Speaking of virtual or cloud environment, it is without a doubt that western nations were the earliest to start off and have been putting significant amounts of efforts to cultivate the open source market such as OpenStack. Since then, nations in Asia such as China, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, and other south eastern countries have been catching up with this trend as well. Following the high rising demand for more efficient and scalable computing and storage systems, enterprises in Asia are gradually leaning towards a trend of pursuing Ceph as the optimal solution.
As the trend of adopting Ceph expands among Asia, Ceph Day events which have only been held in European or American nations in the earlier years, are now beginning to be hosted in major Asian cities such as Beijing and Tokyo (in 2015). This year, Ceph day has become a series of events, held not only in Beijing and Tokyo, but in Taipei, Kuala Lumpur, and Seoul as well. Ceph Day Taipei is scheduled to be held on 8/24 in NTU Convention Center, Taipei City. Speaker sessions will involve participation from Intel, RedHat, SUSE, ARM, inwinSTACK, and SanDisk. This would be a first major event for Taiwanese enterprises to engage closely with Ceph's knowledge sharing and discussion.
60% OpenStack Users Deploy Ceph as Backend Storage
"Since the rise of the SDS (Software-Defined Storage) market, distributed storage systems like Ceph have become the next center of attention for cloud and big data applications," said inwinSTACK Vice President Joseph Wang. According to a report by the OpenStack Foundation, about 60% of OpenStack environment are using Ceph for its backend storage, way higher than that of SAN, NAS, or server SAN systems. The foremost reason for this is the high availability Ceph offers, allowing IT administrators to freely decide and set the number of replicated data (default being 3 copies). Through modifying the CRUSH Map setting, users can define the physical storage point for each multiple replica, achieving cross-data center, cross-framework, and cross-equipment data storage. Such setting will ensure no single point of failure and zero system downtime, giving users the most secure data protection.
Another key advantage of Ceph is its high scalability. Users can easily scale-out storage nodes to satisfy the increasing demand for storage capacity and performance. "the lack of better pricing, flexibility, and ease of scalability for traditional storage systems are some major factors that they are gradually being replaced by SDS systems," said inwinSTACK senior engineer Cody Fu. Constructed on commodity X86 servers, Ceph can easily scale-out to hundreds and even thousands of storage nodes, reaching exabyte-level scalability. Similar to that of Peer-to-peer (P2P), storage performance of Ceph takes on linear growth, indicating the more number of servers the better the IOPS.
Ceph supports multiple types of storage including block, object, and file storage through Ceph FS. In other words, regardless how an enterprise is saving and sharing its data (through VMs, web services, or NFS/CIFS), it is possible to transfer these data to a Ceph environment. "The most attractive feature is still CephFs," said Wang. "Especially for enterprises pursuing high-performance storage, it is necessary to use a centralized gateway or web service when managing block or object storage, which may at times cause a negative impact on performance. CephFs allows clients to interact with Ceph storage nodes directly, thus providing better efficiency. Particularly, CephFs is better improved and more stable with the release of Jewel I version."
As Wang also pointed out, inwinSTACK is the first R&D center that focuses on Ceph systems in Taiwan. With years of experience in cloud service consultation, deployment, training, and customer support, inwinSTACK is currently helping many enterprises who have little knowledge of deploying a cloud environment suitable for their needs, and whose current IT infrastructure are lack of efficiency, flexibility and scalability. Earlier this year, inwinSTACK announced the release of its first product - Ceph Appliance, which is considered an optimized Ceph solution through RDMA-optimized high-performance and modified integrated package of software and hardware, accompanying additional plug-in functions such as S3 portal integration and monitoring apps. Enterprises can easily setup and manage their own Ceph system, and even integrate their Ceph appliance with big data applications through connecting the open source middleware Alluxio.