Eucalyptus Block Storage Service with Ceph RBD

Press: HP acquires Eucalyptus 🙂

Embracing open source technology is not something new to us and here at Eucalyptus we practice this everyday. In Eucalyptus 4.1.0, we chose this beautiful commodity storage technology Ceph for our Block Storage Service. yay! While the product is under heavy development, I am happy to give update about how Ceph can be used as a block storage backend for Eucalyptus Storage Controller (SC).

First thing first, so to use Ceph as a block storage manager, we need a basic Ceph cluster deployed. Apart from having several automation technologies to deploy Ceph, it also has a beautiful tool called ceph-deploy. We found it really pleasing while deploying Ceph clusters with ceph-deploy. But as our requirement is to be able to deploy Ceph clusters of different sizes on-demand for testing ceph+eucalyptus setup, so we needed some automation for this. After giving some thought about our use case, we decided to take the a newer path which would be easily maintainable for us. So, we decided to write a small chef cookbook to deploy a Ceph cluster with ceph-deploy, fun isn’t it? 😉


For those who want to take a quick taste of Eucalyptus and Ceph at it’s early phase here is how you do it:

To deploy using ceph-cookbook which uses ceph-deploy,

1. clone the cookbook from (tested with 1x Monitor node and 2x OSDs, should work with a large number of OSDs)

2. upload the cookbook to your Chef server

3. update the environment file and upload it to the Chef server

4. Deploy Ceph cluster using Motherbrain

mb ceph-deploy bootstrap bootstrap.json --environment ceph_cluster -v

To add Ceph cluster as block storage backend for Eucalyptus, we will need a newer kernel with RBD module support and Ceph installed on the Eucalyptus Storage Controller (SC). For this demo we will use the LT kernel from ELRepo.

yum install ceph
yum --enablerepo=elrepo-kernel install kernel-lt

You may need to reboot the host by setting up the proper default value in grub.conf.

Now on your MON node, copy ceph.conf and ceph.client.admin.keyring from /root/mycluster directory and place those into /etc/ceph/ directory of the Eucalyptus SC host.

Register Eucalyptus Storage Controller and set the <cluster>.storage.blockstoragemanager property to “ceph”, e.g

euca-modify-property -p

At this point your Eucalyptus Storage Controller should be ready to be used with Ceph as a storage backend!

Now test your Eucalyptus SC with Ceph RBD by creating volumes and snapshots.

To check the ongoing events on your Ceph cluster, run `ceph -w` on the Monitor node.

Happy Cephing with Eucalyptus!

Even though it’s under heavy development, we will love to hear your experience with Ceph+Eucalyptus.

Join us at #eucalyptus on Freenode.

Update: My colleague and good friend Swathi Gangisetty pointed out that for Eucalyptus Storage Controller to be operational no newer kernel is required. Currently, for librbd, SC interacts with Ceph via JNA bindings that are packaged as jar and comes with Eucalyptus.


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