Interview with Ceph, first Ada Initiative Bronze sponsor


Today we announce our first Ada Initiative Bronze level sponsor, Ceph. Ceph is a distributed open source file system whose development was primarily funded by DreamHost, the successful Los Angeles based web-hosting company. The Ceph project is becoming part of a newly created and growing “soon to be named” business entity that will provide ongoing resources and support services to those adopting Ceph.

Ceph is also matching the first $3,000 of individual donations made from January 17 – 19, Pacific time. Donate now!

We interviewed Sage Weil, Ceph’s Chief Architect and Lead Developer, and Bryan Bogensberger, VP of Business Strategy, about why they sponsored the Ada Initiative and what makes their company different from other open source employers.

Bryan Bogensberger describes Ceph as unique in the world of distributed file systems: The project and business is a well-funded, there is global effort being invested by both individuals and enterprises, Ceph code is upstream in the linux kernel, and all well before a business was ever contemplated. “People are interested in Ceph because it’s one of the few projects to get code upstream in the kernel,” explains Sage Weil. “The demonstrated ability to work with the community is one thing that makes us different from other vendors.”

On the business side, Bryan says that “While Ceph has the flexibility and creative environment of a startup, it also has the backing of DreamHost, which results in exceptional financial stability and job security.” He also wanted to stress the core philosophies backing this project. “Commitment to open source, to the community and to our team runs very deep here,” says Bryan. “We are doing everything we can to give the project the resources, communication and support to make Ceph the future of storage.”

Ceph prefers to hire people who will work locally at its offices in San Francisco and Los Angeles, but is open to telecommuting for the right people and will get work visas for potential employees when required. “The goal is to continue to build a project that is inherently distributed,” says Sage. “We’re really trying to build a team that is open and collaborative in anticipation of working with other organizations.”

On supporting the Ada Initiative, the Ceph team has a variety of motives. Asked for a moment when the lack of women in open source struck him, Sage called out attending the 2008 Linux Storage and File Systems Workshop, where Ada Initiative co-founder Valerie Aurora was one of only a handful of women attending. “It’s hard to find people who are qualified for these jobs, and frustrating when half the human population is excluded and disadvantaged because of the nature of the community. We want to do whatever we can to set an example and change that perspective.”

Ceph’s current open positions are available at: