The Hub

Software is made at the intersection of Technology and Management.

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Protecting the Galaxy: OpenStack DR with Ceph

The terrific trio composed of Sébastien Han, Sean Cohen and yours truly descended on Austin this week for the recurring ritual of the OpenStack Summit. Our mission: to save the galaxy – or at least your data. Séb and Sean covered architectural options for disaster recovery in OpenStack and I introduced the capabilities provided by Ceph’s newfangled RBD Mirroring feature in last week’s 10.2.0 (“Jewel”) release.

UPDATE: The recording of our OpenStack Summit session is now live on the OpenStack Foundation’s YouTube channel.

Our slides are available as a PDF and can be viewed inline below — we are including even our backup slides for additional Gory detail ™ value:

See you all in Barça this fall!

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Leap Ahead

It’s a fantastic thing that we made the release date, because otherwise we would have to wait for four more years — I had this quirky desire to release one of my products on February the 29th, and this year we finally made it happen! ;-)

Today we are pleased to launch the latest and greatest release of Red Hat Ceph Storage, upping the minor release number to 1.3.2.

Red Hat Storage

This is first and foremost a maintenance release including a number of bug fixes, but there are some features as well. First of all, we are rebasing on upstream Hammer 0.94.5 from the current .3, as always tracking the state of the art in Ceph’s LTS release development. Adding the extensive testing and bug fixing that gives Red Hat products their reputation for quality has been accomplished in efficient 8-week test and integration cycles during our last two point releases, giving customers a remarkably current product...

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Storage Day NYC

The Red Hat Ceph Storage roadmap

The Red Hat storage team descended on NYC today, and I was up presenting our Ceph product roadmap with none other than Sage himself.

The video covers our current thinking around product releases coming in 2016, and is of course subject to change, but I fully expect some variation of the Pareto rule applies here and we are at least 80% on mark.

I covered the current state and plans for our Hammer-based product (RHCS 1.3), but the best short summary of Ceph’s current LTS release is conveyed by CERN’s Dan van der Ster’s quote to OpenStack Superuser last year:

“For less than 10-petabyte clusters, Ceph just works, you don’t have to do much”

Sage laid out the very exciting objectives of the upcoming Jewel release, which is the basis for this Summer’s Red Hat Ceph Storage 2.0. The slides are below, and we are happy to answer your questions on Twitter...

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Ceph Architectural Overview

Returning to the familiar ground of MIT with a brand new topic for BLU

BLU - Ceph Intro.jpeg

After a really busy year in Red Hat’s Ceph Storage team, I finally had some time to catch my breath and prepare a properly technical talk for my favorite local audience: the Boston Linux and Unix user group hosted at MIT.

We had enough time to go over Ceph’s project philosophy and foundational thinking before digging into its architecture. We continued with a few choice points aiming to showcase what makes Ceph such a promising and technically interesting storage technology. And, as always, the questions came from all corners — as you will see in the recording!

BLU - Ceph.png

My slides for the event can be downloaded here as a PDF: Ceph Architectural Overview — or you can browse inline below.

Till next time!

The recording of the talk is now live on BLU’s YouTube channel.

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Software Defined Storage: What Makes Ceph Special

Greetings from Guadalajara, Part II

Recording of the Live Stream from OpenStack GDL yesterday

The second part of my intro talk to Ceph for the Guadalajara Stackers was also a remote delivery, but instead of the OpenStack Liberty summit in Vancouver, my favorite international user group caught up with me at Red Hat’s engineering lead office in Westford.


My slides for the event are posted here: Software Defined Storage: What Makes Ceph Special.

Hasta la próxima!

OpenStack GDL December.png

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One More Tentacle…

Today we are pleased to add Ubuntu 14.04 ‘Trusty’ binaries to our previously released Red Hat Ceph Storage 1.3. Based on the same upstream Ceph Hammer codebase, this new release includes all the features already shipping in our RHEL 7 release and underwent the same exacting QA process.

Screen Shot 2015-10-09 at 2.29.48 PM.png

Just as important, we are also happy to announce that going forward, future releases of Red Hat Ceph Storage will resume shipping simultaneously on all our supported platforms.

Starting today, you may download Red Hat Ceph Storage 1.3 for Ubuntu following this link. Ubuntu-specific installation and upgrade documentation is also available.

Release Notes: RHCS 1.3 (RHEL 7 and Ubuntu 14.04)
Errata: RHBA-2015:1883

Screen Shot 2015-10-09 at 3.51.15 PM.png

We’re Always Ready to Support You

We will continue to support RHCS 1.2, our previous long-term support release, until May 31, 2016 — exceeding our release-time committment to support...

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A Tentacular Release

We are taking off the covers on what is the first enterprise-grade release of the Ceph Hammer codebase today — Red Hat Ceph Storage 1.3, my first Red Hat product.

The Ceph Engineering team and all the supporting R&D functions ranging from QA to Documentation performed like clockwork, allowing us to hit an ambitious schedule on the head and announce today at the Red Hat Summit with simultaneous immediate availability. Now, that’s how it is done!


What’s new?

Advancing to Hammer from the upstream Firefly release that has carried all Ceph production customers to date has a significant impact across the board. The change brings many improvements in many areas, too many of them and often too technical to detail, but in the aggregate moving the state of the art forward — just like upgrading the Linux kernel would. The aggregated end result is that the system as a whole performs better and...

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Greetings from Guadalajara. Or was it Vancouver?


Fellow Ximian monkey Geronimo Orozco invited me to speak to his local OpenStack user group, and I was very happy to oblige. The calendar made for an interesting Google Hangouts session from the first day of the OpenStack Liberty design summit in Vancouver.

Aside from a few connection glitches, the meeting went surprisingly well! Lots of great questions from the Guadalajara Stackers followed my introduction to Software-defined Storage and Ceph’s design.


My slides for the event are posted here: Ceph Intro and Architectural Overview.

Hasta la próxima!

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ARM 64 Bit: walkthrough of the Mustang

The Dragon Propulsion Laboratory recently acquired an Applied Micro Mustang board thanks to a developer promotion Jon pointed me to, and the arrival of the holidays finally gave me a chance to take the device for a spin.

The Mustang, or more properly the X-Gene X-C1 evaluation kit, is APM’s evaluation board for the APM883208-X1 processor, an 8-core, 64-bit ARM processor that is one of the earliest incarnations of ARM’s v8 architecture, ARM’s silver bullet for the server market.

APM XC-1 Mustang test setup

Hardware Setup

The board is a mini-ITX form factor platform meant to evaluate the processor, and is not a production device. My Lian Li test bench was not designed for this form factor, but it was nothing that a quick drill and tap action would not swiftly rectify. I developed a deep-seated allergy to boards sitting free on my desk during my days an embedded developer - the sanity and consistency that a...

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A Year in the Cloud

The Ubuntu Cloud Zeitgeist: a year in retrospective

The new year is a perfect occasion to reflect on the road we just covered and how far we have come just in this past year.

We opened 2014 shipping the new Ubuntu Server 14.04 on April 17, our third LTS release designed for the cloud. Including five years of support for OpenStack Ice House, it was shown time and again to be the most popular OS platform for OpenStack. We did not stop there: alongside a major set of improvements we included Docker, arguably the hottest cloud infrastructure technology available today – and one where Ubuntu is six times as popular a platform as the runner up. Not satisfied with that milestone, the Server team saw a million Vagrant installs in under nine months. Key author and OpenStack Community leader Kevin Jackson remarked:

“Ubuntu has helped establish OpenStack as the leading open cloud platform


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