Inktank Deepens Red Hat Integration in New Ceph Enterprise Release

Inktank launched Ceph Enterprise version 1.1 with deeper Red Hat support and also launched a new training program.

Inktank, the company delivering Ceph–a massively scalable, open source, software-defined storage system–has announced a release upgrade to Inktank Ceph Enterprise.

Inktank Ceph Enterprise 1.1 brings new features for Calamari graphical manager, and this release is now certified for Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform.

Inktank Ceph Enterprise combines the most stable version of Ceph for object and block storage with a graphical manager, enhanced integration tools, and support services, said Neil Levine, vice president of product management at Inktank. Version 1.1 is the first update since Inktank Ceph Enterprise launched in October 2013.

Inktank Ceph Enterprise 1.1’s certification to work with Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform makes the Inktank storage technology accessible to the growing number of businesses relying on open-source products such as Red Hat Enterprise Linux and exploring OpenStack. Red Hat's Enterprise Virtualization (RHEV), the commercial hypervisor product, is now also supported by Inktank, Levine said. More specifically, Ceph Enterprise v1.1 is now certified as a storage backend for RHEL-OSP 4.0 and RHEV 3.3 is now officially supported by Inktank as a hypervisor platform for Ceph’s Reliable, Autonomic Distributed Object Store (RADOS) Block Device.

“Broad, certified ecosystems are critical for enterprise adoption of any technology, and at Red Hat, we also believe these ecosystems are also essential because they enable customer choice,” said Mike Werner, senior director of Global Technology Partner Programs at Red Hat, in a statement. “Adding Inktank's newest release as a certified part of our Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform ecosystem gives our mutual customers confidence that our solutions work well together," he added.

Inktank upgraded the Calamari graphical manager to version 1.1, which features Input/Output Operations Per Second (IOPS) information, an improved dashboard and better graphing support. Calamari is an on-premise application with management tools and performance data that simplifies operational management and enables administrators to adapt to changes in their Ceph clusters.

“Calamari is a software platform that helps you manage our solution, we upgraded it to make it easier to use and to provide better performance data,” Levine said.

Inktank also announced a new version of open-source Ceph, a minor upgrade to version 0.67.5, which includes some back-ported fixes from the “Emperor” version of Ceph.

Inktank Ceph Enterprise’s storage technology enables enterprises to become cost-efficient and cloud-ready by offering full integrations with OpenStack, Apache CloudStack and common hypervisors, access to modern management tools, and the ability to consolidate storage infrastructure. The solution is priced to future-proof enterprises’ storage infrastructure so they can start with block storage and grow into object storage or vice versa, depending on their needs, the company said.

“Enterprises are quickly adopting transformational, open-source technologies backed by companies like Red Hat and Inktank to meet their quickly evolving IT infrastructure needs,” said Bryan Bogensberger, CEO of Inktank, in a statement.

In a blog post about the new version of Ceph Enterprise, Levine said Inktank took a cue from its Fortune 500 customers to deliver the update that offers deeper support for the Red Hat ecosystem.

"With Ceph solidifying its place as the No. 1 distributed block storage option for OpenStack and Inktank Ceph Enterprise being part of the storage strategy for major enterprises, we’re excited to allow businesses the opportunity to break free from expensive and proprietary legacy vendors and enjoy radical improvements in the economics and management of their storage,” he said.

Meanwhile, in response to growing demand for education on becoming a Ceph expert, Inktank also announced the launch of Inktank University, a training program designed to meet the education needs of Inktank customers and the Ceph community. The courses, offered both virtually and in-person, enable users to learn the implementation, operation and maintenance of Ceph systems in an instructor-led classroom setting.

“Inktank University is a response to the overwhelming demand for knowledge about Ceph, and only the Inktank team has the unique expertise required to develop and deliver it,” Bogensberger said. “Inktank’s course offering represents our commitment to providing the best possible training for Ceph and we will continue to expand our program in the direction that will best satisfy our customers and the community.”

Through Inktank University, new Ceph users can learn the basics of Ceph, how it can be deployed with OpenStack and how it can be properly maintained.

Since originally launching its training program in 2012, Inktank has expanded its course library and added its first virtual course. Inktank University students will leave with a technical understanding of the Ceph distributed storage system and the advantages of Ceph in OpenStack, and will gain hands-on experience implementing Ceph in various use cases. The current curriculum includes:

· CEPH100: Ceph Fundamentals

· CEPH110: Ceph Operations and Tuning

· CEPH120: Ceph and OpenStack

· CEPH130: Ceph - Unified Storage for OpenStack