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Share Ceph Storage Between Kubernetes Clusters With OpenShift Container Storage


This week Red Hat announced the release of OpenShift Container Storage 4.5. We invited Pete Brey, Sr. Product Marketing Manager at Red Hat to deep dive into this release. One of the major highlights of this release is ‘External Mode’ that allow customer to tap into their standalone Ceph Storage platform that’s not connected to any Kubernetes cluster. It allows users to set-up a shared storage platform between different Kubernetes Clusters.


Here is an automated transcript of the interview:

Swapnil Bhartiya: Red Hat has announced the release of Red Hat OpenShift Container Storage 4.5, which comes with a load of new services and features. To talk about this release, we have with us today. Pete Bray, Senior Product Marketing Manager at Red Hat. As a starter, can you tell me a bit about Red Hat OpenShift Container Storage and what kind of functionality does it offer to users?

Pete Brey: OpenShift Container Storage provides persistent storage services for Kubernetes applications.

Swapnil Bhartiya  Now, let’s talk about this release. What are some of the highlights of new features?

Pete Brey: Great question. Also, some of the new features, actually, the biggest feature that we’re introducing in release 4.5 is support for what we’re calling external mode. You may be familiar with Red Hat, Ceph Storage, and Ceph is famous for being able to scale massively to support demanding data requirements. We are now bringing Ceph together with OpenShift container storage. So we’re bringing the massive scalability story to Kubernetes environments. And this is really where we see the future that as Kubernetes continues to mature as a technology, organizations are going to want to bring their data as well as their applications to a Kubernetes environment. And that’s really the problem that we solve with this

Swapnil Bhartiya  : External mode. Can you just like kind of elaborate so that it’s more clear to our viewers?

Pete Brey: That’s a great question. When we talk about external mode, we’re talking about using a standalone Ceph Storage platform that’s not connected necessarily to any Kubernetes cluster. And you might ask, Well, what benefits or advantages does that really buy me? First and foremost, it’s, it allows you to set up a shared storage platform between multiple different Kubernetes cluster. And we’re seeing this increasingly, I mentioned earlier about the maturity of Kubernetes. We’re seeing more and more organizations that want this kind of functionality. They don’t want to have pools or puddles of storage spread throughout their organizations to support their various Kubernetes environments. And so with this announcement with external mode, we’re able to support an external Red Hat Ceph Storage cluster, that will support block file and object storage. But what’s really an advancement here is our ability to deliver automation with that external cluster. So in the past, you’ve had to set up your own Ceph cluster. But now with the automation that we’ve built into OpenShift Container Storage, it’s completely automated. So the installation experience is automated. In fact, you can complete the installation in under 10 minutes. But also the ongoing operational experience is greatly simplified because it’s all embedded in the OpenShift Management Console.

Swapnil Bhartiya  . Also, what what about those customers under either they have built their own data lakes, which is sitting somewhere else, that’s a great question also.
Pete Brey: And for customers that have already built their own data lakes, more often than not, they’re using object storage as the underpinning technology for that. And s3 is a standard has become the industry standard for accessing object storage. And we support this in a couple of ways. One, for any object storage platform that supports s3, we have built in a multi cloud gateway that supports access to any s3 object storage platform, whether it’s in the public cloud, for instance, AWS, or Microsoft Azure, or on premises, like Red Hat Ceph. Storage. So we provide a lot of flexibility with the multi cloud gateway. Awesome.

