Inktank Gets Investment From Shuttleworth
September 12, 2012

Ubuntu’s Shuttleworth Invests $1 Million In Inktank Cloud Services

redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports - Your Universe Online

Storage startup Inktank announced on Tuesday that it has secured a $1 million investment from billionaire Linux mogul Mark Shuttleworth.  The investment, which is in the form of a convertible note, will be used to bring Inktank´s open-source distributed file system Ceph to cloud computing.

“Mark Shuttleworth is an open source visionary, and the Inktank team is delighted to accept his support for Ceph,” said Bryan Bogensberger, President and COO of Inktank.

”The demand for Ceph has been extraordinary, and we will use the additional funding to continue Inktank´s accelerated growth to meet the globally expanding needs of those adopting Ceph and operating Ceph storage clusters.”

Shuttleworth is the entrepreneur behind the popular Linux desktop distribution Ubuntu, and the founder of Canonical, which manages Ubuntu.

“The Ceph project has been very active in the OpenStack community alongside Canonical, and the distributed storage system was integrated into the new version of Ubuntu 12.04 LTS, released in May 2012,” Inktank said in its announcement.

Inktank, led by DreamHost Co-Founder Sage Weil, provides support and services to businesses that use Ceph, a product Weil developed over the past several years.

The Ceph storage cluster solves a very real problem for businesses that need to build large data warehouses, or those that conduct large-scale data analytics.

While it is fairly straightforward to store a terabyte or two of data on a single hard drive, it is much more complex to store hundreds or thousands of terabytes distributed across many different servers, with each server knowing its place in the whole, and the entire cluster acting as a single integrated file system. This is where Ceph comes in. The distributed file system is specifically designed to run across multiple servers, and can accommodate enormous growth while remaining responsive at scale.

There are several large open source distributed file systems that offer similar functionality, but Ceph is notable for already being integrated into Ubuntu 12.04 LTS, as well as for its use in OpenStack, the service behind Ubuntu's private cloud offering.

Shuttleworth's investment in Inktank is an important endorsement by a prominent industry kingpin.

"The distinctive architecture of Ceph gives it natural advantages over both proprietary and open source competitors," said Shuttleworth.

"I'm also delighted to support the team behind Ceph in their goal of building a commercial success story around this tremendous technology, as an investor in Inktank."

"Today Ceph is in the Linux kernel and Ubuntu.”

"Soon it will be everywhere."