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All About CEPH Storage

With the rise of modern workloads namely cloud infrastructure, media repositories, data analytics, backup and restore systems require a massive storage solution to manage critical business data. To cater such needs, Ceph storage comes with a scalable, open, software-defined storage platform. Ceph has the ability to transform your organization’s IT infrastructure by freeing you from the expensive lock-in of proprietary to manage the vast amount of data. Let’s explore in detail what is Ceph storage.


What Is Ceph?


Ceph is an open-source, unified, distributed software storage solution that provides a scalable and reliable clustered storage solution under one whole system. To run on a commodity hardware, storage clusters of Ceph are designed based on an algorithm known as CRUSH (Controlled Replication Under Scalable Hashing). This algorithm enables the even distribution of a large amount of data across the right clusters and sub-clusters. Such division of data simplifies the large data storage mechanism and also enables hassle-free data retrieval.

Ceph’s functioning as a storage system is made quite simple by making use of an object-based storage, block-based storage, and file system.



Block-Based Storage


It is possible to mount Ceph as a block device and can be attached to virtual machines or bare-metal Linux-based servers. The block component is known to be Reliable Autonomic Distributed Object Store (RADOS), which can provide block storage capabilities such as snapshots and replication. RADOS is integrated with OpenStack Block Storage to work as a back end.

Let’s take a look at the benefits of block-based storage


  • Potential to scale with Linux or other virtual machines
  • Thinly provisioned
  • Read-only and revert to snapshots
  • Resizable images

Object-Based Storage


Client applications possess the ability to directly access the RADOS object-based storage system through Ceph’s software libraries. Ceph object-based storage is an interface raised on the apex of librados to proffer applications with a tranquil gateway to Ceph storage clusters.

Let’s explore the interfaces supported by Ceph object storage


Swift Compatible


The object storage functionality is compatible with a large subset of the OpenStack Swift API.




The object storage functionality that is compatible with a large subset of the Amazon S3 REST API.


File System


Ceph’s file system provides object storage and block device interfaces by running on the top of same object storage system. The file storage of Ceph makes use of a compliant Ceph file system known as Portable Operating System Interface (POSIX) to store data in a Ceph storage cluster.

The metadata server cluster of Ceph carry out the function of mapping the directories and file names of the file system to objects stored within RADOS clusters. As metadata server cluster can expand or contract, they guarantee high performance by hindering heavy work loads on cluster hosts.

Let’s have a look on the benefits of Ceph’s file system


  • Automatic balancing of a file system to ensure maximum performance
  • Virtually unlimited storage
  • Guaranteed data security for critical applications
  • No customization is required to use file system CEPH FS with POSIX


How Is Ceph Storage Beneficial For Emerging IT Infrastructures?


To cope with the exponential data growth, organizations are on a massive search mission to find a solution that can effectively store large volumes of data at a reasonable cost. Read the rest of the article to know how Ceph storage is beneficial for emerging IT infrastructures deploying a cloud technology.


Easy to Manage


Ceph facilitates to invariably scale without affecting the organization’s capital and operational expenditures. Starting from cluster rebalancing to error recovery, Ceph dumps work from clients by making use of distributed computing power of Ceph’s OSD. A Ceph node is incorporated with a commodity hardware, intelligent daemons, and Ceph storage clusters. They effectively replicate and dynamically re-distribute data through an effective communication. Ceph monitors continuously monitor these nodes to ensure high availability.


Scalable Storage Solution


Data distribution and replication is made possible by adopting a scalable storage solution. During data distribution, a hash function maps the objects into placement groups. They then use CRUSH to assist OSD’s in storing object replicas. Data is replicated in a phase of these placement groups each of which is mapped to an ordered list of OSDs.


Ensures Data Safety and Recovery


Ceph storage ensures data safety by safely replicating the data updates on a disk to tackle any sort of failures. Ceph monitoring promptly detects and resolves the abnormalities experienced in the distributed environment.  In addition to the safe data storage, Ceph also recovers clusters of data quickly.

To conclude, on the whole Ceph offers a holistic storage system by effectively addressing the scalability, reliability and performance issues and that’s why it is being widely chosen among the web hosting providers and businesses.


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