to build services similar Amazon S3 and Glacier, Rackspace Cloud files and Cloud Block, DreamHost DreamObject and HP Cloud storage among others.

Ceph cloud and object storage architecture image

At the heart of Ceph is RADOS a distributed object store that consists of peer nodes functioning as object storage devices (OSD). Data can be accessed via REST (Amazon S3 like) APIs, Libraries, CEPHFS and gateway with information being spread across nodes and OSDs using a CRUSH based algorithm (note Sage Weil is one of the authors of CRUSH: Controlled, Scalable, Decentralized Placement of Replicated Data). Ceph is scalable in terms of performance, availability and capacity by adding extra nodes with hard disk drives (HDD) or solid state devices (SSDs). One of the presentations pertained to DreamHost that was an early adopter of Ceph to make their DreamObjects (cloud storage) offering.

Ceph cloud and object storage deployment image

In addition to storage nodes, there are also an odd number of monitor nodes to coordinate and manage the Ceph cluster along with optional gateways for file access. In the above figure (via DreamHost), load balancers sit in front of gateways that interact with the storage nodes. The storage node in this example is a physical server with 12 x 3TB HDDs each configured as a OSD.

Ceph dreamhost dreamobject cloud and object storage configuration image

In the DreamHost example above, there are 90 storage nodes plus 3 management nodes, the total raw storage capacity (no RAID) is about 3PB (12 x 3TB = 36TB x 90 = 3.24PB). Instead of using RAID or mirroring, each objects data is replicated or copied to three (e.g. N=3) different OSDs (on separate nodes), where N is adjustable for a given level of data protection, for a usable storage capacity of about 1PB.

Note that for more usable capacity and lower availability, N could be set lower, or a larger value of N would give more durability or data protection at higher storage capacity overhead cost. In addition to using JBOD configurations with replication, Ceph can also be configured with a combination of RAID and replication providing more flexibility for larger environments to balance performance, availability, capacity and economics.

Ceph dreamhost and dreamobject cloud and object storage deployment image

One of the benefits of Ceph is the flexibility to configure it how you want or need for different applications. This can be in a cost-effective hardware light configuration using JBOD or internal HDDs in small form factor generally available servers, or high density servers and storage enclosures with optional RAID adapters along with SSD. This flexibility is different from some cloud and object storage systems or software tools which take a stance of not using or avoiding RAID vs. providing options and flexibility to configure and use the technology how you see fit.

Here are some links to presentations from Ceph Day:
Introduction and Welcome by Wido den Hollander
Ceph: A Unified Distributed Storage System by Sage Weil
Ceph in the Cloud by Wido den Hollander
DreamObjects: Cloud Object Storage with Ceph by Ross Turk
Cluster Design and Deployment by Greg Farnum
Notes on Librados by Sage Weil

Presentations during ceph day

While at Ceph day, I was able to spend a few minutes with Sage Weil Ceph creator and founder of inktank.com to record a pod cast (listen here) about what Ceph is, where and when to use it, along with other related topics. Also while at the event I had a chance to sit down with Curtis (aka Mr. Backup) Preston where we did a simulcast video and pod cast. The simulcast involved Curtis recording this video with me as a guest discussing Ceph, cloud and object storage, backup, data protection and related themes while I recorded this pod cast.

One of the interesting things I heard, or actually did not hear while at the Ceph Day event that I tend to hear at related conferences such as SNW is a focus on where and how to use, configure and deploy Ceph along with various configuration options, replication or copy modes as opposed to going off on erasure codes or other tangents. In other words, instead of focusing on the data protection protocol and algorithms, or what is wrong with the competition or other architectures, the Ceph Day focused was removing cloud and object storage objections and enablement.

Where do you get Ceph? You can get it here, as well as via 42on.com and inktank.com.

Thanks again to Sage Weil for taking time out of his busy schedule to record a pod cast talking about Ceph, as well 42on.com and inktank for hosting, and the invitation to attend the first Ceph Day in Amsterdam.

