Jack of all trades: New Cisco UCS S-Series and Red Hat Storage

imagesToday, Cisco announced its new UCS S-Series storage-optimized server with the introduction of the UCS S3260, marking its entry into the emerging server market for data intensive workloads.

Red Hat and Cisco have worked together for a long time, including our collaboration on Red Hat OpenStack Platform.

Out with the old…

By jumping into the high-density storage-optimized server market, Cisco validates what we see as the continued movement to emerging software-defined, scale-out architectures for solutions like OpenStack and container-native storage and hyper-converged infrastructure.

With the ability to spread data across multiple servers, both Red Hat Ceph Storage and Red Hat Gluster Storage are helping to drive this trend. Open, software-defined storage enables enterprises to build an elastic cloud infrastructure for newer, data intensive workloads.

Ceph provides unified storage over a distributed object store (RADOS) as its core by providing unified block, object and file interfaces, while Gluster provides an elastic, scale out NAS file storage system.

As more organizations move to open source SDS from appliances / traditional SAN arrays, they often miss the recipes for a best practice deployment. Red Hat has worked with Cisco to produce reference design architectures to take the guess work out of configuring throughput-optimized, cost / capacity-optimized and emerging high IOPs performing clusters, including whitepapers for both Red Hat Ceph Storage and Red Hat Gluster Storage with Cisco’s previous generation of the S-Series, the C3160 high density rack server.

Open source drives storage innovation

Both Ceph and Gluster use community-powered innovation to accelerate their core feature sets faster than what is possible via a single proprietary vendor. Red Hat is a top contributor to both Ceph and Gluster upstream development, but several hardware, software and cloud service providers, including eBay, Yahoo!, CERN (Ceph) and Facebook (Gluster), all contribute to the code base. Cisco itself is a top-50 contributor to Ceph in terms of code commits.

Versatility

The Cisco UCS S-Series builds on the x86 storage-optimized server trend – but seemingly shuffles the deck with more of an enterprise spin via features such as dual-node servers, quadruple fans and power supplies, connected to Cisco UCS Fabric Interconnects.

One aspect of the new UCS S-Series design we are excited about is “versatility”. UCS offers common, consistent architecture for variety of IT needs that we expect may enable it to become a standard hardware building block for enterprise environments. S-Series includes features such as a modular chassis design, facilitating upgrades to new Intel chipsets including its disk expander module, providing the ability to swap out a server node for an additional 4 drives (increasing the raw capacity from 560 to 600 TB).

Cisco has also integrated networking fabric into its storage-optimized servers, making it easier to extend your interconnect as your cluster scales out. The S3260 offers dual 40GbE ports for each server node. As one moves to denser servers (with more than 24 drives) in Ceph configurations, the need for 40Gb Ethernet becomes greater. Enterprises can benefit from tightly-integrated fabric interconnect which translates to less latency, which is important for applications like video streaming.

A key piece is the UCS Manager configuration and handling tool which can simplify deployment. UCS Manager enables the creation of an initial configuration profile for storage, network, compute, etc. for the S3260, helping customers to more easily grow their Ceph environments by pushing out the profile to additional S3260s as they expand.

Combined with the Red Hat Storage ability to handle block, object and file access along with being flexible enough to handle throughput optimized, cost / capacity and high IOPS workloads, Cisco’s UCS S-Series may not just be a jack of all trades, but also a master of many.

Stay tuned for more upcoming joint solution papers from the Cisco UCS S3260 and Red Hat Ceph Storage teams. In the interim, learn more about the UCS S-Series at cisco.com/go/storage.

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.

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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.

Continue reading “Latest OpenStack user survey shows Ceph continues to dominate”

GlusterFS among the elite!

Score one more for Red Hat Storage! In case you didn’t hear, GlusterFS is the proud recipient of a 2015 Bossie Award, InfoWorld’s top picks in open source datacenter and cloud software. Highly influential worldwide among technology and business decision makers alike, the IDC publication selected GlusterFS as one of its top picks for 2015.

Continue reading “GlusterFS among the elite!”

Test drive Red Hat Ceph Storage — for free

Want to try Red Hat Ceph Storage for yourself? Then it’s your lucky day. You can test drive it now. For free!

