Red Hat is making its way into the software-defined storage market. The company just announced plans to acquire Inktank for approximately US$175 million.

“We’re thrilled to welcome Inktank to the Red Hat family,” said Brian Stevens, executive vice president and CTO at Red Hat. “They have built an incredibly vibrant community that will continue to be nurtured as we work together to make open the de facto choice for software-defined storage.”

(Related: Red Hat works on Linux containers)

Inktank, developer of open-source storage systems, is known for its open-source software-defined storage system, Ceph. It provides object, block and file system storage in a single platform, and is designed to replace legacy storage systems and provide a unified solution for cloud-computing environments.

“Inktank has done a brilliant job assembling a strong ecosystem around Ceph, and we look forward to expanding on this success together,” said Stevens. “The strength of these world-class open storage technologies will offer compelling capability as customers move to software-based scale-out storage systems.”

Inktank hopes that this acquisition will help strengthen the quality of the storage platform, benefit the entire ecosystem, and improve Inktank’s ability to address storage stack problems according to Sage Weil, founder and CTO of Inktank.

“Red Hat brings a broad base of expertise in building and delivering hardened software stacks as well as a wealth of resources that will help Ceph become the transformative and ubiquitous storage platform that we always believed it could be,” Weil wrote on the Ceph blog.

Since Red Hat favors a pure open-source model, Inktank’s monitoring and diagnostics tool Calamari, developed as part of Ceph, will soon be open-sourced.

“Red Hat is one of only a handful of companies that I trust to steward the Ceph project,” wrote Weil. “When we started Inktank two years ago, our goal was to build the business by making Ceph successful as a broad-based, collaborative, open-source project with a vibrant user, developer and commercial community.”

The acquisition is expected to close in May.