Red Hat today announces the release of Inktank Ceph Enterprise 1.2, the storage platform that Red Hat acquired in April 2014. Inktank Ceph delivers object and block storage for cloud storage use cases, with a specific focus to date on storage solutions for OpenStack deployments. Today’s release features the addition of erasure coding functionality that allows customers to more cost effectively store replicas of storage objects by using a mathematical technique that transforms an object defined by k variables into n variables, where n > k. Erasure coding breaks data into constituent components and subsequently delocalizes the fragments across different storage platforms in a way that circumvents the necessity of storing exact replicas of the storage objects in question. The addition of erasure coding reduces the cost of storage per GB, thereby rendering Inktank Ceph more affordable for customers that have massive amounts of structured or unstructured data. Additionally, Inktank Ceph Enterprise 1.2 features Cache Tiering functionality that moves hot data to high performance storage devices when needed, and cold data to lower performance devices. With today’s release, Inktank Ceph embraces a range of use cases over and beyond storage solutions for OpenStack deployments such as the storage of massive amounts of unstructured data for customers with high volumes of document-based, textual or media content. Inktank Ceph also supports Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform 5 and thereby allows Red Hat to deliver an integrated OpenStack solution based on technology from one vendor. In conjunction with enhancements to Calamari, the platform’s management console, Inktank Ceph 1.2 positions itself as a cost-effective storage platform that is able to manage an increasing variety of customer use cases.
OpenStack Grizzly was launched on April 4, 2013 and contains over 230 new features that enhance the OpenStack platform’s computing power and ability to integrate with other technologies. The release was enabled by the collective work of 517 contributors who merged 7,620 software patches. More than 45 companies employed developers that contributed to the release including Red Hat, Rackspace, IBM, HP, Nebula, Intel, eNovance, Canonical, VMware, Cloudscaling, DreamHost and SINA. Given that OpenStack is used in production environments by the likes of Best Buy, Comcast, CERN, HP, NSA and Samsung, the Grizzly release focused on supporting the day to day operational work required to manage IaaS platforms based on OpenStack distributions.
Key features of Grizzly include the following:
•Support for VMware ESX and Microsoft Hyper-V hypervisors, whereas previously OpenStack had focused on the KVM and Xen hypervisors.
•Support for bare metal provisioning
•Enhanced OpenStack compute scalability by means of “cells” that manage distributed clusters alongside a design that reduces the centrality of a core database via a “NoDB” architecture
•Enhanced ability to automate the management of storage platforms by means of quotas
•Ability to manage diverse storage platforms from a central point of access
•Support for additional third party storage solutions such as Ceph/RBD, Coraid, EMC, Hewlett-Packard, Huawei, IBM, NetApp, Red Hat/Gluster, SolidFire and Zadara.
•Advanced support for software defined networking (SDN) that allows users to write rules to configure networking infrastructures from a broad array of virtualized networking platforms that now includes Big Switch, Hyper-V, PlumGrid, Brocade and Midonet. Previously, OpenStack had supported the Open vSwitch, Cisco UCS/Nexus, Linux Bridge, Nicira, Ryu OpenFlow, and NEC OpenFlow SDN platforms.
Jonathon Bryce, Executive Director of the OpenStack Foundation, remarked on the maturity of the OpenStack software development process as follows:
The Grizzly release is a clear indication of the maturity of the OpenStack software development process, as contributors continue to produce a stable, scalable and feature-rich platform for building public, private and hybrid clouds. The community delivered another packed release on schedule, attracting contributions from some of the brightest technologists across virtualisation, storage, networking, security, and systems engineering. They are not only solving the complex problems of cloud, but driving the entire technology industry forward.
Here, Bryce notes how OpenStack Grizzly features important enhancements across a wide range of attributes such as virtualization, storage and networking. Central to these enhancements is a significant increase in OpenStack’s ability to integrate with other virtualization, storage and networking vendors in ways that dramatically enhance the attractiveness of the OpenStack product given the inherent heterogeneity of enterprise IT platforms. Expect subsequent releases to add more orchestration and automation to the OpenStack platform, most likely beginning with the Havana release in October 2013.