Ceph vs. Swift for OpenStack Object Storage

Ceph vs. Swift for OpenStack Object Storage

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For a casual outside observer, there’s a lot in common between Ceph and Swift: they are both open source projects, they have both enjoyed major and ongoing increases in the number of developers actively engaged in improving them, they are both mature, and they both have a legion of fans with serious engineering skills and live deployment experience. Each camp extolls the virtues of their preferred approach and acts as cheerleaders encouraging its adoption. Supporting either has to be viewed as a win for the open source community overall.

Ceph – if you can forgive the pun – was out of the blocks first in this two-horse race, launching in 2006. Swift launched two years later in 2008 and has been playing catch-up ever since. Ceph delivers unified storage, supporting File, Block, and Object. Swift is Object only. Ceph is an independent open source project. Swift was originally part of the Open Stack project – though the company that owns it, SwiftStack – is moving it on from this heritage. The general consensus is that Ceph is something of a ‘jack of all trades’, complete with the accompanying inference of ‘master of none’, whereas Swift does one thing well, but one thing only – giving it the polar opposite of inferences – that of the ‘one trick pony’ – SwiftStack is working on file-based services, they haven’t arrived yet. So, when it comes to the specialty of Swift, surely the choice is obvious. It’s the Object specialist and part of OpenStack, and therefore the best choice when looking at this configuration, right?

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May 18, 2017 at 07:39AM

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