Canonical Voices

Posts tagged with 'cloud'

Ben Howard


For sometime people have been asking me "when will Cloud Images sport a Twitter account?" Well, wait no longer, because the Ubuntu Cloud Image Builder now has a Twitter Account.

The Cloud Image process will now Tweet when a new image is build and published -- dailies, new release updates and new versions being releases. For right we're only Tweeting EC2 information, but once Windows Azure goes GA, we'll start Tweeting that too.

So in the meantime, you can follow our faithful Cloud Builder as it tweets merrily its build progress at @UbuCloudImages. But I'll have to warn you, the Cloud Builder won't response to tweets, so we're not snubbing you if there is no response.


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Ben Howard

If Twitter isn't your cup of tea, or coffee, or <insert liquid refreshment here>, how about RSS. A while back in November, we introduced RSS feeds for the Ubuntu Cloud Images.

There is a feed for both released images and dailies. The feeds are really simple: they show all the builds that are available. This is a great way to track new releases of the Ubuntu Cloud Images if you don't want want to follow Twitter, hate checking your email or you don't care much for reading our announcement emails.

Anyway, enjoy the RSS.

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Ben Howard

We are pleased to announce the immediate availability of the latest 12.04.1 (Precise Pangolin) and 12.10 (Quantal Quetzal) Cloud Images on Windows Azure, Microsoft's public cloud. These images are named:
  • 12.04.1: Ubuntu-12_04_1-LTS-amd64-20121218-en-us-30GB
  • 12.10: Ubuntu-12_10-amd64-20121218-1-en-us-30GB
Please note, that due to the way that Windows Azure Gallery works, we will not be able to maintain older images on the gallery. As new images become available, we will be expiring old images. If you need a specific version/serial of a Ubuntu Cloud Image, we strongly suggest that you snapshot and use that version.
Action required: Updates for Existing Images

ACTION REQUIRED: Update existing 12.04.1 or 12.10 images

Over the last year, it has been our pleasure to work with Microsoft to build the Ubuntu Cloud Images for Windows Azure. Microsoft is making updates to Windows Azure to further increase performance and stability of Virtual Machines, currently in preview. These updates require an action - by January 15, 2013 - on custom Linux virtual machine images that fit the definition below:

  • Any gallery Linux images captured into storage accounts from a virtual machine originally created on or before December 21, 2012
  • Any of your personal Linux images uploaded to Windows Azure on or before December 21, 2012.
To learn more about the changes that Microsoft has implemented, please see Microsoft’s announcement.
All Ubuntu users who have instances running on Windows Azure need to make sure that they take action BEFORE January 15, 2013 (else, they might find the Mayan prophecy 30 days late, as far as their instances are concerned).
If, however, you want to update existing images, then we present to you, utlemming’s tl;dr update guide (or you can use Microsoft’s guide, which does the same stuff, just with more explicit commands).

utlemming’s tl;dr update guide

From a Ubuntu perspective the changes required for 12.04 and 12.10 are:
  • CHANGE the current archive mirrors to the on-site Azure mirrors. Canonical has worked to build fast and stable regional mirrors which are co-located in each Azure region. To reduce your bandwidth costs and improve the experience of installing software, all users should update to the new mirrors.
  • CHANGE bootloader configuration to include kernel parameters of “rootdelay=300 console=ttyS0? and drop the kernel parameter "ata_piix.disable_driver" as it is no longer beneficial and will cause harm after January 15, 2013
  • ADD hv-kvp-daemon-init, which facilitates the start of the hv-kvp-daemon and supporting scripts. The hv-kvp-daemon handles hyper-visor-to-Ubuntu communication channels.
  • ADD linux-backports-hv-{precise,quantal}-virtual (lbm module). The lbm module backports the 3.7 HV stack to support new hypervisor features, as well as increase performance and stability.
  • UPDATE walinuxagent to version 1.2. Microsoft has introduced some bug fixes to the way that provisioning of Linux images work. This updated agent will reduce provisioning failures.

   
Update Ubuntu 12.04 and 12.04.1

For those running 12.04 and 12.04.1, the following steps are needed to fully update Ubuntu to Windows Azure compatibility. Complete all eight steps to update the mirror, the kernel, and the Azure agent.
  1. sudo sed -i “s,archive.ubuntu.com,azure.archive.ubuntu.com,g” /etc/apt/sources.list
    • This step updates the mirrors to point to an Azure hosted mirror.
  2. sudo apt-add-repository ‘http://archive.canonical.com/ubuntu precise-backports main’
    • This step adds the repository needed to get the kernel and agent changes.
  3. sudo apt-get update
  4. sudo apt-get install linux-backports-modules-hv-precise-virtual
    • This step adds the update kernel and associated modules.
  5. sudo apt-get install hv-kvp-daemon-init walinuxagent
    • This step adds the updated agent.
  6. Perform the GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT steps outlined below to adjust the boot commandline options prior to your next boot.
  7. (recommended) sudo apt-get dist-upgrade
  8. sudo reboot

