Ceph Training Overview


Someone on #ceph asked about training in Europe / major cities there.

So what I did is I googled the s*** out of “Ceph Training”…

I mean, I’ve done a little browse about who’s currently offering any, part as research “do I wanna do that again?” and also because I think alternatives are good.

 

Here’s the offerings I found, along with some comments.

All of them have basics pretty nice now, meaning you get to look at CRUSH, make sure  you understand PGs reasonably and most will let you do maintenance tasks like OSD add / remove…

I didn’t only look at classes in German, but it seems the interest in Ceph in Germany is just pretty high. Rightfully so 🙂

Ceph Trainings

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CEPH – Cluster- und Dateisysteme

(obviously a Germany speaking class)

https://www.medienreich.de/training/ceph-cluster-und-dateisysteme

They have lots of references for this course, and clearly involve CephFS. They offer a flexible duration so you can chose how deep some topics will be covered. They handle common mistakes, which is very nice for the trainees.

Some addon they do is re-exporting, i.e. HA NFS or VMs in RADOS etc. Surely helpful, but with that one make sure you either cut that part very short (like 2hours) to only get the overview, or stretch to be 2 days of its own. Clustering isn’t a part of your toolkit, it’s a new toolkit you learn. If you cut short, you end up worse. And make no mistake, Ceph(FS) will be your new SPOF, so make sure you get in very close touch with it.

One thing I’d also recommend is not to do the class with just a 3-node setup if you take a longer one. 3 nodes is really nice for your first days with Ceph but the reliability and performance are completely unrelated to what you see in a larger setup.

hastexo – “Get in touch”

https://www.hastexo.com/services/training/

I found some past feedback from one of their classes, it seems to be very good.

Also keep in mind they’re among the really long-time Ceph users, they hang out in #ceph at least as long as I do, and that is now, idk? 6 years?

Different from pure trainers or people that run around bragging about Ceph but aren’t even on the community, hastexo has also spent years delivering Ceph setups large- and small.

The only grudge I have with them is when they recommended consumer Samsung SSDs in a Ceph Intro for iX magazine. That wasn’t funny, I met people who thought that was a buying advice for anything serious. Ignoring the that any power outage would potentially fizzle all the journal SSDs ain’t something you do. But the author just probably tried to be nice and save people some money in their labs.

Anyway, hastexo do to their large amount of installations is the very best choice if your company is likely to have a few special requirements; let’s say you’re a company that might test with 8 boxes but later run 500+ and you want real-world experience and advice for scalability, even in your special context.

Afaik they’re in Germany, but they’re real IT people, as far as I can tell any of them would speak most fluent english 🙂

Seminar Ceph

http://www.seminar-experts.de/seminare/ceph/

This is just a company re-selling trainings someone else is doing.

The trainer seems to have a good concept though, adding in benchmarking and spending a lot of time on the pros/cons of fuse vs kernel for different tasks.

This is the course you should take if you’ll be “the ceph guy” in your company and need to fight and win on your own.

Nothing fuzzy, no OpenStack or Samba “addons”. Instead you learn about Ceph to the max. I love that.

Price isn’t low even for 4 days, but I see the value in this, and in-house training generally ain’t cheap.

There’s also an “streaming” option which comes around cheaper but a Ceph class without a lab is mostly useless. It also doesn’t say anything about the trainer, so no idea if he’d do it in another language than German.

Red Hat Ceph Storage Architecture and Administration

http://www.flane.de/en/course/redhat-ceph125

Seriously, no. This is all about OpenStack. You can take this course if you have some extra time to learn Ceph in-depth or if you’re the OpenStack admin and do some Ceph on the side, and aren’t the only guy around.

Can also be partially interesting if you have other ideas for using the Rados Gateway.

 

Merrymack Ceph Training

http://www.ceph-training.com/index.html

A web-based / video-based training. Price-wise this beats them all if you just have 1-2 attendees and no prior knowledge.

Probably a very good refresh if Ceph knowledge is dated or if you want to learn at your own pace. That way you can spend a lot more lab time, rather nice.

If you have a few people on the team the price goes up and you should really negotiate a price.

Personally I’d prefer something with a trainer who looks at your test and tells you “try like this and it’ll work” but $499 are hard to argue with if you got some spare time to do the lab chores.

I think this is the actual launch info of the course:

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/i-just-launched-on-demand-ceph-training-course-donald-talton

 

No longer available

 Ceph 2 – Day workshop at Heise / iX magazine.

It was a bit expensive for 2 days with up to 15 people.

http://www.heise.de/ix/meldung/iX-Workshop-zum-Dateisystem-Ceph-2466563.html

Nice as a get-to-know thing, I would not recommend it as an only training before going into a prod deployment

 

MK Linux Storage & LVM

That’s the original first Ceph training, the one I used to do 🙂

Ceph was done on the final day of the class, because back then you’d not find enough people to just come around for a Ceph training 😉

But it’s not offered by them any longer. As far as I know the interest was always a little bit too low since this hardcore storage stuff seems to have a different audience than the generic Linux/Bash/Puppet classes do.

 

Summary

Which one would I recommend?

Seminar Ceph” from that reseller would be for storage admins who need to know their ceph cluster as well as a seasoned SAN admin knows their VMAX etc. Also the best choice for people at IT shops who need to support Ceph in their customer base. You’ll be better off really understanding all parts of the storage layer, you might get your life sued away if you lose some data.

Go to hastexo if you generally know about Ceph, you already read the Ceph paper and some more current docs, your team is strong enough to basically set it up on your own (at a scale, so not “we can install that on 5 servers with ansible but “we’ve brought up new applications in size of 100s of servers capacity often enough, thank you”). You’d be able to strengthen some areas with them and benefit from their implementation experience.

Take the online Ceph Training if you want something quick and cheap and are super eager to tinker around and learn all the details. You’ll end up at the same level as with the pro training but need more time to get there.

Myself?

I still got no idea if I should do another training. I looked at all their outlines and it looked OK. Some more crush rebuilds to flex fingers and add-/remove/admin-socketify all the things 🙂 So, that’s fine with a week of prep and slides.

Training is a lot more fun than anything else I do, too.

But, to be honest the other stuff isn’t done and also pretty cool, with 1000s of servers and so on.

At my next website (www.florianheigl.me) iteration I’ll be adding classes and schedule.

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