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Command and Control

The Red Hat Ceph Storage 4 Dashboard changes the game

with Paul Cuzner (Red Hat)

Ease of use was a key development theme for Red Hat Ceph Storage 4. In our last post, we covered the role that the new install UI plays in enabling administrators to deploy Ceph Storage 4 in a simple and guided manner, without prior Ceph expertise.

Simplifying installation is only the first step—the second step is simplifying day-to-day management. To meet this challenge, Ceph Storage 4 introduces a new graphical user interface called the Dashboard.

Ceph Storage Dashboard architecture

Ceph Storage 4 delivers a new web based User Interface (UI) to simplify and to a certain extent, de-mystify, the day-to-day management of a Ceph cluster. The UI has been developed to exploit the pluggable architecture of Ceph, consisting of:

  • A Python backend providing stable API services and Ceph cluster integration
  • ...

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Installing Ceph the Easy-Peasy Way

with Paul Cuzner (Red Hat)

Lowering the bar to installing Ceph

The last few years have seen Ceph continue to mature in stability, scale and performance to become the leading open source storage platform. However, getting started with Ceph has typically involved the administrator learning automation products like Ansible first. While learning Ansible brings its own rewards, wouldn’t it be great if you could simply skip this step and just get on with learning and using Ceph?

The upcoming Red Hat Ceph Storage 4 introduces a GUI installation tool built on top of the Cockpit web console. Under the covers, we still rely on the latest iteration of the same trusted ceph-ansible installation flows that have been with us since 2016. The new install UI guides users with no prior Ceph knowledge to build clusters ready for use by providing sensible defaults and making the right choices without...

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Refreshingly Luminous

After an almost seven month team effort focusing on our next-generation Rook and Ceph Nautilus-based storage products, we have taken a little bit of time to refresh the releases currently in production. We are pleased to announce the availability of Red Hat Ceph Storage 3.3, our sixteenth RHCS release.


Red Hat Ceph Storage 3.3 delivers the latest Luminous upstream release and a number of important bug fixes to customers. Two noteworthy new features include an Object Gateway front-end capable of serving more requests with fewer resources, and standard support for 12 TB disk drives.

Least but not last, we are introducing an extended lifecycle option, bringing Ceph support options to a full five years. Oh, one more thing: one billion objects. Read on!


Red Hat Ceph Storage 3.3 continues our record of delivering the latest bits of Ceph technology while ensuring we maintain the...

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Peccary Book Part Deux!

Amazon Web Services Guide de l’administrateur système — sounds familiar? It should! AWS System Administration, better known as the Peccary Book is now available in French.

Our thanks to monsieur Olivier Engler for his outstanding translation work, featuring both detailed feedback and a timely delivery.


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The Ceph monitoring challenge: Prometheus, Grafana, and Ansible rise to the task

with Paul Cuzner (Red Hat)

Managing growth in applications and infrastructure is a significant challenge for many organizations as they scale. Every new application or server that’s added to the environment serves a business requirement, so keeping services usable in today’s 24x7x365 world represents both a challenge and an opportunity to meet a higher service level agreement (SLA).

In part 1 of this series, we discussed a SAAS solution to monitor your Ceph storage infrastructure. In this post, we continue the discussion by talking about how Prometheus, Grafana, and Ansible can rise to the challenge of Ceph monitoring.

Understanding the Ceph monitoring challenge

In the past, monitoring a service typically resulted in separate platforms. In today’s enterprise architectures, however, this is both undesirable and operationally impractical. Today’s monitoring fabrics must span legacy...

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To the Bat Cluster! Setting Up Enterprise Linux for ARM

with Josh Everett (Red Hat) and Massimo Moran (ARM)

Have Cluster, Will Travel

The Dragon Propulsion Laboratory examined in depth the excellent X-Gene ARM chips that were an early entrant on the ARM 64-bit scene and enabled so much of the software-side Linux OS development on ARMv8. More recently, we built a custom cluster in cooperation with Wayne Enterprises that we affectionately refer to as our “Bat Cluster”. In this third blog, we are moving back to the software side of the equation, setting up Red Hat Enterprise Linux on the Bat Cluster itself.

Enterprise Bits

Red Hat Enterprise Linux introduced full support for 64-bit ARM with release 7.4 in November of 2017, and while there are many flavors of Linux on ARM, only something as robust and secure as RHEL would do for a sophisticated user like Wayne Enterprises!

The most commonplace strategy for board bring-up on ARM development boards is to use a PXE...

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Infrastructure monitoring as a service

a SAAS solution to monitor your Ceph storage infrastructure

With Ilan Rabinovitch (Datadog)

Monitoring a Distributed System

Red Hat Ceph Storage is a highly scalable, fault-tolerant platform for object, block, and file storage that delivers tremendous data resiliency (we default to keeping three copies of a customer’s data at all times), with service availability capable of enduring the loss of a single drive, of a cluster node, or even of an entire rack of storage without users experiencing any interruption. Like its resiliency, Ceph’s ability to scale to an unprecedented degree is another outcome of its distributed architecture.

Distributed systems architectures break with the common assumptions made by most traditional monitoring tools in defining the health of an individual device or service. In a somewhat obvious example, Nagios’ Red/Green host (or drive) health status tracking...

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BlueStore Unleashed

Red Hat Ceph Storage 3.2 brings a new round of enhancements

We are pleased to announce today’s immediate availability of Red Hat Ceph Storage 3.2, our fifteenth RHCS release. There are several highlights with this version, the most notable of which is the introduction of full support for BlueStore. As you definitely already know, BlueStore delivers very significant performance improvements to all Ceph users.

Luminous Logo


Red Hat Ceph Storage 3.2 introduces GA support for the next-generation BlueStore backend. BlueStore delivers a 2X performance improvement for clusters that are HDD-backed, as it removes the so-called double-write penalty that IO-limited storage devices (like hard disk drives) are most affected by. Additionally, BlueStore provides significant performance enhancements in all-SSD configurations, as detailed in our recent whitepaper with Micron. The key highlights of an...

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The Mustang Rides Again

Revisiting the Mustang board two years later, we learned that a few things have changed, and use three of them to build a test storage cluster to try Ceph on ARM — doing a little benchmarking while we are at it.

A New Breed

A newer revision of the Mustang EVK X-Gene 1 development board has relocated some of its ports and added a few more capabilities. The classic board we discussed at length in a previous blog is now identified with the model number 3PBx, whereas the new ones are part of the 3PCx series.

Relocated Ports.jpg

The SATA ports have moved, as you can see in the picture stacking a new board over the older one, and two ethernet ports and the SD card slot have traded places. Besides these cosmetic changes, an additional serial port has been brought out to a connector as UART1 and placed right above good old UART0.


A more substantial change is the adoption of a new UEFI firmware made by...

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Storage for Data Platforms in 10 minutes

OpenStack Summit Banner

Kyle Bader and I teamed up to deliver a quick (and hopefully painless) review of what types of storage your Big Data strategy needs to succeed alongside the better-understood (and more traditional) existing approaches to structured data.

Data platform engineers need to receive support from both the Compute and the Storage infrastructure teams to deliver. We look at how the public cloud, and Amazon AWS in particular, tackle these challenges and what are the equivalent technology strategies in OpenStack and Ceph.

F2 in demo session

Tradeoffs between IO latency, availability of storage space, cost and IO performance lead to storage options fragmenting into three broad solution areas: network-backed persistent block, application-focused object storage (also network based), and directly-attached low-latency NVME storage for highest-performance scratch and overflow space.

Ideally, the infrastructure...

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