The importance of partners

As we approach the holiday season, our latest partner announcement is appropriate. Why? Because, partner-wise, Red Hat Storage is setting up for a veritable feast.

Storage is an ingredient, not a meal

Let’s face it. Nobody ever deploys storage technologies by themselves. They’re always deployed alongside hardware platforms and workloads–they have to be. Without hardware platforms to run on top of and applications needing their services, storage technologies don’t really do anything.

We want every Red Hat Storage customer to have the best possible experience, and that means working closely together with the hardware and software providers we run alongside.  That’s why we’ve expanded our partner programs to include storage appliance manufacturers, software vendors, cloud service providers, system integrators, and resellers. By certifying broad solutions, we can offer a consistent, reliable, and cost-effective experience for customers that extends beyond just storage.

Don’t just take it from us, hear from our partners

Speaking of our partners, who better to tell you how they feel about cultivating business relationships with us? For the statements some of our partners made in support of our shared efforts, check out the press release.

This holiday season, we’re particularly grateful for all our partner support. Combined, our offerings can deliver transformational storage technology that can meet the needs of today’s demanding workloads.

Availability of Red Hat Gluster Storage in Microsoft Azure

Sayan Saha, head of Product Management, Red Hat Gluster Storage and Big Data, Red Hat

Today, we announced our plans to make several Red Hat offerings, including Red Hat Gluster Storage, available in Microsoft Azure as fully supported offerings. Red Hat Gluster Storage offers Azure users a scale-out, POSIX compatible, massively scalable, elastic file storage solution with a global namespace.

This offering brings existing users of Red Hat Gluster Storage another supported public cloud environment where they can they run their POSIX compatible file storage workloads.

Conversely, existing Azure users can look forward to having access to Red Hat Gluster Storage which they can use for several cloud storage use-cases including archival, rich media streaming, big data analytics, and disaster recovery. POSIX compatibility will provide users the ability to move their existing on-premise applications to Azure without the need to rewrite them.

RHS Azure

Red Hat Gluster Storage is a software-defined storage solution, engineered to deliver rich functionality without specific hardware dependencies. Customers may now deploy Red Hat Gluster Storage in on-premise and Azure based solutions, addressing potential concerns around cloud adoption for their Linux workloads.

Deploying Red Hat Gluster Storage for Public Cloud uses many of the same processes and procedures already in place for an on-premise deployment. A Red Hat Gluster Storage for Public Cloud subscription enables customers to download and build a VM image for deployment within Azure. By adopting this approach organisations are able to customise their template image to align with their specific operational and security best practices.

A Red Hat Gluster Storage node in Azure is created by attaching Azure data disks to an Azure VM instance. Two or more such nodes make up the trusted storage pool of storage nodes. This trusted storage pool can live along-side the application/clients within an Azure “cloud service” or can be located in a separate Azure cloud service connected by a common virtual network (vnet).

Gluster volumes are created by aggregating together available capacity from Red Hat Gluster Storage instances. Capacity can be dynamically expanded or shrunk to meet your changing business demands. The Red Hat Gluster Instances exploit Azure’s “availability sets”, helping to maintain data availability during planned or unplanned outages within the Azure service.

Azure’s default data protection scheme is Geo-Redundant Storage (GRS). This provides six copies of your data, three local and an additional three in another ‘fixed’ region. However, data sent to the second region cannot support read workloads. In scenarios where read workloads are desirable, or more control is needed for disaster recovery, Red Hat Gluster Storage provides a geo-replication capability that enables data to be asynchronously replicated to another Azure Region of your choosing. Red Hat Gluster Storage’s geo-replication capability also has the potential to support on-premise to Azure hybrid use cases.

We are thrilled that users will be able to take advantage of the Red Hat Gluster Storage features in Azure, including snapshots, quota, erasure coding, tiering and geo-replication, providing Azure users with an interesting and compelling option for their file storage use cases.

Why Software Defined Storage is set to disrupt the world of containers. And why you should care.

Containers have the potential to be hugely disruptive – they are about to impact almost every process and person within the data center. Container technology will also impact how we think about storage for applications and microservices. In turn, software defined storage will impact how storage is dynamically provisioned and managed for containerized applications.

Through close integration with orchestration frameworks such as Kubernetes and Platform as a Service (PaaS) such as OpenShift, Red Hat Storage provides seamless, enterprise grade storage for mission critical applications in containers.

Why persistent storage for containers?

In a previous blog post we discussed the need for persistent storage for applications running in containers and PaaS environments.

In the video below, we add some more detail around Red Hat’s efforts to smooth container adoption through an end to end technology stack. In addition, we address some of the fundamental changes to the storage industry that we believe will result from the mainstream adoption of containers.  

It’s inevitable that storage vendors will have to think about containers, not as an afterthought, but instead as a key design principle, in future releases. Software defined storage is especially well placed to address those demands given its inherent hardware independence.

