Ceph is now backed by Inktank, a commercial venture led by Sage Weil, founder of Ceph. The company had originally incorporated under the name Ceph Inc, but it decided to take a different route to help preserve the integrity of the open source project.
“To name the company after the project gives the company a short-term advantage in terms of visibility,” Sage Weil, founder of Ceph and CEO of Inktank, told InternetNews.com. “But it steals from the project’s long-term viability as an open source project that is tied to one company’s fate.”
Ceph is competitive in some respects to the open source Gluster project, which was backed by a company known as Gluster Inc. Red Hat acquired Gluster Inc. in 2011 for $136 million. Weil said that the Gluster naming is an example of what he didn’t want to do. In his view, whenever anyone thought of Gluster they thought of the company and not the community of open source contributors.
“We want Ceph to live on no matter what company gets involved, ” Bryan Bogensberger, president and COO of Inktank, told InternetNews.com. “We want it to be a strong open source project, and we don’t want the community to have questions about governance.”
According to Bogensberger, people all over the world are currently using Ceph in real deployments. Ceph has been part of the mainline Linux kernel since the 2.6.34 release in May 2010. The purpose of Inktank is to help support Ceph deployments.