 

View of downtown Amsterdam on way to train station to return to Nijkerk
Returning to Amsterdam central station after Ceph Day

Ok, nuff said.

Cheers Gs

Greg Schulz - Author Cloud and Virtual Data Storage Networking (CRC Press, 2011), The Green and Virtual Data Center (CRC Press, 2009), and Resilient Storage Networks (Elsevier, 2004)

twitter @storageio

All Comments, (C) and (TM) belong to their owners/posters, Other content (C) Copyright 2006-2012 StorageIO All Rights Reserved

Read the original blog entry...

About Greg Schulz
Greg Schulz is founder of the Server and StorageIO (StorageIO) Group, an IT industry analyst and consultancy firm. Greg has worked with various server operating systems along with storage and networking software tools, hardware and services. Greg has worked as a programmer, systems administrator, disaster recovery consultant, and storage and capacity planner for various IT organizations. He has worked for various vendors before joining an industry analyst firm and later forming StorageIO.

In addition to his analyst and consulting research duties, Schulz has published over a thousand articles, tips, reports and white papers and is a sought after popular speaker at events around the world. Greg is also author of the books Resilient Storage Network (Elsevier) and The Green and Virtual Data Center (CRC). His blog is at www.storageioblog.com and he can also be found on twitter @storageio.

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Cloud Expo - Cloud Looms Large on SYS-CON.TV


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There is little doubt that Big Data solutions will have an increasing role in the Enterprise IT mainstream over time. Get a jump on that rapidly evolving trend at Big Data Expo, which we are introducing in June at
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Testimonials
Cloud Expo was a fantastic event for CSS Corp - we easily exceeded our objectives for engaging with clients and prospects."
AHMAR ABBAS
SVP, Global Infrastructure Management, CSS Corp.
 
With our launch at Cloud Expo, we successfully transformed the company from a relatively unknown European player into the dominant player in the market. Our competitors were taken by surprise and just blown away. We got a huge number of really high quality leads..."
PETE MALCOLM
CEO, Abiquo
 
