Complete Guide to Setting Up an OpenStack Cluster with Ceph

Welcome to our comprehensive guide on setting up an OpenStack cluster with Ceph storage. This guide is intended for system administrators and IT professionals who are looking to implement a scalable and robust cloud environment using OpenStack and Ceph. We’ll cover everything from the initial setup to integration and management tips. Let’s get into it!

Introduction to OpenStack and Ceph

OpenStack is an open-source cloud computing platform that controls large pools of compute, storage, and networking resources throughout a datacenter. It is highly customizable and can manage both public and private clouds.

Ceph, on the other hand, is a highly reliable and scalable storage solution which supports object, block, and file storage. In an OpenStack environment, Ceph can be used as a backend for block storage through its RADOS Block Device (RBD), as well as for object storage using its RADOS Gateway (RGW).


Before you begin, make sure you have the following:

  • At least three servers for an initial, small-scale cluster. More servers can be added to scale out the system.
  • A reliable network setup with at least 1 Gbps connectivity or faster.
  • A Linux distribution that supports OpenStack, such as Ubuntu, CentOS, or Red Hat Enterprise Linux.
  • Basic familiarity with Linux system administration, networking, and virtualization concepts.

Step 1 – Preparing Your Environment

1.1. Operating System Installation

Install your chosen Linux distribution on all nodes. Ensure that each node has a static IP address and proper DNS resolution.

1.2. Required Software

Install necessary software packages and dependencies:

1.3. Network Configuration

Configure the management, public, and data networks. This typically involves setting up VLANs and configuring network interfaces.

Step 2 – Installing Ceph

2.1. Deploying Ceph Nodes

Deploy your Ceph nodes. One should be designated as the Ceph Monitor and others as Ceph OSDs. Use the Cephadm tool for deployment:

2.2. Configuring Storage

Prepare and add your storage devices to your Ceph cluster:

Step 3 – Installing OpenStack

3.1 Install OpenStack Services

Use the OpenStack deployment tool of your choice (Packstack, Devstack, or OpenStack-Ansible) to install and configure the OpenStack services. For instance, using Devstack:

3.2. Integrate Ceph with OpenStack

Modify the OpenStack configuration to use Ceph as the backend for Glance, Cinder, and Nova services. Edit the respective configuration files to point to your Ceph cluster.

Step 4 – Post-Installation Configuration

4.1. Create OpenStack Resources

Set up projects, users, and roles. Define networks, subnets, routers, and initialize instances.

4.2. Ceph Health Checks

Regularly check the health of the Ceph cluster:

Step 5 – Monitoring and Management

5.1. Monitoring Tools

Install and configure monitoring tools like Zabbix, Nagios, or Prometheus to keep an eye on both OpenStack and Ceph health metrics.

5.2. Backup and Recovery

Establish a backup and recovery process for your data stored in Ceph.


Setting up an OpenStack cluster with Ceph backend requires careful planning and execution, but the results are a flexible and powerful cloud environment. This guide provides a roadmap to help you through the process, but always consider your specific needs and environment specifics before proceeding.

For further reading and detailed commands, you can refer to the official OpenStack and Ceph documentation. Experimenting in a test environment before going live is highly recommended.

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