Red Hatters intro Ceph 3: OpenStacked, object-stored, containertastic filer blockhead

Red Hat’s v3.0 Ceph storage software adds iSCSI block, POSIX file and containerisation support to the object storage core, making it a unified protocol storage software product.

Red Hat Ceph Storage 3 is based on the open source Luminous project and provides:

  • iSCSI support and thus block storage,
  • POSIX-compliant and scale-out file support with CephFS,
  • Deployability in Linux containers,
  • New GUI based on Ceph Metrics product,
  • Dynamic bucket sharding.

RHC3 has an iSCSI gateway, which presents itself as an uSCSI target exporting RADOS Block Device (RBD) images as SCSI disks. RADOS is the underlying Ceph object store. This gateway was previewed in Red Hat Ceph Storage 2.1.

Clients (accessing servers or initiators) send SCSI commands to SCSI target devices across a TCP/IP network. Red Hat says
that, with this feature, “you can effectively run a fully integrated block-storage infrastructure with all features and benefits of a conventional Storage Area Network (SAN).”

Red Hat advises the use of two nodes running the iSCSI gateway to provide high availability.

CephFS is a shared file system and was also previewed in v2 Ceph. It uses a Ceph storage cluster to store file data, with a cluster of Ceph Metadata Servers(MDS) providing high availability. It has a Ceph FUSE client which can set quotas on a directory in the system.

Red Hat Ceph Storage 1.3 previewed deploying Ceph in containers and now it’s become part of the mainstream product. The Red Hatters say that by running Ceph storage containers alongside application containers you don’t need a separate storage infrastructure and so save money.

A web-based GUI has a dozen or more dashboards. The dynamic bucket sharding means Ceph admins no longer have to manually deal with bucket indices that have reached a limit. These indices will now be automatically sharded as the number of objects in a bucket grows.

A canned quote from Ranga Rangachari, Red Hat’s storage VP and general manager, claimed that: “With this release, Red Hat lays the groundwork for all software-based storage services to be delivered as containers in the future.”

Red Hat has also announced its Red Hat OpenStack Platform 12, which is based on the OpenStack “Pike” release, and introduces containerized OpenStack services. It is naturally integrated with Red Hat Ceph Storage 3, which is expected to be generally available this month. ®

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