Ceph is widely recognized as the premiere open-source software-defined storage platform. Its highly resilient architecture and standard support for multiple protocols makes it an ideal solution for both on-prem and cloud native workloads. However, not all workloads have been on equal ground. Linux environments have long benefited from native Ceph protocol support which leverages the distributed architecture for increased performance and fault tolerance. Windows clients have only been able to access Ceph resources through gateways – such as iSCSI or SMB. This approach can create bottlenecks which increase latency, restrict I/O bandwidth, and limit failover paths.
In an industry first offering, SUSE is pleased to announce a native Windows driver for Ceph! As part of the new SUSE Enterprise Storage 7, this Windows network block device driver eliminates the requirement for gateway access, and introduces native Ceph protocols through a new “rbd-wnbd” driver and extensible library which provide RADOS Block Device (RBD) access to Windows! Ceph binaries have also been built for Windows to allow for full RBD image management (create, delete, list, etc.) from the command line and PowerShell environments. All of these components are bundled together in a single MSI-based installer, for easy installation and management.
In addition to reducing administrative burdens, native protocol support also offers increased performance over traditional gateway setups. Current benchmarks show this new driver offering as much as 2-3 times the performance of comparable iSCSI configurations.*
This exciting offering was made possible through a partnership with Cloudbase Solutions. Both SUSE and Cloudbase Solutions understand the complexities of heterogeneous data-centers, and are dedicated to offering innovative solutions which address real-world problems. This is just one of the important efforts we have undertaken to do just that.
SUSE is thrilled to be contributing this entire effort to the open-source community. All of the code is available through github projects, and released under open-source licenses. We’re excited to continue to be a part of this effort, and look forward to feedback as you see how this driver can benefit your data center!
* Results may vary as performance is highly dependent upon workload characteristics and environment-specific variables.