Ceph at World Hosting Days 2013


Last week a couple of the Inktank crew joined Dell, and nearly 5,000 other people, at the World Hosting Days event in Rust, Germany. Nestled in the sleepy streets of an off-season Europa Park, this conference had it all. From tech geeks and business experts to roller coasters and a mechanical bull (don’t believe me, just check out the pictures on the WHD site linked above!). It wasn’t all fun and games, however. We learned a lot about what a large segment of our user population is interested in with respect to cloud storage, and a number of great projects being worked on in the Ceph community. Read on for details.

Inktank's Nigel Thomas foreground in 360 degree shot from WHD hosting fair.

Dell Knows Cloud

The folks from Dell really impressed me with their open, and forward-thinking approach to everything cloud. To kick things off they assembled a great panel to talk storage with representatives from Canonical, Intel, and Dell (in addition to myself from Inktank). We had an interesting conversation and even better questions from the audience. It was fun to see the wide range of issues rolling around in the minds of current and future hosters.

Dell also spent a great deal of time and effort to make sure that not only were hardware concerns being addressed at their booth, but software, solution, and other general cloud knowledge was available as well. They invited both Inktank and Canonical to share their exhibit space and ensured a wide range of expertise was available for those with questions. To see Dell’s collection of WHD photos take a look at their Facebook page.

The Community is Strong with Ceph

I talked to several prominent members of the Ceph community while I was at WHD and they all had some amazing projects to share. Nick Barcet and Sebastien Han from eNovance were in attendance at the OpenStack booth and continue to report exciting things happening as a part of their ongoing work with Ceph and OpenStack. Additionally, eNovance has been working on some really solid open source Puppet modules that are maturing for the benefit of all. If you are a Puppet user, this is a great way to get Ceph going!

42on‘s Wido den Hollander was also in attendance with a progress report on the new Ceph functionality coming in CloudStack 4.2, as well as a few other interesting projects in the works. If you are a CloudStack user, definitely keep your eye on that next big release coming this summer. Copy-on-write cloning, backup storage, and live migration should all be making an appearance. For Ceph-happenings, the ceph-user mailing list is generally a good place to see what’s new.

There were several other community members who stopped by to check in and let us know how things were going with Ceph. We love feedback in any form, but it was very gratifying to see such a massively positive reaction, even from people with feature requests. One user in particular stopped by just to tell me that he thought Ceph was a “really elegant piece of code.” It’s always nice to hear that Ceph is providing such a strong solution for our community’s needs.

Hosters Like Money

And really, who doesn’t? However, one of the things that we learned at WHD was that the hosting game, especially in Europe with increasing power cost concerns, is very focused on the bottom line. This is really exciting for us, because one of the chief goals of Ceph is to offer an affordable storage solution for anyone that needs one.

Since Ceph is both open source, and designed to run on commodity hardware it has the capability to drastically improve the bottom line for anyone that needs storage (which is pretty much everyone). It was really fun to watch the people I talked to get so excited about the possibilities of Ceph, whether it was about raw object storage, block storage for their cloud, or the future potential for CephFS in things like high performance computing.


Overall this was a great show and a great party. Everyone worked hard during the day and played hard in the evenings. The first night the VIP dinner featured a multi-course dinner with a multitude of entertainment acts. The second night the hosting fair turned into ‘Bierefest’ complete with a mechanical bull, punching bag, biere stein shuffleboard, and a football net. And the third night saw a closing ceremony that, by all accounts, did not dissapoint. I’m already counting the days till next year’s event, see you all there!

scuttlemonkey out