Ceph, the open source distributed storage system for the cloud and Big Data, is designed to store information remotely. But Inktank, the company behind the project, hopes to promote the software through a series of hands-on workshops called Ceph Days, which will occur this fall in three international cities. And Canonical, the vendor for Ubuntu Linux, is getting in on the action, too.

The first Ceph Day took place in Amsterdam last fall. Over the next months, Inktank will build on that precedent by hosting three similar workshops: in New York on Aug. 1, Santa Clara on Sept. 12 and London on Oct. 9. Each event spans one full workday and costs about $100 ($75 with early-bird registration) to attend, or £75/£100 for the workshop in the United Kingdom. (That is, by the way, a big difference, since £75 is about $115—but no one said London was cheap.)

Inktank is promoting the workshops as a chance for enterprise IT administrators to gain hands-on experience deploying Ceph, as well as to network with other professionals and Ceph developers. Sage Weil, Inktank's CTO and the originator of the Ceph software project, will be among those on hand.

Canonical, which has a close relationship with Inktank, also will be a part of each of the upcoming Ceph Days. It will use them, it says, to showcase its Juju orchestration tool for the cloud, as well as the Landscape management platform for administering networks of Ubuntu systems.

Chalk this up, then, as another sign of the tight collaboration between Canonical and Inktank around Ceph, which has emerged as the distributed storage platform of choice within the Ubuntu ecosystem. That's important, since it means Canonical has turned its attention away from competing open source storage systems, such as Red Hat's (RHT) GlusterFS. The futures of Ubuntu and Ceph—and Canonical and Inktank—are intertwined.

The Ceph Days workshops are also evidence of Inktank's commitment to bringing Ceph installation and administration skills to the channel in a direct way. Rather than hoping IT staff educate themselves in the platform—which may be unlikely in many cases, given the array of new software systems that have emerged in the age of the cloud and the limited time for mastering them—Inktank is adopting the tried-and-true approach of bringing on-the-ground training directly to enterprises—albeit with a modest fee attached.