Ceph improves Red Hat support in new release
The third stable release of the Ceph distributed storage platform, named the "Cuttlefish" edition, has enhanced Red Hat support and improvements to make it easier to deploy. Ceph, which is developed by Inktank, offers a distributed system that can be presented to users as an object storage system, a block storage system, or as a POSIX compatible filesystem. Ceph 0.61 now has RHEL 6.0 tested packages for Red Hat Enterprise Linux available from the Ceph site and in the EPEL (Extra Packages For Enterprise Linux) repository; the company says it is discussing with Red Hat the possibility of including Ceph in a future RHEL.
Enhancements in Ceph 0.61 include switching completely to ceph-deploy, a new standalone install tool that can set up and start a multi-node cluster "in minutes"; Inktank says that this should make proof-of-concept installations easier too. For other deployment options, new reference Chef recipes are now available for deploying clusters, adding to the existing contributed Puppet scripts, Dell Crowbar Barclamps, and Canonical's Juju charms. Inktank says that it is committing to keep the Chef recipes authoritative and up to date with new features.
Administrators will find that they are able to create, modify and delete users of the Object storage side through a RESTful API on the Object Gateway; the same enhancement also lets administrators audit and control the users' storage and should find a use in hooking Ceph into billing systems. There's also support for quotas on the RADOS pool and the ability to view capacity used with a new
ceph df command which works like the Unix
df command. There's also the ability to snapshot recent changes into a block image, reducing space needed for cluster snapshots; this is planned to be used as a foundation of OpenStack and CloudStack disaster recovery systems.
Full details of Ceph 0.61 are available in the release notes. A roadmap for future versions is available; it shows that although most of the goals for Cuttlefish were met, the planned on-disk encryption feature did not make it. The next release of Ceph, Dumpling, is scheduled for August 2013. Source code and packaged versions of Ceph for Debian, Ubuntu, RHEL 6, CentOS, Fedora 17, openSUSE 12 and SLES 11 are available from the download page at ceph.com, along with documentation and getting started guide. Ceph is licensed under the LGPL2.1.