Update Ubuntu 12.10

For those who have already upgraded their images and area already running 12.10,  the following steps are needed to fully update Ubuntu to Windows Azure compatibility. Complete all eight steps to update the mirror, the kernel, and the Azure agent.
  1. sudo sed -i “s,archive.ubuntu.com,azure.archive.ubuntu.com,g” /etc/apt/sources.list
    • This step updates the mirrors to point to an Azure hosted mirror.
  2. sudo apt-add-repository ‘http://archive.canonical.com/ubuntu precise-backports main’
    • This step adds the repository needed to get the kernel and agent changes.
  3. sudo apt-get update
  4. sudo apt-get install linux-backports-modules-hv-precise-virtual
    • This step adds the update kernel and associated modules.
  5. sudo apt-get install hv-kvp-daemon-init walinuxagent
    • This step adds the updated agent.
  6. Perform the GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT steps outlined below to adjust the boot commandline options prior to your next boot.
  7. (recommended) sudo apt-get dist-upgrade
  8. sudo reboot

Update the Boot Loader Configuration

Ubuntu instances running on Windows Azure need to be configured for a long root delay (how long Ubuntu will wait for the root device to appear) and to output kernel messages to the serial console.

Edit /etc/default/grub and make sure that the GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT has “console=ttyS0 rootdelay=300” in it.  Remove any reference to "ata_piix.disable_driver". For example: 

GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT="console=ttyS0 rootdelay=300”Ubuntu instances running on Windows Azure should no longer be configured to disable the ata_piix driver as it is now used for simulating a CD-ROM.


An alternative to using an editor on /etc/default/grub is to just run these commands:
  1. sudo sed -i 's/GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT="/GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT="console=ttyS0 rootdelay=300 /g' /etc/default/grub
  2. sudo sed -i 's/atapiix.disable_driver//g' /etc/default/grub
Then run the following to process these grub linux command line changes:
  1. sudo update-grub
  2. (optional) sudo reboot

Bring-your-own-Ubuntu (BYOU)

Obviously, we would love for you to use the images that Canonical builds. After all, we have a team that has put in countless hours building, perfecting and QA’ing. But, if for some reason you can’t, then can we suggest that you start with our base images? You can find them here:
These VHD files are the exact base-bits that have been uploaded and registered in the Windows Azure environment. Even better, these are based on the 20121218 Amazon AWS EC2 official images with the same package version and set (except there are a few more packages to support Windows Azure).
TIP: If you use the VHD files for BYOU, cloud-init is installed. Cloud-init is the magic sauce in the Ubuntu Cloud Images that gives each instance of Ubuntu running in the cloud a personality; for Windows Azure, Cloud-Init and WALinuxAgent work side-by-side to offer the best Ubuntu experience. We have configured cloud-init for NoDataSource, which means that it will look for user-data in /var/lib/cloud/seed/nocloud-net/user-data. Simply drop your user-data script in there, and at boot time, it will be run. Also, you can edit /etc/cloud/cloud.cfg as well to use different mirrors, add SSH keys, etc. You can read more about cloud-init here: https://help.ubuntu.com/community/CloudInit
For the adventurous that like to spin their own bits, please make sure that you have the following packages installed.
  • hv-kvp-daemon-init: handles hypervisor communication with Ubuntu
  • walinuxagent: Windows Azure Linux provisioning agent and Azure fabric registration agent
  • A kernel based on 3.7 or backports of the HV stack Ubuntu 13.04 kernels support the HV stack normally.
  • Install the linux-tools-common package.
  • 12.04 and 12.10 Ubuntu kernels will need the linux-backports-hv-{precise,quantal}-virtual package installed. This package is a complete backport of the _entire_ HV stack from Ubuntu 13.04.
  • Set /etc/apt/sources.list to use the hosted-in-Azure Ubuntu mirrors (http://azure.archive.ubuntu.com), which will use the speedy mirrors local to your Azure virtual machine. WARNING: these mirrors are dreadfully slow outside Azure.
Follow the Windows Azure recommendations for publication.
NOTE: It is very hard to generate a VHD file that is compatible with Windows Azure using open-source tools without playing a very annoying and disk-space intensive dance. For this reason we strongly recommend using the VHD files above, or using the in-Azure images and taking a snapshot.

Special thanks

The Ubuntu Cloud Image team recognizes that the success on Windows Azure would not be possible if not for the amazing help and special talents of Adam Conrad (infinity), Andy Whitcroft (apw) and the QA and Certification staff, as well as our fine colleagues at Microsoft.

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Mark Baker

As clouds for IT infrastructure become commonplace, admins and devops need quick, easy ways of deploying and orchestrating cloud services.  As we mentioned in October, Ubuntu now has a GUI for Juju, the service orchestration tool for server and cloud. In this post we wanted to expand a bit more on how Juju makes it even easier to visualise and keep track of complex cloud environments.

Juju provides the ability to rapidly deploy cloud services on OpenStack, HP Cloud, AWS and other platforms using a library of 100 ‘charms’ which cover applications from node.js to Hadoop. Juju GUI makes the Juju command line interface even easier, giving the ability to deploy, manage and track progress visually as your cloud grows (or shrinks).

Juju GUI is easy and totally intuitive.  To start, you simply search for the service you want on the Juju GUI charm search bar (top right on the screen).  In this case I want to deploy WordPress to host my blog site.  I have the chance to alter the WordPress settings, and with a few clicks the service is ready.  Its displayed as an icon on the GUI.

I then want a mysql service to go alongside.  Again I search for the charm, set the parameter (or accept the defaults) and away we go.

Its even easier to build the relations between these services by point and click. Juju knows that the relationship needs a suitable database link.

I can expose WordPress to users by setting expose flag  - at the bottom of a settings screen – to on. To scale up WordPress I can add more units, creating identical copies of the WordPress deployment, including any relationships.  I have selected ten in total, and this shows in the center of the wordpress icon.

And thats it.

For a simple cloud, Juju or other tools might be sufficient.  But as your cloud grows, Juju GUI will be a wonderful way not only to provision and orchestrate services, but more importantly to validate and check that you have the correct links and relationships.  Its an ideal way to replicate and scale cloud services as you need.

For more details of Juju, go to juju.ubuntu.com.  To try Juju GUI for yourself, go to http://uistage.jujucharms.com:8080/

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Mark Murphy

Ubuntu has long been a favourite with developers – especially in the worlds of web and cloud development. We’re excited that, from today, serious (and not-so-serious) developers will be able to get their hands on the super-sleek Dell XPS 13 Developer Edition, preloaded with and fully optimised for Ubuntu.

The Dell XPS 13 is a top spec, high-end ultramobile laptop, offering developers a complete client-to-cloud experience. It is the result of the Dell’s bold Sputnik initiative, which embraced the community and received terrific response from developers around the world. The community has spoken – and they said, “give us power, give us storage, give us a really ‘meaty’ machine – that also looks GREAT. And Dell has delivered.

The XPS 13 with Ubuntu allows developers to create ??microclouds? on the local drive, simulating a proper, at-scale environment, before deploying seamlessly to the cloud using Juju, Ubuntu’s service orchestration tool. That’s something you simply can’t do with a standard installation of any other OS.

With Juju now supporting 103 charms and counting, it covers the world’s most popular open source cloud services, all from the Ubuntu desktop.

I’d like to call out the drive and energy of Barton George and Michael Cote at Dell for making the XPS 13 launch possible. And of course, the team within Canonical for the fine tuning of this great product (mine ‘cold’ boots to desktop in under 11 seconds!) I’d also like to call out the dev community for their incredible support, helping us getting this from drawing board to factory ship – get buying!

Combining Ubuntu with the power of Dell hardware gives developers the perfect environment for productive software development, whatever their sector. The Dell XPS 13 Developer Edition is available from http://www.dell.com/us/soho/p/xps-13-linux/pd in America and Canada today.

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Victor Palau

Last month I attended DroidCon 2012 and did a talked about using Juju and Ubuntu to deliver Android applications with a Web Service background. The guys at Skillmatters were kind enough to record and edit the video, and now it publicly available.

 


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Sonia Ouarti

You have critical decisions ahead as you take your first steps into cloud computing.

One of them will be whether to build a private cloud infrastructure in your own data centre, make use of one of the public cloud services offered by vendors like Amazon, Rackspace and HP, or combine the two in a ‘hybrid cloud’ approach.

You can get closer to the right decision by considering the right questions now:

  • Budget - How much do you have (or how much don’t you have) to support your cloud strategy?
  • Speed - When do you need this done? Tomorrow, next year, yesterday…
  • Demand - How many users will you need to support? And will they call come at once?
  • Resources - What kind of resources do you have in-house? And how many can you realistically get your hands on?
  • Privacy -How sensitive is your data? Where are you doing business?

This short, sharp checklist takes you through the process that points you in the right direction and ensures your investments pay off from the start. Download it today.

 

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Prakash

At Netflix we need to be able to quickly query and analyze our AWS resources with widely varying search criteria. For instance, if we see a host with an EC2 hostname that is causing problems on one of our API servers then we need to find out what that host is and what team is responsible, Edda allows us to do this.

