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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

Cloud Expo 2013 East Opening Keynote by IBM
In this Cloud Expo Keynote, Danny Sabbah, CTO & General Manager, Next Generation Platform, will detail the critical architectural considerations and success factors organizations must internalize to successfully implement, optimize and innovate using next generation architectures.
Lisa Larson, Vice President of Enterprise Cloud Solutions of Rackspace Hosting Live From New York City
In the old world of IT, if you didn't have hardware capacity or the budget to buy more, your project was dead in the water. Budget constraints can leave some of the best, most creative and most ingenious innovations on the cutting room floor. It's a true dilemma for developers and innovators – why spend the time creating, when a project could be abandoned in a blink? That was the old world. In the new world of IT, developers rule. They have access to resources they can spin up instantly. A hybrid cloud ignites innovation and empowers developers to focus on what they need. A hybrid cloud blends the best of all worlds, public cloud, private cloud and dedicated servers to fit the needs of developers and offer the ideal environment for each app and workload without the constraints of a one-size-fits-all cloud.

Keynote: Driving Cloud Innovation: SSDs Change Cloud Storage Paradigm
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Top Stories for Cloud Expo 2012 East

In this Big Data Power Panel at the 10th International Cloud Expo, moderated by Cloud Expo Conference Chair Jeremy Geelan, Govind Rangasamy, Director of Product Management at Eucalyptus Systems; Kevin Brown; CEO of Coraid, Inc.; Christos Tryfonas, CTO and Co-Founder of Cetas; and Max Riggsbee, CMO and VP of Products for WhipTail, discussed such topics as: Big Data has existed since the early days of computing; why, then, do you think there is such an industry buzz around it right now? How is Big Data impacting storage and networking architecture in data centers? How about the intersection of Big Data Analytics and Cloud Computing - how big a sector is that and why? What's the difference between Big Data and Fast Data? ... (more)

