Chapter 1. Executive summary

Many hardware vendors now offer both Ceph-optimized servers and rack-level solutions designed for distinct workload profiles. To simplify the hardware selection process and reduce risk for organizations, Red Hat has worked with multiple storage server vendors to test and evaluate specific cluster options for different cluster sizes and workload profiles. Red Hat’s exacting methodology combines performance testing with proven guidance for a broad range of cluster capabilities and sizes. With appropriate storage servers and rack-level solutions, Red Hat Ceph Storage can provide storage pools serving a variety of workloads—from throughput-sensitive and cost and capacity-focused workloads to emerging IOPS-intensive workloads.

Red Hat Ceph Storage significantly lowers the cost of storing enterprise data and helps organizations manage exponential data growth. The software is a robust and modern petabyte-scale storage platform for public or private cloud deployments. Red Hat Ceph Storage offers mature interfaces for enterprise block and object storage, making it an optimal solution for active archive, rich media, and cloud infrastructure workloads characterized by tenant-agnostic OpenStack® environments [1]. Delivered as a unified, software-defined, scale-out storage platform, Red Hat Ceph Storage lets businesses focus on improving application innovation and availability by offering capabilities such as:

  • Scaling to hundreds of petabytes [2].
  • No single point of failure in the cluster.
  • Lower capital expenses (CapEx) by running on commodity server hardware.
  • Lower operational expenses (OpEx) with self-managing and self-healing properties.

Red Hat Ceph Storage can run on myriad industry-standard hardware configurations to satisfy diverse needs. To simplify and accelerate the cluster design process, Red Hat conducts extensive performance and suitability testing with participating hardware vendors. This testing allows evaluation of selected hardware under load and generates essential performance and sizing data for diverse workloads—ultimately simplifying Ceph storage cluster hardware selection. As discussed in this guide, multiple hardware vendors now provide server and rack-level solutions optimized for Red Hat Ceph Storage deployments with IOPS-, throughput-, and cost and capacity-optimized solutions as available options.

Software-defined storage presents many advantages to organizations seeking scale-out solutions to meet demanding applications and escalating storage needs. With a proven methodology and extensive testing performed with multiple vendors, Red Hat simplifies the process of selecting hardware to meet the demands of any environment. Importantly, the guidelines and example systems listed in this document are not a substitute for quantifying the impact of production workloads on sample systems.

[1] Ceph is and has been the leading storage for OpenStack according to several semi-annual OpenStack user surveys.