Ceph, the open source, scalable, software-defined storage platform for the cloud and Big Data, is officially ready for the enterprise. That's what Inktank, the company behind the system, has indicated with the release of Inktank Ceph Enterprise, which is now publicly available.

Inktank is offering the solution on a subscription basis. It offers support services and value-added deployment tools related to the Ceph platform, which itself is free and open source, and features Ceph version 0.67, which includes important enterprise functionality such as copy-on-write and compability with the Swift API, as well as a graphical management application aptly named Calamari.

Inktank is pitching its Ceph Enterprise offering as the best solution in terms of total cost of ownership (TCO) and ease of integration with other key open source cloud tools, such as OpenStack, Apache CloudStack and virtualization software. The company is also emphasizing the flexibility of the platform, calling it "future-proofed" because it is extendable and doesn't force customers to choose between block storage and object storage.

The solution supports all of the current major open source server platforms, including Red Hat (RHT) Enterprise Linux 6.3, Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.4, CentOS 6.3, CentOS 6.4 and Ubuntu 12.04 LTS.

The announcement of a comprehensive Ceph solution for the enterprise should help Ceph and Inktank compete with GlusterFS, another open source distributed storage system, which receives strong backing from Red Hat—and which recently released a new "connector" for integrating GlusterFS with Hadoop.