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Sonia Ouarti

OpenStack, your foundation for Cloud computing

14 November 2012 at 4pm GMT

 

The open cloud, based on OpenStack, is fast becoming one of the most popular cloud platforms. OpenStack delivers open standards, modularity and scalability, and avoids vendor lock-in.

Join this webinar to find out why OpenStack is surging ahead, learn about the OpenStack technical architecture and the new features of the recent Folsom release. Find out why, to date, all public cloud providers, such as DreamHost and HP, whom are using OpenStack, are deploying it on ubuntu.

You will also learn about investments that Canonical has made into OpenStack such a as our Continuous Integration efforts, the Ubuntu Cloud Archive and Ceilometer.

Register now

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Mark Baker

Hardened sysadmins and operators often spurn graphical user interfaces (GUIs) as being slow, cumbersome, unscriptable and inflexible. GUIs are for wimps, right?

Well, I’m not going to argue – and certainly, command line interfaces (CLIs) have their benefits, for those comfortable using them. But we are seeing a pronounced change in the industry, as developers start to take a much greater interest in the deployment and operation of flexible, elastic services in scale out or cloud environments. Whilst many of these new ‘devops’ are happy with a CLI, others want to be able to visualise their environment. In the same way that IDEs are popular, being able to see a representation of the services that are running and how they are related can prove extremely valuable. The same goes for launching new services or removing existing ones.

This is why, last week, as part of the new Ubuntu 12.10 release, we announced a GUI for Juju, the Ubuntu service orchestration tool for server and cloud.
The new Juju GUI does all these things and more. For those of you unfamiliar with it, Juju uses a service definition file know as a ‘charm’. Much of the magic in Juju comes from the collective expertise that has gone into developing this the charm. It enables you to deploy complex services without intimate knowledge of the best practice associated that service. Instead, all that deployment expertise is encapsulated in the charm.
Now, with the Juju GUI, it gets even easier. You can select services from a library of nearly 100 charms, covering applications from node.js to Hadoop. And you can deploy them live on any of the providers that Juju supports – OpenStack, HP Cloud, Amazon Web Services and Ubuntu’s Metal-as-a-Service. You can add relations between services while they are running, explore the load on them, upgrade them or destroy them. At the OpenStack Summit in San Diego this year, Mark Shuttleworth even used it to upgrade a running* OpenStack Cloud from Essex to Folsom.
Since the Juju GUI was first shown, the interest and feedback has been tremendous. It certainly seems to make the magic of Juju – and what it can do for people – easier to see. If you haven’t seen it already, check out the screen shots below or visit http://uistage.jujucharms.com:8080/

Because as we’ve always known, a picture really is worth a 1000 words.

 

Juju Gui Image

The Juju GUI

 

 

*Running on Ubuntu Server, obviously.

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Sonia Ouarti

If you’re considering the adoption of new technology in your business, there’s a new resource launching today that could give you everything you need to make the right decisions in what can be confusing and sometimes costly field.

With sections on the desktop, server and the hot topic of the moment – cloud computing – it offers useful content for business people of all kinds, regardless of how technical their background might be. It features contributions from IT experts across the Canonical departments, with content available in several formats.
Here are just some of the highlights on the site right now:

  • Cloud and the Enterprise Data Center: Everything Changes – a free ebook that sets out to make the cloud as straightforward as possible.
  • Open Cloud Computing: Mergers and Acquisitions – a fascinating article on how open standards in cloud computing are vital when combining the operations of more than one business.
  • Windows 8 Migration – Let’s Open the Debate – the first article in a series looking at the pros and cons of upgrading business PCs to Microsoft’s controversial new operating system, Windows 8.

Ubuntu Insights is aimed at business people who may not have a technology background, but who are increasingly faced with decisions that involve enterprise computing. We hope it will be useful to you or to some of your colleagues so, if you know of someone who could use a good introduction to the field, please share the link. And we’re always on the look-out for contributors, so if you have any content you’d like to contribute to the site, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

—-

—-

Ubuntu Insights

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Prakash

Boris Renski is co-founder of OpenStack integration consultancy Mirantis and he says every enterprise he’s worked with so far has been interested in OpenStack because they view it as an alternative to VMware. The board’s vote earlier this month has now muddled the differences, he says. “If OpenStack isn’t an alternative to VMware, then what the hell is it?” Renski says.

VMware’s entrance into OpenStack has been part of a whirlwind of news during the past few months for the virtualization company and Renksi’s comments may reflect some tension between the two camps.

Read More.

Related posts:

  1. VMware Joining OpenStack Delayed, For Now The OpenStack Board of Directors met this week and on...
  2. If AWS is the Walmart of cloud, is OpenStack the Soviet Union? The Cloud Faceoff! The stage was set for a lively...
  3. OpenStack could be the Linux of the cloud OpenStack has the potential to become as widely used in...

