Feeds

For its next trick, Inktank tries to pull golden rabbit from Ceph hat

Just how do you make people pay for an open-source filesystem?

Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable

You'd think being a core part of Linux would be a good thing for a filesystem, but if you want to make any money off it, things get tricky.

To get round this problem, the company behind the Ceph filesystem, Inktank, announced today that it hopes to bag cash from the distributed object-storage technology by offering support, analytics, and a cluster manager called Calamari atop the system, via a paid-for distro called Inktank Ceph Enterprise.

Ceph provides object, block, and file storage through its Reliable Autonomic Distributed Object Store (RADOS) technology.

Apps can interface with the cluster, and RADOS can scale to "thousands of client hosts or KVMs accessing petabytes to exabytes of data". The filesystem uses an algorithm called CRUSH to dynamically replicate, re-balance, and stripe data across nodes within Ceph clusters.

Ceph was integrated directly into the Linux kernel with the 2.6.34 release in 2010 and was embedded in Ubuntu in 2012, along with the LogFS system. Unlike rival GlusterFS, Ceph can be accessed on modern Linux installs without the need for abstractions such as Fuse, says Inktank's senior veep of product management Neil Levine.

The object store has S3 and Swift-compliant APIs so it can hook into cloud systems, the block device can deal with images of up to 16 exabytes, and the filesystem has POSIX-compliant semantics and can be used as a drop-in replacement for the Hadoop File System.

But, as we've said, all of this comes for free due to Ceph being open source, so how is Inktank going to make money from it?

First, by offering to paying punters a version of Ceph – not the latest version – that has been vigorously tested by Inktank, along with support services such as service-level agreements, bug escalation, hot patches, and roadmap input.

The company is also going to develop free plugins to other open-source technologies, such as OpenStack, and then potentially paid-for plugins for things such as Microsoft's Hyper-V.

"All of the storage functionality is going to be open source," he stressed. "We're not doing public pricing at the moment. It should be 1 to 5 cents per gig per month if you contract with us and choose the right hardware."

Inktank's customers include eBay, Huawei, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Zetta, AT&T and Deutsche Telekom. ®

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

More from The Register

next story
Manic malware Mayhem spreads through Linux, FreeBSD web servers
And how Google could cripple infection rate in a second
EU's top data cops to meet Google, Microsoft et al over 'right to be forgotten'
Plan to hammer out 'coherent' guidelines. Good luck chaps!
US judge: YES, cops or feds so can slurp an ENTIRE Gmail account
Crooks don't have folders labelled 'drug records', opines NY beak
FLAPE – the next BIG THING in storage
Find cold data with flash, transmit it from tape
Seagate chances ARM with NAS boxes for the SOHO crowd
There's an Atom-powered offering, too
Intel teaches Oracle how to become the latest and greatest Xeon Whisperer
E7-8895 v2 chips are best of the bunch, and with firmware-unlocked speed control
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Mobile application security vulnerability report
The alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, and the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.