42on looking back on 2022

42on looking back on 2022

42on looking back on 2022, by Wout van Heeswijk

Now that the end of the year is near, Fairbanks and 42on like to reminisce a little on the past year. To do this from multiple perspectives we have interviewed some of our colleagues.

Earlier this week we published the interview with Eric Kessels (CTO of Fairbanks). You can find this blog here: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/what-our-cto-thinks-2022-michiel-manten .

But in this blog you can read the interview we held with Wout van Heeswijk, responsible for Ceph engineering and services at 42on. You can read about his thoughts in regards of the best Ceph moments of this year, what developments he would like to see in the next year, what was the most surprising Ceph case and more.

What did you find the most remarkable within the Ceph project in 2022? 
I was very surprised to hear about the change within IBM and Red Hat to put Ceph under IBM storage. For instance, in a growth announcement, IBM said it would transfer Red Hat Ceph Storage (RHCS) and Red Hat OpenShift Data Foundation (ODF) to the IBM Storage Hybrid Cloud Data Storage Platform. According to IBM, Red Hat Storage associates will transfer to IBM, while indicating no plans to reduce staffing.

According to IBM, this move will bring consistent application and data storage across on-premises infrastructure and cloud environments. IBM will use the same storage technologies from the Red Had OpenShift Data Foundation just as the foundation for IBM Spectrum Fusion does, offering clients IBM data services and accelerating its capabilities in the Kubernetes platform market.

There is some controversy in the Ceph community around this move. But I am not worried about this. I think this is a very special development within the Ceph community, in fact I think it will provide even more traction within the Ceph project. That said: That IBM decides to link its name to Ceph; confirms the fact that Ceph can be considered a mature product. And I am very proud of that.

What Ceph development of 2022 do you like mostly? 
What I personally think is a very good development is that the Ceph community is continuing to focus on container technology and Cephadm. Cephadm manages the full lifecycle of a Ceph cluster. The stability and quality are increasing as a result.

What was a particular Ceph challenge this year? 
In particular there was a case with a client where the Ceph Monitors ran on the Ceph cluster itself. We concluded that the environment could not be saved, and a new healthy environment had to be built. It really intrigued me, because I didn’t know you could set up a production Ceph environment this way. We have never experienced this before.

While working on this case, my thoughts went from: ‘How on earth do you get into this situation?’ And later onto: ‘How can we help the customer to get out of this with as little damage as possible?’ Eventually we got to a point where everyone understanded that it just was not possible to make the Ceph cluster healthy again. This was quite confrontational towards the customer.

So, what intrigued me from this whole case was the impact of this small mistake, that eventually had huge consequences. It showed us once more how important it is to start with a well-thought-out and well-built architecture from the very beginning.

We previously wrote a blog about 5 ways to break your Ceph cluster. After this we wrote another article; 5 more ways to break your Ceph cluster. With this case we found 1 more way to break your Ceph cluster, to add to that list.

Apart from Ceph, what was your most positive experience in 2022? 
I really enjoyed the trainings we gave. During the trainings I see passionate technicians come together and take great pleasure in acquiring knowledge, but also in sharing that knowledge with the rest of the group. I learn a lot from this myself each time.

Moreover, I also experienced the further expansion of the Ceph team very positively. Speaking of passionate technicians; In addition, I find it very interesting how we are constantly challenged by new customer cases. This is our intrinsic motivation through which our company radiates who we are.

What development would you like to see for Ceph next year? 
At the moment we are doing some things for the community, but I would like to see us do even more for the Ceph community. I would also like to visit more events, especially in Europe. I find it very interesting to be more involved in the Ceph project and to talk to more people about the experiences and developments.

That was the interview with Wout van Heeswijk, responsible for Ceph engineering and services at 42on. It was very interesting to me to gain his perspective on the past year. What do you think of it, do you recognize yourself in his point of view? Would you like to add something yourself? Let us know in the comment section.