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Victor Palau

If you thought I had concluded my blog series on demonstrating how Ubuntu is the best environment to write up “connected” or “cloud backend” Android Apps, think again!

So far this is what we covered:

  • Proof that you can access a Juju local environment from the Android Emulator  done!
  • Using a few charms from the charm store plus a custom one, set up a MySQL database that can be exposed through a web service with simple commands/steps - done!
  • Develop a TODO list android app and connect it to the web service, so they talk to each other. – done!

The next step is “How to test that it all works on a production environment”.  If you have tested to death both your Android application and your web service locally, it is time to check if they will still work in real life. How do we do this? With few simple commands, we are going to deploy the same web service into the Amazon Cloud, and  the application in a mobile phone. All managed from the comfort of my Ubuntu Desktop.

Deploying to Amazon Web Services (AWS)

The only pre-requisite here is that you do have an AWS account. Once you are logged into the AWS website, you can find the credentials that you will need to set up your juju environment.  You can find a tutorial on how to set up your Elastic Compute Cloud (ec2) environment –> here.

The required information for Juju is stored in the environment.yaml file in the ~/.juju folder. In the following sample file you can see that two environments have been defined:

  • “local” is the environment that I have been using in my PC to test my web service using LXC containers.
  • “aws” gives Juju the information required to deploy services using my Amazon account.
  • “local” is set as default. This means that if I just run “juju bootstrap” this command applies to the local environment. To bootstrap the AWS environment, I would do “juju bootstrap -e aws”.
default: local
environments:
 aws:
  type: ec2
  access-key: YOUR-ACCESS-KEY-GOES-HERE
  secret-key: YOUR-SECRET-KEY-GOES-HERE
  control-bucket: juju-faefb490d69a41f0a3616a4808e0766b
  admin-secret: 81a1e7429e6847c4941fda7591246594
  default-series: precise
  juju-origin: ppa
  ssl-hostname-verification: true
 local:
  type: local
  control-bucket: juju-a14dfae3830142d9ac23c499395c2785999
  admin-secret: 6608267bbd6b447b8c90934167b2a294999
  default-series: precise
  juju-origin: distro
  data-dir: /home/victorp/myjuju_data

With my environments now configured, it’s time to deploy my services. This first step is to bootstrap my environment:

juju bootstrap -e aws

With the command completed successfully, I can check the status and I will see that the juju control instance is now up and running in Amazon:

juju status -e aws
2012-09-19 11:43:34,248 INFO Connected to environment.
machines:
  0:
    agent-state: running
    dns-name: ec2-75-101-189-208.compute-1.amazonaws.com
    instance-id: i-0e4f7174
    instance-state: running
services: {}
2012-09-19 11:43:35,322 INFO 'status' command finished successfully

Lets continue deploying the services. As I am only doing testing, I want to pay the minimum for it, it will ask juju to set a constrain to only use micro instances. Then I will deploy a mysql and a lamp service:

juju set-constraints instance-type=t1.micro -e aws
juju deploy mysql -e aws
juju deploy --repository ~/mycharm local:lamp -e aws
juju set lamp website-database="android_todo" -e aws
juju set lamp website-bzr="lp:~vtuson/+junk/mytodo_web" -e aws
juju expose lamp -e aws
juju add-relation lamp mysql -e aws

With all my services now running I can go to the Amazon EC2 instance console and see how they have been deployed as micro instances. I can now also enter the public address for my lamp service and see the ToDo list table as expected.

Testing the Android App on a real phone

Running Juju status, I can retrieve the public url for the lamp service and I replace the uri vairable in the TodoSourceData class with “ec2-107-22-151-171.compute-1.amazonaws.com/database.php”.  The next step is to plug a HTC Desire set up on debug mode into my laptop’s usb port. The rest is taken care by the Android Eclipse plug-ins. When I click  the run project button, I am presented with a choice of targets:

I just need to press “OK” and my ToDo app is launched in the handset. Opening the menu options and pressing “Sync” fetches the ToDo data from the Amazon services, as expected:

That is all for today! Let me know if you have any suggestions on what else I should cover on this blog series.


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Kyle MacDonald

Today is the official launch of the OpenStack Foundation, which is leading the cloud industry in developing the most cutting-edge open enterprise-class cloud platform available. The OpenStack Foundation aims to promote the development, distribution and adoption of OpenStack. As a founding platinum member, Canonical is involved by contributing to the project’s governance, technical development and strategy. We’re helping service providers and enterprises, as well as their customers and users, benefit from the open technologies that are making the cloud more powerful, simple and ubiquitous.

