Ceph Storage Open Source Project Gains Support of a Foundation

Created to help provide Ceph conferences, adoption, training and more, the Ceph Foundation initially is being funded by some 30 companies.

Todd R. Weiss

November 14, 2018

4 Min Read
Open source

As the open-source Ceph storage project continues to grow and mature in enterprise computing, it will now have its own Ceph Foundation to help fund training, adoption and technology conferences where supporters can learn more about it and work to help it expand and improve.

That’s the aim of the new foundation, which was announced recently at a Ceph Day event in Berlin, under the leadership of the nonprofit Linux Foundation.

Ceph is an open-source storage project that allows users to develop a unified distributed storage system which can provide applications with a combination of object, block and file storage, all at the same time. Ceph is used by cloud providers and companies around the world, including Bloomberg, Fidelity, Rackspace, Deutsche Telekom, BMW, SAP and Salesforce.

“Ceph has a long track record of success when it comes to helping organizations with effectively managing high growth and expanding data storage demands,” said Jim Zemlin, the executive director of the Linux Foundation. “Under the Linux Foundation, the Ceph Foundation will be able to harness investments from a much broader group to help support the infrastructure needed to continue the success and stability of the Ceph ecosystem.”


Jim Zemlin

Jim Zemlin

Michael Dilio, the software-defined product and solutions marketing manager for SUSE, which is one of the 13 premier-level founding members of the new Ceph Foundation, told Channel Futures that the creation of the leadership organization is a validation of the vibrancy of the Ceph community.

“While the development will still be driven by the Ceph technical community and managed by the Ceph leadership team, the foundation will assist in promoting Ceph,” he said. “Funding from the foundation will help accelerate Ceph awareness in the industry, community infrastructure, events, outreach, and community inclusiveness and diversity by way of scholarships, travel assistance [and more]. This news also serves as a proof point that Ceph is now a broadly accepted storage solution.”


Michael Dilio

Michael Dilio

For the channel, that will mean increased opportunities for partners to resell commercial Ceph products, including SUSE Enterprise Storage Powered by Ceph and others, which can be bundled with standard hardware and value-added services, said Dilio.

“Increased Ceph customer visibility drives end-user demand for Ceph,” he said.

In addition, as open-source software has rapidly become strategic in customer data centers, the foundation will work to evangelize open source software-defined storage and help grow other new business opportunities, he said.

“The exponential growth of storage is generating significant challenges for the majority of IT organizations,” said Dilio. ” Budget constraints do not permit customers to address exponential data growth using expensive proprietary storage solutions,” leaving the door open to more competitive open source applications and technologies, he said.

Other founding premier members of the Ceph Foundation include Amihan, Canonical, China Mobile, DigitalOcean, Intel, OVH, ProphetStor Data Services, Red Hat, SoftIron, Western Digital, XSKY Data Technology and ZTE.

The Ceph Foundation is the successor framework to the Ceph Advisory Board, which previously was formed in 2015.

The use of Ceph is being driven by the growth of new cloud, container and artificial intelligence/machine learning applications, according to the Linux Foundation. One example of this is the use of Ceph with analytics and machine learning to enable businesses to comb through huge amounts of unstructured data to find patterns with customer behavior, online customer conversations and potential noncompliance scenarios.

“A guiding vision for Ceph is to be the state-of-the-art for reliable, scale-out storage, and to do so with 100 percent open source,” said Sage Weil, a co-creator of Ceph, who is also the project leader and chief architect for Ceph at Red Hat. “While early public cloud providers popularized self-service storage infrastructure, Ceph brings the same set of capabilities to service providers, enterprises and individuals alike, with the power of a robust development and user community to drive future innovation in the storage space.”

The launch of the Ceph Foundation is a testament to the strength of a diverse open-source community coming together to address the explosive growth in data storage and services, said Weil.

The Ceph Foundation joins a wide range of other nascent and growing open-source projects which are sponsored by the Linux Foundation, including The Academy Software Foundation, the GraphQL Foundation, Cloud Foundry, Hyperledger, Kubernetes and The R Consortium.

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About the Author(s)

Todd R. Weiss

Todd R. Weiss is an award-winning technology journalist who covers open source and Linux, cloud service providers, cloud computing, virtualization, containers and microservices, mobile devices, security, enterprise applications, enterprise IT, software development and QA, IoT and more. He has worked previously as a staff writer for Computerworld and eWEEK.com, covering a wide variety of IT beats. He spends his spare time working on a book about an unheralded member of the 1957 Milwaukee Braves, watching classic Humphrey Bogart movies and collecting toy taxis from around the world.

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