Ceph is designed to provide highly scalable object, block and file based storage under a unified system.
Storage clusters are designed to run on commodity hardware, using an algorithm called CRUSH (Controlled Replication Under Scalable Hashing) to ensure data is evenly distributed across the cluster and that all cluster nodes can retrieve data quickly without any centralized bottlenecks.
Object storage is accessible through Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3) and OpenStack Swift REST based application programming interfaces (APIs), and a native API for integration with software applications.
Block storage makes use of a Ceph Block Device, which is a virtual disk that can be attached to bare-metal Linux-based servers or virtual machines. The Ceph Reliable Autonomic Distributed Object Store (RADOS) provides block storage capabilities, such as snapshots and replication. The Ceph RADOS Block Device is integrated to work as a back end with OpenStack Block Storage.
Ceph file storage makes use of the Portable Operating System Interface (POSIX)-compliant Ceph file system (CephFS) to store data in a Ceph Storage Cluster. CephFS uses the same clustered system as Ceph block storage and Ceph object storage.
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