Canonical was the first company to commercially distribute and support OpenStack – and Ubuntu has remained the reference operating system for the OpenStack project since the beginning – making it the easiest and most trusted route to an OpenStack cloud, whether for private use or as a commercial public cloud offering. We include it in every download of Ubuntu Server, one of the world’s most popular Linux server distributions, giving us a huge interest in its continuing development.

OpenStack developers are building and testing on Ubuntu every single day, which is why Ubuntu can fairly claim to be the most tightly integrated OS with OpenStack – and the most stringently tested. In short, if you want to run OpenStack then you really ought to run it on Ubuntu! Since 2009 we’ve been committed to the open cloud, and the creation of the OpenStack Foundation is a huge step in making it better.

Widely certified and supported for the long term, Ubuntu 12.04 LTS is the most reliable platform on which to move from a pilot or proof of concept to a large-scale production deployment. It offers the robustness and agility you need for rapid scaling of the underlying cloud, with first-class support for the key virtualization technologies that underpin successful OpenStack deployments.

Already thousands of global enterprises and service providers are deploying their cloud infrastructures on Ubuntu and OpenStack. Organisations like Mercadolibre, Internap and Nectar are running their mission critical applications on their Ubuntu OpenStack clouds. Ubuntu and OpenStack are also powering clouds at the likes of HP, AT&T, Rackspace and Dell. We are seeing strong global demand from leading enterprises worldwide and can’t wait to share their stories in the coming months. Service providers are rapidly adopting Ubuntu and OpenStack; we see this in our engagements with every one of the world’s largest service providers.

OpenStack and Ubuntu share the same six-monthly release schedule. But, while OpenStack is still young and developing fast, Ubuntu Server is a mature enterprise OS. In fact, most large companies choose to stay on our long-term support releases, which come out once every two years and are supported for five. So what about the majority of companies that need the stability and support of the latest LTS release of Ubuntu, alongside all the new OpenStack features and fixes that are released every six months?

That’s where our new Ubuntu Cloud Archive comes in. Unique to Ubuntu, it gives users the chance to run new versions of OpenStack as they are released, with full maintenance and support from Canonical, in the Ubuntu OS, even if they want to stay on the last LTS release.

Over recent months, other technology vendors have recognised the lead and impact that OpenStack is making in the market and have announced their commitment to the project. We should see even more of them joining the party and coming up with OpenStack offerings in the months to come. But in the meantime, the best way to build your OpenStack cloud is through the proven, rock-solid combination of OpenStack and Ubuntu.

You can read about the OpenStack Foundation news here.

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Mark Baker

Have you ever wanted to experiment with the latest cutting-edge cloud software, but run it on the same long-term support release of Ubuntu that you have all your other apps and services working on?

Well, now you can. Today, Canonical has released the Cloud Archive for Ubuntu 12.04 LTS Server, an online software repository from which administrators can download the latest versions of OpenStack, for use with the latest long-term support (LTS) release of Ubuntu. This is hugely significant step for OpenStack users, because it means they can now access the latest OpenStack releases and betas on a stable and supported platform that is certified with many of the leading server vendors.

As many people know, the tradition of Ubuntu Server is to release every six months, with every fourth release (or two years) being a Long Term Support (LTS) version supported for five years. The interim releases are supported for 18 months. This generally works well: businesses that require a solid infrastructure for a long period of time normally use the most recent LTS, rather than upgrading every 6-18 months.

Users often find that this predictable release schedule allows all areas of a workload lifecycle (from requirement, design, develop to deploy) to work well.  However, sometimes a key piece of the stack is needed. This leaves users in a quandary: jump to a later (non-LTS) Ubuntu release, or find something that helps solve the problem, building on the LTS release.

One way to try and address this problem is via backports. Over the years, there has been attempts to use the Ubuntu Backports repository, and also ‘blessed’ PPA’s (Personal Package Archives) or private in-house archives to provide access to later technologies backported from upstream.

With OpenStack, which underpins Ubuntu Cloud Infrastructure, we needed to think about how we would deliver the new OpenStack releases on 12.04 LTS without backporting, as using the Backports Archive would restrict the number of versions we could support concurrently (unless we opted for multiple Backport archives). OpenStack made the early decision to implement their development processes around the Ubuntu development process and to follow our release cadence. This has helped OpenStack deliver features with pace and on a deadline but crucially, it has allowed us to put continuous integration testing in place to integrate and test OpenStack code as soon as it is committed.

So with OpenStack we are now building, integrating, testing and publishing all the OpenStack milestones and stable releases on 12.04 LTS. This is a departure from our previous policy but the process for updates getting into the Ubuntu Cloud Archive has been designed to closely align with the processes that the normal Ubuntu Archive would have for Stable Release Updates.

With a fast moving technology such as OpenStack, this is hugely significant, as we see many customers testing the milestones and building seed clouds with the latest code. All this helps us find bugs and improve the code for all – which can only be a good thing.

