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A Ceph RADOS system typically consists of a large collection of standard commodity servers, also known as storage nodes. Common use cases for a Ceph RADOS system are as a standalone storage system or as a back end for OpenStack Block Storage.
RADOS has the ability to scale to thousands of hardware devices by making use of management software that runs on each of the individual storage nodes. The software provides storage features such as thin provisioning, snapshots and replication. An algorithm called controlled replication under scalable hashing (CRUSH) determines how the data is replicated and mapped to the individual nodes.
RADOS was created at the University of California at Santa Cruz. The Ceph open source community develops and maintains the software.