Available on Amazon Web Services (AWS) in a number of short, easily digestible labs, the Red Hat Ceph Storage test drive gives you a hands-on opportunity to explore the product’s features and see for yourself—in real time—how Red Hat Ceph Storage works. In addition to letting you explore the management features and fundamentals of Red Hat Ceph Storage, test drive labs walk you through such things as how to deploy a Ceph cluster and how to set up erasure-coded and replication storage pools.

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Visit our Slideshare page for presentations from Red Hat Summit 2015 and everything you’ve ever wanted to know about storage

For easy access to a wealth of Red Hat Storage information, from product updates and use case insights to industry best practices, check out the Red Hat Storage Slideshare page. With presentations going back a few years you’ll be able to find just about anything – including the presentations used during select sessions at Red Hat Summit 2015. Below is just a sampling of some of the presentations you’ll find.

Continue reading “Visit our Slideshare page for presentations from Red Hat Summit 2015 and everything you’ve ever wanted to know about storage”

It’s here: Red Hat Gluster Storage 3.1

Gluster

So remember last month when we announced updates to Red Hat Gluster Storage? Well, we made good: Those updates are here in v3.1.

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New studies from Red Hat, Supermicro, and Mellanox shows major Red Hat Storage performance increases with Mellanox networking

According to a study just completed by Mellanox Technologies, Ltd., Supermicro, and Red Hat, Red Hat Ceph Storage and Red Hat Gluster Storage deliver higher storage server performance when used with Mellanox solutions for 25, 40, 50, 56, and 100 Gigabit Ethernet networking and RDMA technology. They can also lower the cost of deploying rack-scale storage for cloud and enterprise by squeezing more performance out of dense servers. Dense storage servers (>18 hard drives) and all-flash configurations can drive more throughput than standard 10GbE bandwidth can accommodate. Mellanox high-speed networking technologies allow these dense and all-flash servers to achieve higher throughput performance. In addition, for latency-sensitive workloads, Mellanox networking technologies can significantly reduce IO latencies.

Continue reading “New studies from Red Hat, Supermicro, and Mellanox shows major Red Hat Storage performance increases with Mellanox networking”

Announcing Red Hat Gluster Storage 3.1

everglades
Florida and the Everglades seen from space. (NASA)

The Everglades is a region of Florida that consists of wetlands and swamps. These natural areas are filled with life and possibility, so it makes sense that Everglades was the code for the new Red Hat Gluster Storage (RHGS) 3.1, announced today, and available this summer.

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OpenStack Summit Vancouver 2015: The After-Action Report

You may have read some of our recent posts about the recent OpenStack Summit in Vancouver. What you may not have seen are the thoughts from the industry or the conversation on social networks. Read on for a snapshot in time!

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Software-defined storage can deliver the promise of OpenStack Manila

This week at OpenStack Summit in Vancouver, Red Hat announced integrated OpenStack Manila shared file system services with Red Hat Gluster Storage to provide enterprises with a scale-out file system for OpenStack clouds.

This news is extremely relevant to enterprises that need a scale out shared file service for their private cloud deployments. Before the Manila file share service, there was no elegant way to handle file shares in OpenStack. The integration with OpenStack Manila allows Red Hat Gluster Storage to serve as a storage back end for Manila, giving users a way to take advantage of file-based storage services in an OpenStack environment. In addition, it takes away much of the housekeeping chores from OpenStack users who can now request a file share, use it as long as needed and place it back into the storage pool, without ever caring about who first created the file or where exactly it’s stored.

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Performance at Scale for OpenStack Manila with GlusterFS on Cisco UCS Servers

OpenStack Manila file storage users have a reason to celebrate. Red Hat is proud to announce a new performance benchmark that not only reinforces the performance of GlusterFS at scale but also demonstrates how enterprises could significantly lower enterprise storage and energy costs.

The benchmark tests represent the industry’s first results of GlusterFS on ultra-dense Cisco UCS C3160 servers with high-speed networking. GlusterFS offers over half a petabyte of usable storage with just four nodes, which makes it is extremely cost effective in storage intensive workloads such as OpenStack Manila. The latest IOzone file system performance benchmark shows how GlusterFS read and write performance scale near linearly when deployed on Cisco UCS 3160 servers.

Continue reading “Performance at Scale for OpenStack Manila with GlusterFS on Cisco UCS Servers”

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