To get access to the Ubuntu Cloud archive, please add the following entries to your /etc/apt/sources.list:

 

/etc/apt/sources.list entries:

# Public -proposed archive mimicking the SRU process, packages should bake here for at least 7 days.

#  This is also where extended testing is performed

deb  http://ubuntu-cloud.archive.canonical.com/ubuntu precise-proposed/folsom main


# The primary updates archive that users should be using

deb http://ubuntu-cloud.archive.canonical.com/ubuntu precise-updates/folsom main


# Upstream milestone archive, this example is pinned to Folsom-1 upstream, then an example of Folsom-2.

#   This, being a snapshot, will not receive further updates.

deb http://ubuntu-cloud.archive.canonical.com/ubuntu precise-updates/folsom/snapshots/milestone-1 main

deb http://ubuntu-cloud.archive.canonical.com/ubuntu precise-updates/folsom/snapshots/milestone-2 main


* “To have your cake and eat it [too]” is an old English saying that is sometimes used to imply the desire for two incompatible things.

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Victor Palau

Time for the next chapter of my blog series about demonstrating how Ubuntu is the best environment to write up “connected” or “cloud backend” Android Apps.  As you might know, the Android SDK allows you to set up a sandboxed environment to develop Mobile apps in your desktop, using Juju  you can do the same for Cloud apps.

To walk you through how to put these great development tools together, I set out to accomplish:

  • Proof that you can access a Juju local environment from the Android Emulator  done!
  • Using a few charms from the charm store plus a custom one, set up a MySQL database that can be exposed through a web service with simple commands/steps  - done!
  • Develop a TODO list android app
  • Connect the android app and the webservice, so they talk to each other.

Today I am going to cover the bottom two bullet points in one go!  For this post, I am going to assume that you know a bit of Android development. If you want a great source of introductory material check Lars Vogel’s website.

I have created a simple ToDo Android application that can store tasks into a local SQLite db and allows you to “Star” important items. The code for my Simple Todo app is hosted in Launchpad. I have written my application for Android 2.3, but you can use a later version.

Reading remote data from the MySQL server is confined to a small class that retrieves a JSON object and translates it into a TodoItem object.  Equally , the server code that prints that content table into a JSON object is extremely simple. Beyond this, you can go crazy and implement a RESTfull API to sync the databases.

At the moment, I am just inserting Server side data into the Local database and making sure I don’t add duplicates.Here is a video that shows how easy is to work and test both environments:

Or Click Here for the video.

The same environment should then work if you are running the Android application on an external phone. But that is another blog post ;)


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Victor Palau

It is time to continue with my blog series on demonstrating how Ubuntu is the best environment to write up “connected” or “cloud backend” Android Apps.  As you might know, the Android SDK allows you to set up a sandboxed environment to develop Mobile apps in your desktop, using Juju  you can do the same for Cloud apps.

To walk you through how to put these great development tools together, I set out to accomplish:

  • Proof that you can access a Juju local environment from the Android Emulator  done!
  • Using a few charms from the charm store plus a custom one, set up a MySQL database that can be exposed through a web service with simple commands/steps
  • Develop a TODO list android app
  • Connect the android app and the webservice, so they talk to each other.

Today is time to set-up our own Cloud environment in a PC.  A good starting point for a web application is a LAMP stack. If you hope for you service to get popular, you might want to split out the database service and the web service into their own instances so they can be scaled easily.

When I set out to do this, I wanted to write an extremely simple PHP page that would expose a data table from a Mysql server.  I looked up the available charms on the store. I found that you had a lot of charms for existing apps, but none that had  the bare bones of a LAMP stack and just allowed you to install your own web pages. However, I did find a charm to deploy Mysql and a very handy tool to manage it (phpmyadmin). Taking this as a starting point I developed a generic LAMP charm.

The first thing the LAMP charm does is to install and configure a new instance with Apache and PHP5 in an LXC container. The new charm will then copy any files under /website  inside the charm folder structure, into /var/www. It also allows you to specify a Bazaar branch. It will clone the branch into the webserver and copy the contents to /var/www. I keep my TODO application for this exercise here.

Using juju, you can set up a relationship with a Mysql service. A Mysql database is created by default at this time. You can change the name of the database as a configuration options. If you provide a file called mysql_config either on the /website folder or in the root of you Bazaar branch, this will be used to configure further the Mysql database.

The charm will store the details of the relationship in /var/webconfig. In there you can also find opendb.php, a basic script that will open the connection to the MySQL database for you.

So lets get started! Clone the Lamp branch to a folder of your choice. I have it under “~/Mycharm/precise/lamp”. (If you need to get started with juju check my previous post here)

juju bootstrap

#step1 - deploy Mysql as a service.
juju deploy mysql

#step2 - deploy phpmyadmin tool
juju deploy phpmyadmin
juju set phpmyadmin password="password"

#this makes phpmyadmin public - exposes port 80/tcp
juju expose phpmyadmin

#step3 - link phpmyadmin and mysql so the can talk to each other
juju add-relation phpmyadmin mysql

#step4 deploy lamp from your local folder
juju deploy --repository ~/mycharm local:lamp

#step5 set up your bazaar branch and publish your website
juju set lamp website-bzr="lp:~vtuson/+junk/mytodo_web"
juju expose lamp

#step6 configure your database and link lamp and mysql services
juju set lamp website-database="android_todo"
juju add-relation lamp mysql

Once Juju has completed all the commands, run “juju status”. Now go to the ip address for the LAMP services and visit the databaseweb.php page (e.g. http://192.168.122.174/databaseweb.php) , you get this rather ugly table:

Id Todo Is it starred
1 hello this is a sample 1
2 yes it works! 0

This table is displaying the contents of a Mysql database. You will get the same data if you visit your Myphpadmin service:

So there you are a full and scalable LAMP stack in your PC!

If you want to update the web service by pulling the latest version of the Bazaar branch, just run the following commands:

juju set lamp bzr-update="yes"
juju set lamp bzr-update=

With my web developer “hat” on, I can now hand this charm over to my Android app developer. They will be able to set up exactly the same environment locally to test their app without using expensive server time.

So “Using a few charms from the charm store plus a custom one, set up a MySQL database that can be exposed through a web service with simple commands/steps” – DONE!


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Prakash

The OpenStack Board of Directors met this week and on the agenda was a somewhat surprising action item: Vote on whether or not to accept VMware – once thought to be a competitor to the project – into the increasingly popular who’s-who club of cloud computing.

VMware’s going to have to wait to see if they’ll join the party though.

The OpenStack Board met Tuesday evening but didn’t get around to considering VMware’s application. VMware may now have to wait for OpenStack’s next regularly scheduled board meeting, which is not until Oct. 19. There is a chance the board would reconvene in a special meeting before then, but there are no official plans to do so.

Some expect VMware to be a significant contributor to two areas of OpenStack, including virtual networking – which is being led by engineers from Nicira, which VMware bought – and integration of OpenStack with VMware’s Cloud Foundry platform as a service (PaaS) tool. The elephant in the room is whether VMware will work to further integrate its ESX hypervisor into the OpenStack project. Doing so could make it easier for VMware users to access non-VMware public clouds, undercutting the vCloud ecosystem that VMware has been developing.

Read More.

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Prakash

Rackspace one of the key founders of OpenStack, has finally switched to OpenStack.

These products will be provided to customers in limited amounts over a period of time to ensure a smooth ramp-up.

- Cloud Servers, powered by OpenStack – based on the latest OpenStack compute release, this solution is fast, reliable, scalable and is accessible via the new OpenStack API as well as via an easy-to-use, intuitive control panel. Limited availability sign-ups are open now and Rackspace will begin providing access on May 1.

- Cloud Control Panel – the new Control Panel was built from the ground up and with the customer in mind.  It is simple, fast, intuitive and flexible. The new control panel also features multiple enhancements, including server tagging and multi-region capabilities.

The following products are in “early access”, as they are production workload ready but have limited support available, no service commitments and no billing.

- Cloud Databases, powered by OpenStack –gives customers API access to massively scalable, high availability MySQL database that is based on SAN storage for high performance and provides automated management of common database tasks.

- Cloud Monitoring –helps customers easily monitor their infrastructure and applications proactively, including OpenStack Clouds.

The following products are in “preview”, as we are currently inviting customers to test the early version of these products.

- Cloud Block Storage, powered by OpenStack – this new solution is designed to give customers highly elastic raw storage and a choice between a high performance (leveraging solid state disks) or a standard lower-cost block storage solution.

- Cloud Networks, powered by OpenStack – this solution is designed to allow customers to manage logically abstracted network services programmatically. Software-defined virtual networks provide flexibility and agility in addition to enhanced security via network isolation and port filtering.

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  1. Cloning Amazon Is a Dead End, Says Cloud Rival Rackspace Does the rest of the cloud computing world really need...
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Prakash

Is cloud storage really more power efficient?

There is, however, an often-touted benefit of using the cloud for data storage and that is power savings. Broadcasters are only now becoming aware of the importance of controlling power costs. Moving forward, technical managers can expect federal, state and local government bureaucrats to increasingly drive companies to use less electricity. One proposed way to reduce electrical costs is to move large-scale data storage off site to a server farm.

A huge server farm may be more efficient, have newer servers consuming less power and operate with lower costs than can a local production or broadcast house—right? Cloud storage providers may tell you so, but the real answer requires a bit of investigation.

Read More.

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