The Ceph Foundation and Building a Community: an Interview with SUSE

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On November 12 at the OpenStack Summit in Berlin, Germany, the Linux foundation formally announced the Ceph Foundation. Present at this same summit were key individuals from SUSE and the SUSE Enterprise Storage team. For those less familiar with the SUSE Enterprise Storage product line, it is entirely powered by Ceph technology.

With Ceph, data is treated and stored like objects. This is unlike traditional (and legacy) data storage solutions, where data is written to and read from the storage volumes via sectors and at sector offsets (often referred to as blocks). When dealing with large amounts of large data, treating them as objects is the way to do it. It's also much easier to manage. In fact, this is how the cloud functions—with objects. This object-drive model enables Ceph for simplified scalability to meet consumer demand easily. These objects are replicated across an entire cluster of nodes, giving Ceph its fault-tolerance and further reducing single points of failure. The parent company of the project and its technology was acquired by Red Hat, Inc., in April 2014.

I was fortunate in that I was able to connect with a few key SUSE representatives for a quick Q & A, as it relates to this recent announcement. I spoke with Lars Marowsky-Brée, SUSE Distinguished Engineer and member of the governing board of the Ceph Foundation; Larry Morris, Senior Product Manager for SUSE Enterprise Storage; Sanjeet Singh, Solutions Owner for SUSE Enterprise Storage; and Michael Dilio, Product and Solutions Marketing Manager for SUSE Enterprise Storage.

Petros Koutoupis: How has IBM's recent Red Hat, Inc., acquisition announcement affected the Ceph project, and do you believe this is what led to the creation of the Ceph Foundation?

SUSE: With Ceph being an Open Source community project, there is no anticipated effect on the Ceph project as a result of the pending IBM acquisition of Red Hat. Discussions and planning of the Ceph foundation have been going on for some time and were not a result of the acquisition announcement.

PK: For some time, SUSE has been fully committed to the Ceph project and has even leveraged the same technology in its SUSE Enterprise Storage offering. Will these recent announcements impact both the offering and the customers using it?

SUSE: The Ceph Foundation news is a validation of the vibrancy of the Ceph community. There are 13 premier members, with SUSE being a founding and premier member.