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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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@CloudExpo Blogs
In case you haven’t heard, the new hotness in app architectures is serverless. Mainly restricted to cloud environments (Amazon Lambda, Google Cloud Functions, Microsoft Azure Functions) the general concept is that you don’t have to worry about anything but the small snippets of code (functions) you write to do something when something happens. That’s an event-driven model, by the way, that should be very familiar to anyone who has taken advantage of a programmable proxy to do app or API routing and rewriting or executed inspection of requests or responses for malicious content.
The Internet of Things (IoT) promises to change everything by enabling “smart” environments (homes, cities, hospitals, schools, stores, etc.) and smart products (cars, trucks, airplanes, trains, wind turbines, lawnmowers, etc.). I recently wrote about the importance of moving beyond “connected” to “smart” in a blog titled “Internet of Things: Connected Does Not Equal Smart”. The article discusses the importance of moving beyond just collecting the data, to transitioning to leveraging this new wealth of IoT data to improve the decisions that these smart environments and products need to make: t...
In many organizations governance is still practiced by phase or stage gate peer review, and Agile projects are forced to accommodate, which leads to WaterScrumFall or worse. But governance criteria and policies are often very weak anyway, out of date or non-existent. Consequently governance is frequently a matter of opinion and experience, highly dependent upon the experience of individual reviewers. As we all know, a basic principle of Agile methods is delegation of responsibility, and ideally we need to delegate governance to the Agile practitioners and teams. So the question is how to imple...
I spend a lot of time helping organizations to “think like a data scientist.” My book “Big Data MBA: Driving Business Strategies with Data Science” has several chapters devoted to helping business leaders to embrace the power of data scientist thinking. My Big Data MBA class at the University of San Francisco School of Management focuses on teaching tomorrow’s business executives the power of analytics and data science to optimize key business processes, uncover new monetization opportunities and create a more compelling, engaging customer and channel engagement.
Monitoring of Docker environments is challenging. Why? Because each container typically runs a single process, has its own environment, utilizes virtual networks, or has various methods of managing storage. Traditional monitoring solutions take metrics from each server and applications they run. These servers and applications running on them are typically very static, with very long uptimes. Docker deployments are different: a set of containers may run many applications, all sharing the resources of one or more underlying hosts. It's not uncommon for Docker servers to run thousands of short-te...
They say insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. Sometimes doing the same thing over and over while expecting the same results can be insane too. Find out how to change your expectations of IT infrastructure. Have you ever wondered if you are stuck in an IT infrastructure loop, continuously deploying the same types of components and integrating them into an overall infrastructure architecture? Servers for CPU and RAM, storage appliances, hypervisor software, and disaster recovery software/appliances are just some of the different components that you've...
Recently I've been doing quite a bit of analysis work using the IBM Watson cognitive business platform. The really exciting thing about this opportunity is the way data can seem to have a conversation with you. This got me wondering if social media data could carry on a conversation as well. Given my almost unhealthy interest in cloud computing, we ran a one week experiment to "crowdsource the internet" in order to see if it held any interesting cloud computing insights.
As we enter the final week before the 19th International Cloud Expo | @ThingsExpo in Santa Clara, CA, it's time for me to reflect on six big topics that will be important during the show. Hybrid Cloud This general-purpose term seems to provide a comfort zone for many enterprise IT managers. It sounds reassuring to be able to work with one of the major public-cloud providers like AWS or Microsoft Azure while still maintaining an on-site presence.
HTI Labs in London provides the means and governance with its Schematiq tool to bring critical data services to the interface users want. The next BriefingsDirect Voice of the Customer digital transformation case study explores how powerful and diverse financial information is newly and uniquely delivered to the ubiquitous Excel spreadsheet edge.
Last week, I was a keynote speaker at the Mobile Edge '16 conference in Lisbon, Portugal. Following the conference I met individually with many different companies. These companies represented a variety of industries, sizes and digital maturity levels. I was sharing my latest digital strategy report findings, and then answering questions and brainstorming about what the data meant to each of them. At the hotel, following a long day of meetings, it occurred to me that the biggest value I was bringing to these businesses was the breadth of my experience - the kind of experience that has turned...
A BriefingsDirect thought leadership panel discussion explores how public-sector organizations can gain economic benefits from cloud interoperability and standardization. Our panel comes to you in conjunction with The Open Group Paris Event and Member Meeting October 24 through 27, 2016 in France, with a focus on the latest developments in eGovernment. As government agencies move to the public cloud computing model, the use of more than one public cloud provider can offer economic benefits by a competition and choice. But are the public clouds standardized efficiently for true interoperabi...
Since its introduction in 2009, Microsoft Azure has gone through a significant transformation. What started as a hardcore set of platform services is now a force to be reckoned within the infrastructure market as well. According to Gartner, Azure is inching closer to AWS, firmly securing its place in the top right section of the Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) Magic Quadrant, which is reserved only for the market leaders.
There are some enterprise applications that were born to be in the cloud. Customer relationship management (CRM) applications were an early favorite because salespeople (the primary consumers of CRM) are decentralized and mobile. Web applications and personal data storage are also ideal cloud applications because they allow enterprises to scale up easily while driving down costs. Enterprises have held on to their communications, however, making it one of the last applications to move into the cloud.
Phishing has been around since the dawn of the internet. The term was first used in an AOL Usenet group back in 1996 but it wasn’t until 2003 when many baited hooks and lures started dropping. Popular transaction destinations like PayPal and eBay were some of the early victims of these spoofed sites asking customers to update their personal and credit card information. By 2004, it was a full-fledged ‘get rich quick scheme’ with many financial institutions – and their customers – as targets.
@ThingsExpo has been named the Top 5 Most Influential M2M Brand by Onalytica in the ‘Machine to Machine: Top 100 Influencers and Brands.' Onalytica analyzed the online debate on M2M by looking at over 85,000 tweets to provide the most influential individuals and brands that drive the discussion. According to Onalytica the "analysis showed a very engaged community with a lot of interactive tweets. The M2M discussion seems to be more fragmented and driven by some of the major brands present in the M2M space. This really allows some room for influential individuals to create more high value inter...
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Past SYS-CON Events
    Cloud Expo West

    Cloud Expo East

    Cloud Expo West

    Virtualization Expo West
    Cloud Expo Europe

    Cloud Expo East

    Virtualization Expo East
    Cloud Expo West

    Virtualization Expo West
    GovIT Expo
    Cloud Expo Europe

Cloud Expo 2011 Allstar Conference Faculty












Dell Boomi


Layer 7 Tech



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

"More and better leads than ever expected! I have 4-6 follow ups personally."
  –Richard Wellner
Chief Scientist
Univa UD

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

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