This new tool 45Drives’ developed for deploying Ceph, creatively dubbed as Ceph Deploy, exists as a module within Houston that allows you to set up your cluster from within a graphical user interface.

So what does this mean for our customers?

With Ceph Deploy, our support team now has a streamlined tool to use when configuring Ceph clusters for our customers, reducing the time and complexity of configuration.

Let’s give you a little insight into how we used to set up a cluster.

The old way of setting up a Ceph Storage Cluster

Before Ceph Deploy, we manually configured the files required to configure Ceph on multiple servers using Ansible. All of this configuration was done via the command line on a single machine called the administrator node.

There are two main file types that the administrator node uses to set up a cluster:

  • Ansible playbooks
  • Ansible inventory files

Ansible playbooks contain the step-by-step instructions that need to be followed to install and configure software and services on a group of servers. Playbooks make the changes to the system as they are run on the administrator node. Ansible only makes these changes to the systems in a certain category – or ansibles terms, “systems assigned to a given role.”

This is where inventory files come in.

Inventory files contain the details specific to the systems you want to make changes to that are used when running an Ansible playbook. These are typically presented as variables that can be assigned values such as which role a given system is assigned, what network interface to use, specific IP addresses, or any other information a playbook requires before running.

Manually configuring these inventory files can be quite tedious and time-consuming, especially with the sheer quantity of variables required to configure something as complex as a Ceph cluster. Ansible has definitely made it easier to set up storage clusters when contrasted with manually performing all of the commands required to configure Ceph on each machine manually. However, it still requires an intricate setup, which involves manually editing multiple inventory files with hundreds of variables from the command line. In addition, when deploying Ceph, the playbooks need to be run in a specific order if we want a working cluster in the end.

The new way to set up Ceph Clusters

Ceph deploy is designed to simplify the Ansible setup process by intelligently curating the options shown to the user and ensuring we don’t run the wrong playbook at the wrong time. And since Ceph Deploy is a Cockpit Module, we can do all of our configuration from within the browser!

Ceph Deploy is an awesome way to reduce the learning curve for customers who want to deploy their own clusters using their 45Drives hardware.

Looking for more information? Watch this video where one of our R&D engineers explains the deployment process and then shows you just how easy it is to use Ceph Deploy.

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