We were extremely pleased with Cloud Expo this year - I’d say it exceeded expectations all around. This is the same info we got from partners who attended as well. Nice job!"
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Log data provides the most granular view into what is happening across your systems, applications, and end users. Logs can show you where the issues are in real-time, and provide a historical trending view over time. Logs give you the whole picture. Logentries has announced a new integration with Elasticsearch's Logstash, an open source solution for managing logs and event data. The new integration enables users to easily forward logs collected via Logstash into the cloud-based Logentries service for more meaningful analysis and visualization over time. Similarly the Logentries Open API allo...
It is no surprise to anyone that service providers need to find new sources of revenue and increase profitability. The digital, cloud and as-a-service revolution provides a silver lining. As IT organizations feel the tension that comes from a combination of aging legacy B2B infrastructure, changing business mandates and rapidly evolving e-commerce requirements, they are increasingly looking at digital services and outsourcing to trusted providers. They want a trusted partner to deliver connected digital services; including mobile, cloud and M2M/IoT. The pressure is on for businesses to thin...
Over the last few years, Motus experienced a surge in business driven by its transformation to a mobile hub for their customers. As the company expanded their existing client footprint, they seized an opportunity to also integrate mobile workforce data with CRM, sales and expense management offerings. With the new business requirements, Motus knew they had to move from their legacy PHP single stack to a more nimble, service-based architecture to meet the demands of rapid development. As the new infrastructure development started, Motus' VP of Engineering Scott Rankin realized that Motus' ex...
I recently had the opportunity to attend UI19 in Boston, a long-running conference focused on user experience design and ways to be more effective in a UX role as part of a larger team. One of the presentations in particular stuck with me as I returned to Boulder thinking about VictorOps and our evolution as an early stage startup. Presented by Kim Goodwin, her talk on Principles, Values, and Effective Design Teams touched on a number of challenges we’ve experienced first-hand here at VictorOps as we strive to balance the delivery of a great product with the necessity to move quickly, while...
Exponential growth in data and information at hand is forcing organizations to rethink their business models. With the rise of digital channels (both as sales channel and marketing channel) the business environment is becoming more complicated and challenging, and the competition is intensifying. Firms are responding by setting up dedicated analytics (or information science or insights) divisions, or repositioning existing teams, to enable a culture of data-driven decision making. There has been significant momentum in recent years with rampant hiring of analytics talent. However, business nee...
​I had the chance to sit down with Lee Slaughter, Skytap's Manager of Information Security, to discuss security in the cloud, the efforts that make up a thorough due diligence when choosing a cloud provider, and how to keep up with external and internal threats to your business. Noel: Last year, Charles Babcock wrote a piece for InformationWeek on the list of the top 9 worst cloud security threats that was put out by the Cloud Security Alliance. As I read through them, I noticed that the threats were predominantly related to malicious insiders and outsiders, data breaches, denial of service a...
It’s become easy to monitor applications that are deployed on hundreds of servers – thanks to the advances in application performance management tools. But the more data you collect the harder it is to visualize the health state in a way that a single dashboard tells you both the overall status as well as the problematic component. Eugene Turetsky (Dynatrace) and Stephan Levesque (SSQ Financial Group) shared their solution for monitoring large IT infrastructures that contain several hundred components that support SSQ’s most-critical applications running on a variety of technology stacks incl...
We explore how retailer Columbia Sportswear has made great strides in improving their business results through modernized IT, and where they expect to go next with their software-defined strategy. To learn more about the new wave of IT, we sat down with Suzan Pickett, Manager of Global Infrastructure Services at Columbia Sportswear in Portland, Oregon; Tim Melvin, Director of Global Technology Infrastructure at Columbia, and Carlos Tronco, Lead Systems Engineer at Columbia Sportswear. The discussion is moderated by me, Dana Gardner, Principal Analyst at Interarbor Solutions.

Application experience aficionados take note: you have choices now. No longer are you constrained to just HTTP/1 with a side option of WebSockets or SPDY. HTTP/2 is also an option, one that like its SPDY predecessor brings with it several enticing benefits but is not without obstacles.

In fact, it is those obstacles that may hold back adoption according to IDG research, "Making the Journey to HTTP/2".  In the re...

Microservices, for the uninitiated, are essentially the decomposition of applications into multiple services. This decomposition is often based on functional lines, with related functions being grouped together into a service. While this may sound a like SOA, it really isn't, especially given that SOA was an object-centered methodology that focused on creating services around "nouns" like customer and product. Microservices, while certainly capable of being noun-based, are just as likely to be verb-based, that is to say, based on a functional grouping like "login" or "checkout." SOA was essent...
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Past SYS-CON Events
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Cloud Expo 2011 Allstar Conference Faculty

S.F.S.
Dell

Singer
NRO

Pereyra
Oracle

Ryan
OpSource

Butte
PwC

Leone
Oracle

Riley
AWS

Varia
AWS

Lye
Oracle

O'Connor
AppZero

Crandell
RightScale

Nucci
Dell Boomi

Hillier
CiRBA

Morrison
Layer 7 Tech

Robbins
NYT

Schwarz
Oracle

What The Enterprise IT World Says About Cloud Expo
 
"We had extremely positive feedback from both customers and prospects that attended the show and saw live demos of NaviSite's enterprise cloud based services."
  –William Toll
Sr. Director, Marketing & Strategic Alliances
Navisite
 


 
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  –Richard Wellner
Chief Scientist
Univa UD
 


 
"Good crowd, good questions. The event looked very successful."
  –Simon Crosby
CTO
Citrix Systems
 


 
"It's the largest cloud computing conference I've ever seen."
  –David Linthicum
CTO
Brick Group