Ceph is a free software platform that enables highly scalable object, block, and file-based storage under one comprehensive system. The cluster of Ceph are designed in such a way that it can run on commodity hardware with the help of CRUSH, which is a hash based algorithm. The CRUSH algorithm makes sure that all the data is accurately distributed across the cluster and all cluster nodes can rightly fit in as well as retrieve data quickly without any constraints. Thus, Ceph not only stores large amounts of data but also simplifies access to the same.
The Ceph RADOS block device in the Ceph storage system is a type of a disk that is attached to a virtual machine or bare-metal Linux-based servers. The Ceph block device leverages the capability of reliable autonomic distributed object store (RADOS) which is a software that facilitates block storage capabilities such as snapshotting and replication. On the whole, Ceph’s functioning as a storage system is effective and simple. Hence, it is deployed by many hosting and IT solution providers for their clients.
Data is growing at a tremendous rate; therefore, enterprises need a solution that can store large volume of data effectively. Storing data efficiently has long been a major challenge for enterprises all around the globe. Ceph storage is an effective solution that can cater to the problem of large amounts of data storage. Ceph provides dynamic storage clusters. Most storage applications do not make the most of the CPU and RAM available in a typical commodity server; however, Ceph storage optimally uses the existing IT infrastructure. Right from rebalancing the clusters to recovering from errors and faults, Ceph offloads work from clients by using distributed computing power of Ceph’s OSD (Object Storage Daemon) to perform the required work. Ceph is scalable, reliable, and easy to manage. It allows organizations to scale without affecting their capital expenditure (CAPEX) or operating expenditure (OPEX). Ceph has therefore transformed IT organizations when it comes to data storage. Ceph runs on any commodity hardware without any vendor lock-in. As a software-defined storage solution, it provides flexibility in hardware selection as well. This has made it quite popular among web professionals.
In addition to the above mentioned advantages, Ceph provides many other advantages such as data safety– Ceph makes each data update transparent to clients. Moreover, it also lets users know that the updated data is securely replicated on a disk and therefore is able to survive power or other failures. Failure detection is another advantage of the Ceph storage solution. Spotting errors or failures at the right time is highly important while securing data. However, this can get difficult with too many clusters on a large scale. OSDs (Object Storage Daemons) in a Ceph distributed file system can self-report in such cases. Thus, Ceph monitoring detects irregularities if any, in a distributive environment. Also, this distributed detection helps in quick detection and resolving inconsistencies. Ceph storage solution also has the capability of cluster recovery and updates in case of OSD failures and when OSD cluster maps undergo changes. In order to provide fast recovery, OSD maintains a version number for each object and a log for recent changes.
Global companies are investing in providing Ceph based storage solutions. Since, Ceph is open source, it has enabled large number of big vendors to provide Ceph based software- defined storage solutions. This in turn means that the Ceph based solution is expected to witness promising growth in the coming years among enterprises as well as government organizations.
Some of the prominent players providing Ceph based software defined storage solutions are Red Hat Inc., Fujitsu, Cleversafe (IBM Corporation), Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE), SUSE Enterprise Storage, SanDisk, Dell Inc,. and Samsung Group.
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