In particular, software defined storage is uniquely capable of being managed under a single control plane – something that traditional storage vendors may struggle with in containerized environments.

In addition, software defined storage can truly deliver on the promise of containers (faster app deployment and frictionless IT) by giving more control over storage to developers. Yes, developers!

Since when did developers start caring about storage?

In a sense they always have. Developers struggle with consistent and persistent storage between dev, test and production, and with scaling issues once the app is deployed.

By building a single control plane for applications and storage, developers now can have much more granular control and, in some cases, can entirely bypass working with ops to request a storage share that is purpose-built for the application.

Kubernetes has emerged as the key technology for container management and orchestration. Red Hat engineers are hard at work to integrate Red Hat Gluster Storage and Red Hat Ceph Storage into OpenShift Enterprise. This sort of seamless management of storage via the dev environment – without any human intervention – is invaluable to developers.

The future of storage in a microservices centric data center.

In the future, applications will no longer be large, monolithic chunks of code, but instead may be composed of smaller, independently deployable and highly scalable constructs known as microservices. Another possible key side effect of the container revolution is that it may enable a smooth transition to a microservices centric data center.

Persistent storage managed under one control plane becomes even more critical as we head towards the mainstream adoption of microservices. We see an eventual and inevitable next step is storage served out as a microservice from dedicated storage containers. These storage containers will run alongside compute containers on the same set of hosts and provisioned dynamically by one unified orchestrator (such as Kubernetes). This will go a long way in addressing storage requirements for microservices, essentially eliminating the need for independent storage appliances in the future.

kubernetes cluster image

Red Hat Storage is going beyond what any other storage vendor is doing in terms of supporting containerized environments. We are connecting containers to storage, yes, but we are also enabling containerization of the storage platform itself. In other words, Red Hat is driving the future of storage in a container driven data center.

We hope you continue to follow the story at

Latest OpenStack user survey shows Ceph continues to dominate

According to the OpenStack Foundation’s sixth and most recent user survey released just prior to this week’s OpenStack Summit in Tokyo, 62% of users selected Ceph RBD block storage for their OpenStack use cases, nearly three and more than four times the two closest alternatives, LVM (default) and NetApp, respectively.  In production, a full 38% of respondents indicated that their OpenStack deployments depended on Ceph as their Cinder driver, with the same comparisons. A survey of the largest production clouds, those exceeding 1,000 cores, showed similar results, with 37% of users selecting Ceph RBD followed by NetApp at 12%.  Interestingly enough, with 9% of respondents using GlusterFS in production, development & quality assurance, or proof of concept across all OpenStack deployments, more than 70% of OpenStack users are relying on block storage championed by Red Hat Storage.


Photo provided by Chris Jongkind,

Ceph’s reign in popularity comes as no surprise to us. Ceph’s architecture (including the block storage device) predates OpenStack and was actually the inspiration for its Cinder block storage abstraction layer.  Ceph was specifically designed as an optimal, massively-scalable, software-defined storage system for cloud infrastructure.  It provides unified infrastructure capabilities to support block, object, and file storage, tight integration with OpenStack’s modular architecture and key components for ephemeral and persistent storage, and massive scalability to manage petabytes of data. These factors along with Ceph’s flexible scale-out architecture make it an ideal option for OpenStack along with enterprise-grade solutions like Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform, Red Hat Cloud Infrastructure, and the Red Hat NFV Platform.

If you’re at the OpenStack Summit, please visit us at booth P7, and be sure to follow our Twitter feed for news and insight throughout the week. Also consider taking a free test drive of Red Hat Ceph Storage or Red Hat Gluster Storage today.

Address security challenges with software-defined storage


Hand-in-hand with the explosive growth of data and iCloud services comes a range of security threats, all of which can be addressed with software-defined storage. To learn how, register for the following webinars – the link is at the bottom of the post!

Attack vectors used against storage technologies


To better prepare you for threats, Neil Levine, Director of product management, Red Hat Ceph, Red Hat, explores potential security issues, pitfalls, and attack vectors used against storage technologies. Then, to provide avenues to address these security threats, Levine discusses how the industry has converged on an open software-defined storage model that can offer more robust security than traditional systems. And, along the way, Levine will provide use best practices you can employ in your organization including these key tips for building security in a Linux environment:

  • Close ports, limit users
  • Shutdown unnecessary processes
  • Don’t run as root
  • Use https and ssh only
  • MAC: SELinux, AppArmor

Enterprise-grade security from Red Hat Storage


Jeff Darcy, Principal software engineer, Red Hat, provides a detailed view of new features that enable a secure and robust environment in the latest release of the Red Hat Storage portfolio. Features that will arm you to both protect and defend against the security threats facing IT departments, today.

For example, key features when running in an SELinux environment include:

  • Two levels: internal vs. external
  • Internal: RHGS servers use SELinux themselves
  • Community: not our package, user must set up
  • External: we store and propagate users’ SELinux labels
  • Interpretation/enforcement done on clients

To register for these webinars, click here.


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