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Linux Foundation Launches Ceph Foundation

November 13, 2018

Over 30 global technology leaders are forming a new foundation to support the Ceph open source project community. The Ceph project develops a unified distributed storage system providing applications with object, block, and file system interfaces.

Founding Premier members of Ceph Foundation include Amihan, Canonical, China Mobile, DigitalOcean, Intel, OVH, ProphetStor Data Services, Red Hat, SoftIron, SUSE, Western Digital, XSKY Data Technology, and ZTE. The Ceph Foundation will organize and distribute financial contributions in a coordinated, vendor-neutral fashion for immediate community benefit. This will help galvanize rapid adoption, training and in-person collaboration across the Ceph ecosystem.

“Ceph has a long track record of success when it comes to helping organizations with effectively managing high growth and expanding data storage demands,” said Jim Zemlin, Executive Director of the Linux Foundation. “Under the Linux Foundation, the Ceph Foundation will be able to harness investments from a much broader group to help support the infrastructure needed to continue the success and stability of the Ceph ecosystem.”

Ceph is used by cloud providers and enterprises around the world, including financial institutions (Bloomberg, Fidelity), cloud service providers (Rackspace, Linode), academic and government institutions (Massachusetts Open Cloud), telecommunications infrastructure providers (Deutsche Telekom), auto manufacturers (BMW), software solution providers (SAP, Salesforce), and many more.

Ceph is also used by Rook, a Cloud Native Computing Foundation project that brings seamless provisioning of file, block and object storage services into the Kubernetes environment, running the Ceph storage infrastructure in containers alongside applications that are consuming that storage.

Efficient, agile, and massively scalable, Ceph significantly lowers the cost of storing enterprise information in the private cloud and provides high availability to any object, file, and block data. Unstructured data makes up 80% and more of enterprise data, is growing at the rate of 55% to 65% per year, and is common with rich-media, predictive analytics, sensors, social networks, and satellite imagery.[1] Block and file storage are critical to any IT infrastructure organization and are important components of infrastructure platforms like OpenStack and Kubernetes. According to recent user surveys, roughly two-thirds of OpenStack clouds use Ceph block storage.

The growth of new cloud, container and artificial intelligence/machine learning applications are driving increased use of Ceph. For example, Ceph combined with analytics and machine learning enables enterprises to comb through mass amounts of unstructured data to quickly spot patterns with customer behavior, online customer conversations and potential noncompliance scenarios.

The Ceph Foundation is the successor framework to the Ceph Advisory Board, which was formed in 2015.

“A guiding vision for Ceph is to be the state of the art for reliable, scale-out storage, and to do so with 100% open source,” said Sage Weil, Ceph co-creator, project leader, and chief architect at Red Hat for Ceph. “While early public cloud providers popularized self-service storage infrastructure, Ceph brings the same set of capabilities to service providers, enterprises, and individuals alike, with the power of a robust development and user community to drive future innovation in the storage space. Today’s launch of the Ceph Foundation is a testament to the strength of a diverse open source community coming together to address the explosive growth in data storage and services.”

“Ceph was designed and built for scalability, initially with supercomputers and later with cloud infrastructure in mind. A key design premise was that the storage system needs to provide a highly reliable and available service in a dynamic and increasingly heterogeneous hardware environment where everything can potentially fail,” said Carlos Maltzahn of University of California, Santa Cruz, a co-founder of the research project that first created Ceph over a decade ago.

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