At the OpenStack Summit (Sydney), Red Hat announced Red Hat Ceph Storage 3. It’s a major upgrade to the company’s scalable, software-defined object storage platform. This release introduces support for block storage via iSCSI and file storage via CephFS.

With these additions, Red Hat Ceph Storage 3 widens the scope of unified storage in OpenStack and heterogeneous environments, substantially broadening the use cases for the storage platform built for petabyte scale deployments.

“Red Hat Ceph Storage 3 represents a key milestone for OpenStack, VMware, and Windows communities in need of a unified storage solution. With this release, Red Hat lays the groundwork for all software-based storage services to be delivered as containers in the future while helping customers increase agility and shrink deployment costs,” said Ranga Rangachari, vice president and general manager, Storage, Red Hat.

Like all other Red Hat products, Ceph Storage 3 is also based on the community version of the open source Ceph Luminous project. In 2014, Red Hat acquired Inktank, the company behind Ceph storage. In 2015 Red Hat created a Ceph Community Advisory Board to ensure that Ceph becomes a fully community driven project to enjoy wider adoption and contribution. The advisory board includes members from Red Hat competitors like Canonical and SUSE.

Red Hat said in a press release that Ceph Storage 3 also aims to significantly improve the user experience by helping administrators proactively monitor and troubleshoot distributed storage clusters via a graphical view of usage data for the cluster as a whole, or its individual components.

Ceph 3 comes with a new web-based interface, which includes more than a dozen dashboards, is based on the upstream Ceph Metrics project. This release also adds several other usability enhancements and layers of automation, such as dynamic bucket sharding, designed to help simplify maintenance and lower operational costs.

Some of the major highlights of Red Hat Ceph Storage 3 include:

  •   Enables a large variety of storage needs in OpenStack, helping enterprises fully exploit the scale of the platform for cloud infrastructure deployments without incurring costs of discrete storage systems that need to be procured and managed separately. The introduction of CephFS, a POSIX-compatible, scale-out file system complements the existing block and object storage support provided by Red Hat Ceph Storage for OpenStack. Customers will be able to incorporate storage more effectively with OpenStack for private cloud deployments across a number of use cases including web-scale cloud, Network Functions Virtualization infrastructure (NFVi), and development/compute clouds.
  •   Eases migration from legacy storage platforms through newly added support for the iSCSI interface for wider platform support and increased breadth of use cases, including backup and recovery. This is particularly beneficial to heterogeneous storage environments such as VMware and Windows that lack a native Ceph driver. The iSCSI gateway enables enterprises to use a cost-effective, highly scalable, and integrated block storage platform that can provide the advanced storage features of a traditional Storage Area Network (SAN), while keeping applications in their compute environments.
  •   Deploys enterprise storage in Linux containers for simplified operations and a smaller hardware footprint. Containerized storage daemons enable users to run Red Hat Ceph Storage on fewer servers by co-locating services that previously required dedicated hardware, while avoiding the risk of resource conflicts. Preliminary tests based on a standard Red Hat Ceph Storage cluster configuration showed lowered hardware expenditure by at least 24 percent. This is particularly relevant to telco customers, such as those implementing NFVi, who struggle with hardware and space constraints.

Red Hat Ceph Storage 3 is expected to be generally available in November 2017.