CEPH Tutorial (2016)

From Gridkaschool


Ceph is an open-source, software-defined distributed storage system that strives to achieve scalability and reliability through an innovative decentralised design. Distributed file systems nowadays face multiple challenges: scaling to peta-byte capacity and providing high performance, while protecting against failures. Moreover, file systems should be able to adapt to dynamic distributed workloads to provide the best performance. Ceph tries to tackle these challenges with a completely decentralised architecture that has no single point of failure. Reliability is achieved through distributed data placement and replication. Ceph's dynamic metadata partitioning feature helps deal with dynamic workloads.

This session is an introduction to Ceph and it will cover theoretical background on Ceph's architecture, as well as hands-on exercises, such as installation and configuration of a Ceph cluster, simple usage and monitoring. After completing this session, you should be able to understand and discuss Ceph concepts, and deploy and manage a Ceph Storage Cluster.

Required skills

Basic knowledge of Linux and storage concepts is required.

Technical requirements for the course

For installing and running Ceph we will use virtual machines provided by the GridKA School.

On your personal laptop, you will only need:

  • an ssh client to connect to the VMs - if you're using Linux or Mac, this is already installed; on Windows, I would recommend PuTTY.
  • a web browser to access the course material on github.
  • optionally: a git client, if you wish to clone the course material and view it locally.


  • Introduction to Ceph
  • Deploying a Ceph storage cluster
  • Basic usage of the Ceph cluster
  • Data placement in Ceph: CRUSH
  • Ceph Filesystem
  • Block Storage in Ceph (RBD)
  • Erasure coding
  • Troubleshooting challenge


The course material is available on github.

The lecture slides are available at [1].