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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!"
MARY BASS
Director of Marketing, UnivaUD
 
Cloud Expo helps focus the debate on the critical issues at hand in effect connecting main street with the next frontier."

GREG O’CONNOR
President & CEO, Appzero


Who Should Attend?
Senior Technologists including CIOs, CTOs, VPs of technology, IT directors and managers, network and storage managers, network engineers, enterprise architects, communications and networking specialists, directors of infrastructure Business Executives including CEOs, CMOs, CIOs, presidents, VPs, directors, business development; product and purchasing managers.


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@CloudExpo Blogs
Video Blog: DevOps and Hybrid Cloud - A Solution Overview. Containers and microservices have become topics of intense interest throughout the cloud developer and enterprise IT communities. Microservices focuses on the business and technology of the software architecture design pattern, in which complex applications are composed of small, independent processes communicating with each other using language-agnostic APIs. Containers are not being considered for the first time by the cloud community, but a current era of re-consideration has pushed them to the top of the cloud agenda.
This week we're attending SYS-CON Event's DevOps Summit in New York City. It's a great conference and energy behind DevOps is enormous. Thousands of attendees from every company you can imagine are focused on automation, the challenges of DevOps, and how to bring greater agility to software delivery. But, even with the energy behind DevOps there's something missing from the movement. For all the talk of deployment automation, continuous integration, and cloud infrastructure I'm still not seeing an adequate roadmap for how DevOps aligns with the larger organization. DevOps is about deliver...
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Almost every functional department in a business is thinking about how the cloud applies to them. The benefits are clear – it is easier for geographically diverse teams to access and collaborate over data, it is convenient for users, and it can cost far less. When it comes to performance testing, the benefits of the cloud are very compelling. All that load you need to generate to truly test your application can come from external, elastic, on-demand sources. You don’t have to build it out yourself. However, you may also perceive some challenges that might prevent you from conducting load test...
Tech Giant Amazon recently announced that it will pay writers only for the pages that are actually read rather that for the purchase of an entire book. This is probably the biggest change that the world of publishing has ever seen, right after the invention of the printing press maybe, that fundamentally changes how books are consumed. This exactly is the Consumption Cloud Economy! The concept of offering services and solutions in a way where they are consumed to the best of capabilities, where end users pay only for what they use and where vendors and suppliers are paid only for what is actu...
The combined impact of the consumerization of technology, cloud, mobile and the Internet of Things (IoT) is ushering in a new era of information management that will change the face of ECM (Enterprise Content Management) as we know it. Cloud, mobile and IoT together have accelerated a mighty upheaval in the technology landscape as more content enters the enterprise than ever before – leaving enterprises struggling to manage it effectively. The modern ECM platform is required to scan, store data, manage work flow, business process and compliance. Mobile, Analytics, Cloud and Collaborative (MA...
The last decade was about virtual machines, but the next one is about containers. Containers enable a service to run on any host at any time. Traditional tools are starting to show cracks because they were not designed for this level of application portability. Now is the time to look at new ways to deploy and manage applications at scale. In his session at 16th Cloud Expo, Jake Moshenko, Product Manager at CoreOS, examined how CoreOS + Quay.io fit into the development lifecycle from pushing git changes all the way through to running in production. Attendees will understand how different comp...
SecuritySolutionsWatch.com: Thank you for joining us today, Derek. Can you please give us an overview of your background? Derek Gabbard: It’s a pleasure to be with you today. Before coming to SRC and working to help launch FourV Systems, I worked in the information and network security world for almost 20 years. I was a founder of Lookingglass Cyber Solutions, a cyber-threat intelligence product company, and spent a number of years working at the Computer Emergency Readiness Team (CERT) in the Software Engineering Institute at Carnegie Mellon University. I got my start in this career field in...
Where’s my data? Not in the ‘where did I leave my glasses’ sort of way, but rather thinking of data resilience, a key concern for many businesses putting their data and applications in the cloud. It’s especially crucial in light of the recent EMC Global Data Protection Index, which showed that almost two thirds of companies surveyed suffered disruption due to data loss and unplanned downtime—losing as much as $1.7 trillion.” That’s a staggering number, larger than the GDP of many countries. That’s why, when assessing their operational problems – be that those caused by people (e.g. users de...
Data center models are changing. A variety of technical trends and business demands are forcing that change, most of them centered on the explosive growth of applications. That means, in turn, that the requirements for application delivery are changing. Certainly application delivery needs to be agile, not waterfall. It needs to deliver services in hours, not weeks or months. It needs to be more cost efficient. And more than anything else, it needs to be really, dc infra axisreally, super focused on applications. Especially those services that are particularly application affine. You know the...
I recently attended and presented at the east coast version of the Jenkins User Conference held this year in Washington, DC. The weather certainly fit the theme of the conference: The heat was continuous. The humidity was fully integrated with the heat. And, most importantly as you can see above, SWAG was out in full force. Right from the opening keynote by the founder of Jenkins, Kohsuke Kawaguchi, this conference was jam-packed with all the latest capabilities of Jenkins, including discussions around the new capabilities like workflow, and several sessions on Linux containers, micro-servi...
In this final blog on the DevOps CALMS model, we end on S for Sharing. Now I have to be honest, the first time I saw the CALMS model I initially questioned whether ‘Sharing' was really needed. I mean, surely with the right ‘Culture', then this would ensure sharing anyway? Even in my blog on culture I mentioned the need to shift from organizational silos to a collaborative model - which must include sharing, right? Well yes it does, but sharing (or collaboration) is really the core value of DevOps adoption. Without sharing, you can forget about having the right culture, your employees acceptin...
For some, SDN was about operational efficiency; about driving more stability and consistency out of the processes that push applications through the app deployment pipeline into production. For others, it was really about financial efficiency - the drive to lower capital expenditures. And for yet others it was about efficient use of time - speed - in getting apps to market faster. All had at their root this common theme - efficiency. IT and indeed businesses today are experiencing rapid and sometimes unexpected growth driven by demand for mobile applications and the introduction of things int...
As virtualized and cloud systems are so prevalent and integral to data storage, the need to migrate data from a legacy storage system to a virtual or cloud-based one is inevitable. But, here’s the rub: migrating data is a lot harder than you might think, despite all the marketing noise about smooth transitions, ease-of-use, and turnkey solutions. While the term ‘cloud’ means many things to many people, I believe it refers to a large-scale virtualized data center that has numerous clusters of VMware or other hypervisor host servers connected to a SAN storage farm with petabytes of data.
I just read a new booklet from O’Reilly called The Software Paradox by Stephen O’Grady. You can access it here. Here is a direct quote: “This is the Software Paradox: the most powerful disruptor we have ever seen and the creator of multibillion-dollar net new markets is being commercially devalued, daily. Just as the technology industry was firmly convinced in 1981 that the money was in hardware, not software, the industry today is largely built on the assumption that the real revenue is in software. The evidence, however, suggests that software is less valuable—in the commercial sense—than ...
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Cloud Expo 2011 Allstar Conference Faculty

S.F.S.
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Oracle

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AWS

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NYT

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Oracle

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