We have seen users deploying Ceph in a number of different ways, which is just plain awesome! I have spoken with people deploying with makecephfs, ceph-deploy, Juju, Chef, and even the beginnings of some Puppet work. However, thanks to collaboration between Inktank and Dell there is a really solid deployment pathway using Dell’s Crowbar tool and a Ceph “barclamp.”
For those not familiar with Dell Crowbar, it is an Open Source cloud deployment framework that originated as a way for Dell to support their OpenStack and Hadoop powered solutions. Since its inception, and eventual open source-ing at OSCON 2011, it has come a long way, growing into the full-featured solution that we see today. Crowbar uses packages called “barclamps” that allow individuals to create ready-made ways to deploy the tools they want (like Chef’s “recipes” or Juju’s “charms”). These barclamps include custom UI for config, dependency graphs, and even localization support. Using it as one of the powerful devops vehicles to deploy Ceph seemed like the next logical step.
Ok, so you have gone through the five minute quickstart guide, learned a bit about Ceph, and stood a pre-production server up to test real data and operations…now what? Over the past couple of weeks we have gotten quite a few questions about monitoring and troubleshooting a Ceph cluster once you have one. Thankfully, our doc has been getting a ton of polish. However, we figured a quick rundown of some of the more frequently-useful troubleshooting tools might be helpful.
The first step to fixing a problem is understanding that you actually _have_ a problem in the first place. To that end there are a number of health and monitoring tools available to keep a hairy eyeball on Ceph. These tools can be run in interactive mode (just typing ‘ceph’ from the command line) or by a series of status queries and watch commands. To run the ceph tool in interactive mode, type ceph at the command line with no arguments. For example:
We had originally planned to make v0.55 a long-term stable release, but a lot of last-minute changes and fixes went into this cycle, so we are going to wait another cycle and make v0.56 bobtail. A lot of work went into v0.55, however. If you aren’t running argonaut (v0.48.*), please give v0.55 a try and help us make sure it is rock solid!
WARNING: The default authentication behavior changed. Please read below before upgrading or your cluster may not start.
Notable changes since v0.54 include:
The Ceph community is made up of many individuals with a wide variety of backgrounds, from FOSS hacker to corporate architect. We feel very fortunate to have such a great, and active, community. Even more so lately, as we have been fielding a number of questions on how best to become a more active participant in the Ceph community. With that in mind we decided it was time to sketch out a brief menu of different engagement opportunities to make it easy for anyone (not just developers) to take part in our digital revolution.
The v0.54 development release is ready! This will be the last development release before v0.55 “bobtail,” our next long-term stable release, is ready. Notable changes this time around include:
There isn’t anything especially exciting here; most of the big stuff is landing in v0.55, which will become bobtail. Most of our effort over the next few weeks will be on make sure that v0.55 bobtail is rock solid and performs well.
If you are new around these parts you may want to start out by reading the first article in this series available here.
For the rest of you, I am sure you are no doubt aware by now of the epic battle that Mark Shuttleworth and I are waging over who can generate more page hits on the ceph.com website. I’ve made a totally original and in no way inaccurate illustration to document the saga for future generations:
Last Friday we had our very first day-long workshop dedicated to Ceph…in beautiful Amsterdam! The Ceph project has had a nice, long string of “firsts” lately and it was exciting to witness this one in person.
The event was organized by Inktank and 42on, a new Ceph company and this month’s Featured Contributor! The team at 42on did an amazing job organizing the venue, managing registration, and making sure that everybody had food, drinks, desks, and power. It simply wouldn’t have happened without their hard work and dedication to the community.
For the past few months I have been working towards a way to use Ceph for virtual machine images in Apache CloudStack. This integration is important to end users because it allows them to use Ceph’s distributed block device (RBD) to speed up provisioning of virtual machines.
We (my company) have been long-time contributors to Ceph (since version 0.17!), and will be using it in our own cloud product. Support for Ceph didn’t exist in CloudStack… So we built it!
I’m co-owner of a Dutch webhosting company called PCextreme B.V. My role as CTO is to do our Research & Development and that enables me to play with Ceph (a lot).
Quite some time ago we were convinced we wanted to use Ceph with RBD in our VPS product, but we weren’t sure how. Were we going to write our own cloud management software? OpenStack seemed like a good choice since it already had RBD integration, but while looking at OpenStack we came across CloudStack. I’m not going to do the OpenStack vs CloudStack discussion, but we decided CloudStack suited us better. It however lacked RBD support!
To make this integration work, a few things needed to be done:
This work has been completed and merged, and will all be part of the new CloudStack 4.0 release, which is slated for the end of October. Between now and then, we’d like people to try it!
To get started, take a look at the related documentation. If you encounter any problems, feel free to ask for help on the Ceph or CloudStack mailing lists. Or join the #ceph (OFTC) or #cloudstack (Freenode) IRC channels, I’m idling there for most of the time.
In my (rather brief) time digging in to Ceph and working with the community, most discussions generally boil down to two questions: “How does Ceph work?” and “What can I do with Ceph?” The first question has garnered a fair amount of attention in our outreach efforts. Ross Turk’s post “More Than an Object Store” does a fantastic job summarizing Ceph’s magic. The second question is what I will address below.
So what can you do with Ceph? For those who like to read the ending first, the answer turns out to be “a blindingly awesome ton.” Thankfully that doesn’t spoil it for the rest of us, because it’s the details that make it fun. In an email discussion of these details, it was Inktank’s chief suit, Bryan Bogensberger, who managed to succinctly summarize many of the available options while still citing examples and supporting data. (How do you like that, a business guy who has a solid handle on the tech. How lucky are we!?) Without immediately overwhelming you with all the supporting details, his list was as follows:
Another development release of Ceph is ready, v0.53. We are getting pretty close to what will be frozen for the next stable release (bobtail), so if you would like a preview, give this one a go. Notable changes include: