cephadm deploys and manages a Ceph cluster. It does this by connecting the manager daemon to hosts via SSH. The manager daemon is able to add, remove, and update Ceph containers. cephadm does not rely on external configuration tools such as Ansible, Rook, and Salt.

cephadm manages the full lifecycle of a Ceph cluster. This lifecycle starts with the bootstrapping process, when cephadm creates a tiny Ceph cluster on a single node. This cluster consists of one monitor and one manager. cephadm then uses the orchestration interface ("day 2" commands) to expand the cluster, adding all hosts and provisioning all Ceph daemons and services. Management of this lifecycle can be performed either via the Ceph command-line interface (CLI) or via the dashboard (GUI).

cephadm is new in Ceph release v15.2.0 (Octopus) and does not support older versions of Ceph.