First Large Scale Ceph Storage Microserver Cluster Unveiled

The future of microservers meets The Future of Storage™


The Ceph Community, a Red Hat, Inc., sponsored worldwide collection of developers working to build the popular Ceph software-defined storage project, today announced the first implementation of an innovative large-scale Ceph storage cluster environment. This cost-effective, energy-efficient four watt converged microserver, developed by WDLabs™, a business growth incubator of storage solutions leader Western Digital Corporation, is the first demonstrated solution offering true flexibility of applications executing on a microserver.


The ability to pair a distributed style of hardware with distributed software offers an incredible asset to organizations building high-capacity data storage solutions to better fit cloud datacenters of the future.

Patrick McGarry

Ceph community lead

As the enterprise expands into cloud architecture and scale-out systems, it is becoming increasingly important to have hardware profiles that match specific needs and designs. The large scale Ceph storage cluster demonstration using 504 WDLabs converged microservers allows users to load any operating system and software on the device, enabling Ceph storage to run directly on the drive. Testing conducted by WDLabs showed that implementation of the server can also reduce costs when building out future Ceph storage and Red Hat application clusters.

This self-contained design is an ideal match for Ceph’s scale-out architecture. The Ceph object storage daemon (OSD) fits on each microserver, creating a flat parallel space. The microserver architecture is designed to localize the problem if a server is ever lost without impacting the entire rack of JBOD drives.

Super Micro Computer, Inc., a global leader in high-performance, high-efficiency server, storage technology and green computing solutions, contributed their open-source based total solutions expertise to this collaborative effort, providing specialized chassis for disaggregated storage, core servers and networking. This collaboration among industry leaders is a strong example of the depth and breadth of the Ceph community.

Development and demonstration of the WDLabs converged microserver is a step forward for the Ceph community. This demonstrates the enthusiasm of market leaders to work together to develop innovative solutions for real business challenges, and to facilitate revolutionary change in the storage industry.

Supporting Quotes

Patrick McGarry, Ceph community lead, Red Hat

“We are excited to be working with innovative industry leaders to create solutions that help advance the state of the art in both software and hardware. Implementing Ceph storage in a microserver environment can provide scalable growth and ease of management. The ability to pair a distributed style of hardware with distributed software offers an incredible asset to organizations building high-capacity data storage solutions to better fit cloud datacenters of the future.”

Richard E. Rutledge, senior vice president of marketing, WDLabs

“The WDLabs converged microserver is designed to connect users to their data in the most direct path possible. The flexibility of the open platform enables scale-out software-defined storage such as Ceph, plus other data applications and analytics, to more quickly create value from the stored data. This platform is simple to deploy and offers a resilient foundation for scale-out applications.”

Additional details on the collaborative efforts to create the new Ceph storage cluster environment can be found on the Ceph blog. This provides information on the 500 drives that WDLabs has assembled, the technologies involved in the project, early test results, and more.

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