Swapnil Bhartiya  Now let’s talk about it goes into this word when the clusters of clusters is scalability. That is a big challenge. So how does this release kind of, you know, further, improve scalability for users,

Pete Brey: We really believe in the scalability of Ceph. And we have customers who have used Seth for some of their most mission critical customer support applications where they’ve scaled into the hundred petabyte range. Because we believe so much in the scalability of Ceph, we actually commissioned an independent study to demonstrate just how far we could push stuff. And together with this launch, we’re announcing a white paper and a study that we completed, where we were able to support 10 billion objects, both small and large objects, being ingested into a Red Hat Ceph Storage platform while maintaining consistent performance and that last point is probably the most key point. Because you could have an object storage platform that could support that level 10 billion objects, but will it deliver the consistent performance that you need throughout the infestation of all of that? those objects. And so we really feel that this is a new watermark within the industry, for object storage platforms,

Swapnil Bhartiya  Now, let’s just change the topic for a while get out of storage, and just talk about cloud in general, red had adopted, you know, mobile and cloud strategy. You know, years ago, we had been telling people about digital transformation move to the cloud, suddenly, you know, everybody, it has become a kind of urgency. Now, you have to be so. But according to a lot of studies, a lot of companies are collection, who are still at a very early, very early stage of their cloud, or digital transformation journey. To talk a bit about from based on your own experience with customers. How important is cloud in today’s word?

Pete Brey: So Cloud is extremely important to our customers today. And the best way I can describe this, it’s an experience I had with a customer, a large bank, based in New York. And I was sitting down and I was talking to their data science and their application development teams. And they said, Pete, you know, what’s really important to us is agility, we need to be able to stand up new applications, new services, almost instantaneously. And it’s a little bit of the credit card experience that, you know, we talked about with public cloud. And that’s the experience that we want to bring not just to public cloud environments, but also to on premise environments. And with just the click of a button, and you know, 10 minute installation, you can be up and running very, very quickly and managing not just your applications in a Kubernetes environment, but also the data that goes with the applications. And we know from experience, that most applications are going to require some level of persistence and some level of data,

Swapnil Bhartiya  You’re talking about some applications are going to require, which is also like data versus application, you know, these are two different worlds, you know, because once you build data lake, or you have, you have to also kind of ensure that the the future workloads are fully taken care off. So I want to ask a two fold question. One is that can you talk about the roadmap? What are you looking for the next release? Number one, number two is? How does this release, ensure that it will continue to support future workloads as well?

Pete Brey: That’s a great question. So to answer the first question in terms of, you know, taking a peek at the direction we’re headed, it’s really about servicing the data needs of organizations. One of the biggest problems that data scientists and data engineers have today is just the ability to find data, we see time after time, where organizations are dealing with an incredible influx of the amount of data that they’re having to deal with. And it’s not that they don’t have data, it’s the problem that they don’t have the right data in the right form at the right time. And so you talk about data lakes, and absolutely, they’re very important force within the industry. But we also have to recognize where organizations are coming from. Many have built very large databases, online transaction processing databases, but they’ve also built data warehouses. And our view of the world is we want to support all of those methods of data at rest. But we also want to support data in motion because we know that quite frequently, organizations need to move data from one location to another, hopefully not in massive quantities, but they will need to be able to move it. And so we we provide that level of support to and will be increasing, we providing support to move data from one location to another and transform it also in the process of moving in. But then the final category that we think about is data inaction. And this is increasingly organizations are recognizing the importance of using analytics technology and artificial intelligence and machine learning. And so we’re going to be supporting that also, in fact, a little bit of a sneak preview, if your audience wants to go take a look at Open Data That’s a little bit of a sneak preview of some of the things that will be coming in the next few months from redhead data services,

Swapnil Bhartiya  since you mentioned AI ml. While you support those kind of workload. I’m also curious how much AI and ml you are using for this platform itself.
Pete Brey: So it’s very interesting because Open Data hub started out as an internal redhead project to support our own needs to support Our customers, literally our support centers who are taking phone calls from our customers. And so it grew out of those grass roots within redhead but has grown much bigger to the point that today we’re discussing this project with many different customers of ours around how it can be a platform to help them solve their data integration challenges for AI ml workloads. Pete, thank you so much for taking your time out and talk about this release of it and I look forward to talk to you again. Thank you. Yeah, thank you Swapnil. It’s always a pleasure talking to you.