Ceph and OpenStack join forces

Dream Team

Article from Issue 165/2014
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When building cloud environments, you need more than just a scalable infrastructure, you also need a high-performance storage component. We look at Ceph, a distributed object store and filesystem that pairs well in the cloud with OpenStack.

No matter how overused the word "cloud" has become as a buzzword, it has had little effect on the cloud's popularity, especially in the enterprise: OpenNebula, openQRM, and Eucalyptus are all examples of enterprise clouds. However, no solution has enjoyed the kind of attention received by OpenStack, which resulted from a collaboration of the US space agency NASA and the US hosting service provider Rackspace.

In the past two years, the project has evolved from the underdog to the standard; OpenStack conferences attract far more visitors than many traditional community events. Even the leaders of the OpenStack Foundation [1] are surprised by the success, and companies even evaluate their cloud solutions with a preference for OpenStack (see the box "OpenStack in the Enterprise").

The Touchy Topic of Storage

When admins plan to set up in the cloud, they must deal with the topic of storage. Traditional storage systems are not sufficient in cloud computing because of two factors: scalability and automation. An admin can include classic storage in automated processes, whereas the issue of scalability can be more difficult to manage: Once a SAN is in the rack, any potential expansion is often expensive – if it is even feasible.

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