Shuttleworth Backs Ceph Storage Startup Inktank

Ceph storage startup Inktank has secured $1 million from Canonical founder Mark Shuttleworth. The funds will help support the rapid growth of Inktank. Since launching in May 2012, Inktank has expanded to a second office in Sunnyvale and continues to hire developers, support and services experts.


Inktank, the only company to provide enterprise-level support for the Ceph Distributed Storage System, today announced that Canonical founder Mark Shuttleworth has invested $1 million through a convertible note to help fund the rapid growth of Inktank and support the Ceph community.

In a world where data storage demands continue to grow exponentially and more applications are moving to the cloud, Ceph is the answer for highly scalable, flexible, and cost-effective storage. The Ceph open source distributed storage system uniquely combines object storage, block storage, and a POSIX-compatible file system in one unified platform that runs on commodity hardware, freeing users from restrictive and proprietary storage solutions. Growing numbers of organizations, developers, and cloud deployments alike are turning to Ceph to scale their storage capacity into the future while decreasing costs. In addition, Ceph was integrated into the mainline Linux kernel in 2010.

As a long-time champion of open source and industry-transforming technologies, Shuttleworth was eager to get involved with the Ceph storage platform and its worldwide community of developers. 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. Ubuntu is the popular Linux desktop distribution that was created by Shuttleworth and is backed by Canonical.

“Ceph redefines storage as an open source service, meeting one of the key challenges for enterprises and cloud providers who need scalable and cost-effective storage,” said Mark Shuttleworth, founder of Canonical. “The distinctive architecture of Ceph gives it natural advantages over both proprietary and open source competitors. We found Ceph to be mature enough to warrant its inclusion in Ubuntu 12.10 as a storage option for our OpenStack reference architecture, widely deployed in both telco and corporate environments. 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.”

“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.”

Since launching in May 2012, Inktank has expanded to a second office in Sunnyvale and continues to hire developers, support and services experts, and QA specialists to name a few.

About Inktank

Inktank is the company delivering Ceph—the massively scalable, open source, distributed storage system. Launched by some of the leading developers of Ceph, Inktank’s mission is to help organizations fully leverage the transformative power of Ceph to decrease storage costs, increase operational flexibility and help them free themselves from restrictive and expensive proprietary storage systems. Inktank provides best-in-class professional services and support offerings to enterprises, service providers, and cloud platforms.

About Ceph

Ceph, The Future of Storage™, is a massively scalable, open source, distributed storage system. It is comprised of an object store, block store, and a POSIX-compatible distributed file system. The platform is capable of auto-scaling to the exabyte level and beyond, it runs on commodity hardware, it is self-healing and self-managing, and has no single point of failure. Ceph is in the Linux kernel and is integrated with the OpenStack™ cloud operating system. As a result of its open source nature, this portable storage platform may be installed and used in public or private clouds.