Inktank is the lead commercial vendor behind the open-source Ceph distributed storage filesystem created by Sage Weil, who is also the company’s CEO. The open-source Ceph project officially got under way in 2006 and became part of the mainline Linux 2.6.34 kernel in May of 2010.
Weil founded Inktank in May of 2012 as a way to help support companies that want to run Ceph in production environments. Weil is also a co-founder of hosting provider Dreamhost, where the Ceph project got its start. Inktank as a privately held company enjoyed the financial backing of Dreamhost as well as Mark Shuttleworth, who leads Red Hat’s Linux rival, Ubuntu Linux.
Ceph in some respects is seen as a competitor to the open-source Gluster filesystem project. Red Hat acquired Gluster in 2011 for $136 million and has since leveraged Gluster to become the core of the Red Hat Storage product line.