A brief history on Ceph

A brief history on Ceph

A brief history on Ceph 2560 1440 Michiel Manten

Ceph has emerged as the leading distributed storage platform. By using commodity hardware and software-defined controls, Ceph has proven its worth as an answer to the scaling data needs of today’s businesses.

Ceph is a software-defined storage solution designed to address the object, block, and file storage needs of data centres adopting open source as the new norm for high-growth block storage, object stores and data lakes.

It allows storage to scale seamlessly. When properly deployed and configured, it is capable of streamlining data allocation and redundancy. Automated rebalancing ensures that data is protected in the event of hardware loss. New servers can be added to an existing cluster in a timely and cost-efficient manner. Fast and accurate read and write capabilities along with its high-throughput capacity make Ceph a popular choice for today’s object, block and file storage needs.

Back to the beginning. Ceph was conceived by Sage Weil during his doctoral studies at University of California in Santa Cruz. Weil realized that the accepted system of the time, Lustre, presented a “storage ceiling” due to the finite number of storage targets it could configure. Weil designed Ceph to use a nearly-infinite quantity of nodes to achieve petabyte-level storage capacity. Decentralized request management would improve performance by processing requests on individual nodes. In 2004, Weil founded the Ceph open source project to accomplish these goals. He released the first version 2006, and refined Ceph after founding his web hosting company in 2007.

The initial implementation provided the Ceph Filesystem (CephFS) in approximately 40,000 lines of C++ code. This was open sourced in 2006 under a Lesser GNU Public License (LGPL) to serve as a reference implementation and research platform. Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory supported Sage’s early follow-up work from 2003 to 2007.

DreamHost, a Los-Angeles-based web hosting and domain registrar company also co-founded by Sage Weil, supported Ceph development from 2007 to 2011. During this period Ceph as we know it took shape: the core components gained stability and reliability, new features were also added. In 2012 Inktank Storage was founded by Sage Weil and Bryan Bogensberger which back then was the lead development contributor and financial sponsor company behind the open source Ceph distributed file system. Inktank was initially funded by DreamHost, Citrix and Mark Shuttleworth. In 2014 Inktank was acquired by Red Hat.

In October 2015, the Ceph Community Advisory Board was formed to assist the community in driving the direction of open source software-defined storage technology. The charter advisory board includes Ceph community members from global IT organizations that are committed to the Ceph project, including individuals from Red Hat, Intel, Canonical, CERN, Cisco, Fujitsu, SanDisk, and SUSE.

Ceph is a truly amazing storage platform used by enterprises all over the world; whether they are using private cloud solutions like OpenStack and Kubernetes or they are integrating it with AWS S3, we see different use cases every day. Ceph keeps improving itself, every year Ceph releases new versions of its software in order to ensure good maintenance and improvements. Driven by an active community you will never find yourself alone in the Ceph world. Our own Ceph engineers are actively involved in the Ceph community to support users all over the world.

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