Ubuntu Advantage Storage launches at OpenStack Summit

Canonical launches software-defined storage solutions with cloud-style pricing

  • Ubuntu Advantage Storage delivers a range of supported software-defined storage technologies
  • Initial portfolio includes Ceph, NexentaEdge, Swift and SwiftStack
  • Share of support revenues goes to upstream open source storage projects
  • Plans include option for metered pricing based on data stored, independent of total storage capacity deployed

Vancouver – OpenStack Summit – 18 May 2015. Canonical today announced a new software-defined storage support service, offering a range of storage solutions. Metered support plans are available and priced based on the amount of data written, not the number or size of disks or the number of machines used to provide the service. Support is provided by Canonical with optional L3 escalation to a range of specialist partners.

The portfolio will include both open source technologies such as Ceph and Swift, and vendor solutions from Nexenta, Swiftstack and other third-party providers. Plans from multiple partners may be offered for the same technology.

The Ubuntu Advantage storage offerings enable enterprises to deploy scale-out storage technology onto their commodity hardware infrastructure, distinguishing between supported and unsupported clusters, and routing support calls to a wide range of specialist providers through Canonical as the common L1 support provider.

With Ubuntu Advantage Storage, customers can dynamically increase storage capacity simply by adding more machines or disks to the cluster. By contrast, NAS and SAN arrays require up-front commitment to large amounts of capacity and are difficult to scale incrementally. Canonical works with vendors to integrate leading software-defined storage capabilities into a single deployment and management framework, and into OpenStack clouds built on Ubuntu and the Canonical OpenStack distribution. Scale-out management, RDMA transport enablement, support for SSD & NVMe acceleration, and flexible cache tiering are key features requested by end-users which are now available from open source SDS technologies. Canonical meets customer demand for production delivery by backing them with a commercial support commitment.

“We are privileged to support some of the world’s largest open storage clusters, and are now expanding our offerings to meet customer preference for on-demand usage-based pricing, which helps customers get started” said Mark Shuttleworth, founder of Canonical and Ubuntu. “Fully automated management and integration enable us to deliver a first class experience from day one, even for smaller clusters.”

“OpenStack deployments come with radical storage requirements,” said Thomas Cornely, Chief Product Officer at Nexenta. “By partnering with Canonical on Ubuntu Advantage Storage, NexentaEdge delivers its streamlined architecture and unique functionality – inline deduplication, smart placement, and extremely high data integrity — in a production-ready, fully-supported package that addresses the storage needs of the most demanding cloud deployments while bringing new options to OpenStack administrators.”

SwiftStack was founded to give enterprises the benefits of OpenStack Swift without having to develop their own management stack,“ said Joe Arnold, Co-Founder and Chief Product Officer at SwiftStack. “Programs like Ubuntu Advantage Storage help Enterprises choose the engine that powers the world’s largest storage clouds with SwiftStack, the certified object storage distro in the OpenStack Marketplace.”

Metered Pricing

Storage solutions are typically priced per-node or by the total disk capacity deployed. This leads to an obvious penalty for good practices such as replication and advance build-out of total capacity.

Ubuntu Advantage Storage is different: pricing is based on the amount of data written to the storage pool by the user. There is no duplication of costs for replicas, and customers don’t pay for empty space – as expected from a modern public cloud storage service.

Inspired by cloud storage services with a pay-for-what-you-use approach, the metered pricing model is a radical departure from enterprise storage pricing, which is normally based on number of server nodes or total capacity deployed. “Bringing cloud-style pricing to the on-premise market is a key step in the evolution of private cloud,” said Christian ‘Kiko’ Reis, VP of Hyperscale and Storage at Canonical. “Customers now have utility-based pricing for an open portfolio of software-defined storage solutions from a wide range of competing and innovating players, all under one program, on whatever commodity hardware they prefer.”

This innovative pricing model also underlines Canonical’s dedication to support open source projects, including a commitment to contribute a percentage of support revenues to the further development of the upstream open source technology these storage solutions embed.

Jane Silber, CEO at Canonical said “The pace of data creation is exploding. As unstructured data fills disks and data retention policies lengthen, every organisation must grow their storage infrastructure. Organisations facing the imperative to scale need cloud-style economics in the pricing of software and services, and that’s what the Ubuntu Advantage Storage service offers. ”

Ubuntu Advantage Storage Highlights

  • Full support for scale-out storage solutions starting with Ceph, NexentaEdge, Swift, and SwiftStack
  • Designed for on-premise deployment on commodity server hardware
  • Service includes storage software, deployment & management tools, security & stability updates, reference architectures, knowledge base access and 24×7 commercial support
  • Services delivered by cloud experts with real-world experience running some of the largest mega-datacenter storage deployments in the world
  • Unique cloud-style pricing option: based on content written, not disk space or server nodes, and priced from $0.022 per usable GB per month


Available now In the Ubuntu Advantage Storage product portfolio are a variety of leading open source SDS technologies:

  • Ceph, a converged storage framework that offers block, file and object storage capabilities.
  • NexentaEdge, a block and object storage service offering inline de-duplication & compression, low latency block services, instant snapshots and clones, and enterprise grade end to end data integrity.
  • Swift, the high performance S3-compatible object store with class-leading multi-region replication, now with Erasure Codes.
  • SwiftStack, an object storage system built on OpenStack Swift, with an innovative storage controller for global management and NFS and SMB/CIFS file gateways.

These technologies are delivered as 24×7-supported solutions, including reference architectures deployed on top of Ubuntu via Canonical’s suite of cloud tools, including Juju, MAAS, Landscape and Autopilot.

Canonical is exhibiting at OpenStack Summit, Vancouver. Visit booth P3 for further details and to meet the team.

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What is Ceph?

Ceph is a software-defined storage (SDS) solution designed to address the object, block, and file storage needs of both small and large data centres.

It's an optimised and easy-to-integrate solution for companies adopting open source as the new norm for high-growth block storage, object stores and data lakes.

Learn more about Ceph ›

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