Every year since 2012, the Ceph community (now supported by Red Hat after the Inktank acquisition) has been running day long workshops in all corners of the world to educate, promote and foster understanding of Ceph.
These events provide a platform for all interested Ceph Developers and Users to meet, share information and to help achieve the project objectives of providing a massively scalable, open source, software-defined storage system that will radically improve the economics and management of enterprise data storage.
Here at System Professional, we got very interested in the project in 2012 due to the obvious benefits of a combined Object, Block and File storage platform that would allow us to drive down the cost of our hosting operations, pass on cost savings to clients and allow us to develop a best of breed hosting service that included free replication (amongst other benefits), yet still be able to provide a super-resilient service with the right performance to boot.
So since 2012, we have been tracking Ceph development closely and our attendance at (our) first Ceph Day in London 2014 really demonstrated to us that this was a real project and a real product with serious interest from large-scale clients such as CERN and Yahoo!.
In 2014 we built our first Ceph cluster in our DR site and it has been operational ever since we simply ramp up our implementation every time we need to bolt on additional storage.
From the early days, we have seen the community expand massively – the development “muscle” has increased (to over 300 contributors of which 60-ish are full time on the project) along with client uptake to the point where now not only Academia and Research organisations (who were the early adopters for the project originally due to massive scalable data requirements) are using the technology, but also commercial giants such as Ebay, Yahoo!, Pinterest and a whole bunch of Banking institutions in the US.
So, on the 14th June, our small System Professional delegation made the short hop to Geneva to attend this years’ European Ceph Day which was held at CERN. Obviously, the decision to attend was a bit of a no brainer as we are always excited to meet the Senior Ceph team (including the founder Sage Weil and Patrick McGarry – who heads up the project from a Red Hat perspective) along with some of the projects’ more “heavy users” such as the team from CERN who are doing pretty much everything on a massive scale! The additional bonus that we would be hanging out directly on top of the LHC experiment clinched the deal – pure geek heaven!
Let’s just say the event didn’t disappoint. We heard presentations from a wide variety of Ceph community members and it was interesting to see how much uptake the project has now got both from Users, the Open Source community but also hardware vendors who clearly see the momentum the project has now got and don’t want to be left behind in the Software defined storage world.
You can read all about the event and see the presentations at https://indico.cern.ch/event/542464/timetable/
But in terms of (my) personal highlights and key observations;