Monday, November 7, 2011

CEPH in Ubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin

While at UDS (the Ubuntu Developer Summit), I attended a very interesting session on CEPH. I hadn't even heard of CEPH a week ago but I have to say that I'm impressed.

If you haven't heard of CEPH, let me give you some background:

CEPH is a distributed network storage system originally created by the folks at DreamHost. At it's most basic, CEPH stores small blocks (default 4MB) across a cluster of unreliable nodes. This is common in many modern NoSQL stores these days: no "master node" or single point of failure, easy to add more nodes, replication of data across different nodes.

On top of this basic capability, CEPH adds an S3-compatible object store and an EBS-style block device store.

The distributed block storage support has great potential.  Coming up in Ubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin, the block storage driver will be integrated into the kernel and also integrated into KVM.  This provides an impressive capability to run virtual machines with CEPH blockstore root devices, offering resilient storage and snapshot support for home-grown clouds. OpenStack has supported CEPH block stores since the Cactus release.  Ubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin will ship with OpenStack Essex which will have the latest CEPH block device storage.

For more information on CEPH, take a look at their website: http://ceph.newdream.net/

Enjoy!