Storage for the grand French cloud? Inktank partners with eNovance on Ceph

Summary
Paris-based eNovance will resell Inktank’s Ceph services and the two companies apparently already have a mystery customer. And, quelle surprise! eNovance is also deeply involved in a government-sponsored project to rival Amazon Web Services.

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It’s been noted a few times that the Amazon of Europe will most likely be Amazon, but the French have something else in mind. With capital of €225 million ($305 million) — €75 million of which has come from the French government, no less – Cloudwatt is intended to be the Gallic and ultimately Europe-wide riposte to U.S.-based cloud platforms Amazon, Google and Microsoft. Orange and Thales are also involved, but the company that’s actually designing this OpenStack-based cloud is managed services provider eNovance.

Which is why it’s very interesting to see eNovance ink a deal with Inktank, a startup that’s trying to commercialize the open-source Ceph storage subsystem. Ceph is integrated with OpenStack (and CloudStack, and the Linux kernel), and is pitched at providers that want to use cheaper commodity hardware rather than more expensive proprietary storage hardware.

The deal will mostly see Paris-based eNovance resell Inktank’s professional support and consulting services. There seems to be more to it, though: Inktank sales VP Nigel Thomas told me at Cloud Expo Europe today that the two companies “have a joint customer” already that’s “going to implement an OpenStack solution with Ceph”. He was loath to name Cloudwatt as that customer, but eNovance’s involvement in that project makes the conclusion hard to avoid.

So when will we see Cloudwatt in action, presumably with Ceph powering the storage component? According to the website, it will go live in October.

In other Inktank news, parent company DreamHost just released its own Ceph-based cloud storage service, DreamObjects.

DreamObjects hit general availability on Tuesday following beta testing by thousands of users. It’s compatible with other object storage services including Amazon S3 and OpenStack’s Swift and, for those paying month-to-month, DreamHost is charging 7c/GB for both storage and transfer-out bandwidth. The company says those making longer-term commitments will get cheaper prices, and there are also introductory discounts for those signing up now.

“We believe that the current generation of innovators and content creators will thrive and prosper in an environment where feature-rich, reliable cloud storage can be utilized for pennies per gig,” DreamHost CEO Simon Anderson said in a statement.

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David Meyer – GigaOM – Jan 30 2013.

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