Open source software company Red Hat is acquiring Ceph open storage systems provider Inktank for $175 million. In a move targeted at the enterprise storage market, Inktank’s core offering, Inktank Ceph Enterprise will be integrated with Red Hat’s GlusterFS-based storage server software.
Ceph is an open source, software-defined storage system that runs on commodity hardware developed by Inktank's founder and CTO Sage Weil. Designed to replace legacy storage systems, it provides a unified solution for cloud computing environments.
"We're thrilled to welcome Inktank to the Red Hat family,” Red Hat CTO Brian Stevens said. “They have built an incredibly vibrant community that will continue to be nurtured as we work together to make open the de facto choice for software-defined storage.
"Inktank has done a brilliant job assembling a strong ecosystem around Ceph and we look forward to expanding on this success together. The strength of these world-class open storage technologies will offer compelling capability as customers move to software-based scale-out storage systems."
Ceph is a competitor to Amazon’s S3 cloud storage, allowing enterprises to build out their own storage offerings at Exabyte scale. Inktank provides the object and block storage functionality of Ceph with a visual interface and enterprise support.
Inktank was launched in 2012 and is based in San Francisco. The company's developers are behind the Ceph software-defined storage component of the open source cloud architecture OpenStack.
Inktank provides commercial support for Ceph and has a solid list of customers, including Cisco, Deutsche Telekom and CERN.
“We believe our open storage technologies will be critical in the management of data in the coming era of cloud computing," Weil said. "Joining Red Hat will no doubt lead to tremendous innovation that will ultimately serve the industry well and answer the demand for open storage solutions fully integrated with existing and emerging data center architectures such as OpenStack."
Red Hat entered the NAS market by acquiring the traditional file storage capabilities of Gluster’s GlusterFS platform for $136 million in 2011. It also purchased cloud middleware JBoss in 2006 for $420 million.
As part of the most recent transaction, Red Hat will assume unvested Inktank equity outstanding on the closing date and issue certain equity retention incentives. The transaction is expected to close in May 2014, subject to customary closing conditions.