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Now introducing…

We have been hard at work to bring a containerized version of Ceph to Kubernetes, and we are very excited to announce that we are releasing a technical preview of our project to run SUSE Enterprise Storage (powered by Ceph) on SUSE CaaS Platform (powered by Kubernetes). We leverage the most modern, powerful application management framework to make Ceph lifecycle management easier,  and we provide an easy way for SUSE CaaS Platform users to get Kubernetes-native persistent storage for their Kubernetes cluster backed by enterprise-grade software-defined storage.

To bring this to reality, we are heavily invested upstream in a project called RookBased on our open, open source software philosophy, we are committed to upstream first and have community leadership roles in Rook and in the Ceph project focused on Ceph-Rook integration.

About Rook

After much research and testing with the upstream Ceph community, Rook showed itself as the most promising project for running Ceph on Kubernetes, and it is the one behind which the Ceph upstream community has focused its official effortsRook is able to perform the complex management needed for Ceph by implementing the Kubernetes “operator” patternRook can provide all of the Ceph block and file storage to applications deployed in Kubernetes via Kubernetes Persistent Volume Claims without any complicated setupand Rook can also provide object storage and S3/Swift access gateways. For the Kubernetes (or SUSE CaaS Platform) administrator, Rook provides custom resources for creating various storage types using manifests just as you would for any other Kubernetes based applicationsRook makes some assumptions and does some work in the background to provide a simple experience for users so they can focus more on what kind of storage they need than how to configure that storage

Ongoing work

Many Ceph users wanting to have the most control over their storage cluster. This may be for performance, data security, or any other reason. For these users we need to step outside of Rook’s simplified domain, but the user experience should still be easy. As with any Ceph cluster, Rook users still have access to Ceph’s CLI tools and dashboard for configuring their cluster. Additionally, with the Nautilus release of Ceph we have introduced the concept of Ceph “orchestrators” and added the orchestrator CLIThe Rook orchestrator plugin for Ceph allows the user, via the Ceph CLI, to configure, add, and remove Ceph daemons. Rook will then run and control the daemons inside Kubernetes at Ceph’s request. This is a first step toward our ultimate goal of allowing the Ceph CLI and dashboard to be a one-stop shop for complete Ceph monitoring and management.

Many common day-2 operations have been lacking in Ceph management tools, a problem we hope to resolve with the orchestrator work, one of the largest focuses of ongoing and upcoming development. Once the orchestrator work is done, we will have interfaces for complete Ceph management starting with day-1 deployment and continuing to be useful for the lifetime of the cluster in day-2. A specific goal we have is to create an interactive guide in Ceph to help users replace failed OSD disks. Ceph guiding users will help reduce operator errors in this common step and make management more approachable for novice users.

The future of SUSE Enterprise Storage on SUSE CaaS Platform

The good news is that work on Rook and Ceph-Rook integration is a concentrated effort upstream. There are many eyes—and many fingers—working to make Ceph better on Kubernetes. We at SUSE are in a good position to make sure that Ceph and Rook work upstream will meet the unique needs of our customers, and we are thrilled that our customers and their needs are able to make upstream better.

How to participate

To learn more about how to get access to the tech preview, visit the Containerized SES on CaaSP beta program page: https://www.suse.com/betaprogram/containerized-ses-on-caasp/. You can find all the information you need to get started and submit feedback on the beta program page. We encourage you to try it for yourself, and we are eager to hear about your experiences, good or bad, with this project. We will continue improving Rook for an even better experience for our customers.

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