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By Daniel Gilfix, Red Hat Storage
Now that a somewhat tumultuous 2016 is in our rearview mirror, what better way to kick off the new year than with a couple of major endorsements for one of the key emerging businesses of the world’s leading provider of open source solutions? That’s right: Last week alone, over a scant 48 hours, Red Hat watched as Red Hat Ceph Storage 2 earned distinction by CRN as one of the 10 coolest open source products of 2016 and by TechTarget as one of its 12 finalists for 2016 product of the year in server-based storage. Two major endorsements.
Commitment upstream and down
The dual recognition is testament not only to the open source community but also to Red Hat and its valued customers spanning industries like telco, financial services, retail, and the public sector for the advancement of software-defined storage, which has become increasingly indispensable for workloads like cloud infrastructure, data lakes, backup and recovery, media repository, surveillance, and containers. Some of these customers have the necessary in-house skills, but many others rely on the expertise of Red Hat Storage Consulting and training for access to the best practices in architectural design, solution implementation, and knowledge transfer typically required when graduating from upstream to downstream deployment.
Always breaking new ground
Red Hat Ceph Storage 2 was announced at Red Hat Summit last May and began shipping in August. The first major release since the acquisition of Inktank by Red Hat in 2014, it marked the introduction of a user-friendly interface and an integrated lifecycle management system called Red Hat Console 2. Besides the ability to manage and monitor cluster activity in terms of health, performance, and capacity, Console empowered users to install Ceph in under an hour and to grow clusters graphically using Ansible. Red Hat Ceph Storage 2 also marked a departure from an exclusive “we’re for OpenStack” philosophy to a broader emphasis on offering object storage capabilities that are vital for managing vast quantities of unstructured data efficiently with emerging workloads.
Not just for OpenStack anymore
This is not to say that Red Hat Ceph Storage isn’t for OpenStack anymore—far from it. Ceph remains the overwhelmingly preferred storage backend for OpenStack workloads (OpenStack.org user survey, April 2016), and Red Hat Ceph Storage continues to tighten its integration with Red Hat OpenStack Platform. This is evident by Red Hat OpenStack Platform Director’s ability to automate upgrades from Red Hat Ceph Storage 1.3 to 2, manage object and block deployment, and leverage OpenStack's shared filesystem service (Manila) with the CephFS driver. In effect, Red Hat customers can now fully customize their OpenStack deployment architectures with one unified storage platform. OpenStack Platform customers even receive a complimentary 64 TBs of Red Hat Ceph Storage for proof of concept.
Something more for everyone
But the focus of Red Hat Ceph Storage 2 that caught the attention of CRN and TechTarget was the retransformation of Red Hat’s storage product as an easier-to-use, more versatile product for everyone. The new management interface expanded user appeal for those without advanced Linux expertise or prior familiarity with Ceph. Features like support for Active Directory and LDAP authentication, integration with the S3 protocol of Amazon Web Services, and disaster-recovery options that include remote workloads all added to the product’s strength as an object storage platform. Red Hat Ceph Storage 2 now handles petabyte-scale deployments with the flexibility required by next-generation software-defined datacenters and the ease and enhanced cost efficiency required by today’s business.
Onward to new accomplishments
So, as we embark on new adventures and roller-coaster rides in 2017, let us all take note that software-defined storage on industry-standard hardware has now matured to be a platform of stability for the general populace needing to store enterprise data. Red Hat Ceph Storage has garnered well-deserved recognition for its advancement as a leader of the pack. Stay tuned for things to come this year.