Canonical Voices

Posts tagged with 'cloudfoundry'


So you’d like to spin up an internal cloud for hadoop or general development, shifting workloads from AWS to your own infrastructure or prototyping some new cloud services?

Call Canonical’s cloud infrastructure design and consulting team.

There are a couple of scenarios that we’re focused on at the moment, where we can offer standardised engagements:

  • Telco’s building out cloud infrastructures for public cloud services. These are aiming for specific markets based on geography or network topology – they have existing customers and existing networks and a competitive advantage in handling outsourced infrastructure for companies that are well connected to them, as well as a jurisdictional advantage over the global public cloud providers.
  • Cloud infrastructure prototypes at a division or department level. These are mostly folk who want the elasticity and dynamic provisioning of AWS in a private environment, often to work on products that will go public on Rackspace or AWS in due course, or to demonstrate and evaluate the benefits of this sort of architecture internally.
  • Cloud-style legacy deployments. These are folk building out HPC-type clusters running dedicated workloads that are horizontally scaled but not elastic. Big Hadoop deployments, or Condor deployments, fall into this category.

Cloud has become something of a unifying theme in many of our enterprise and server-oriented conversations in the past six months. While not everyone is necessarily ready to shift their workloads to a dynamic substrate like Ubuntu Cloud Infrastructure (powered by OpenStack) it seems that most large-scale IT deployments are embracing cloud-style design and service architectures, even when they are deploying on the metal. So we’ve put some work into tools which can be used in both cloud and large-scale-metal environments, for provisioning and coordination.

With 12.04 LTS on the horizon, OpenStack exploding into the wider consciousness of cloud-savvy admins, and projects like Ceph and CloudFoundry growing in stature and capability, it’s proving to be a very dynamic time for IT managers and architects. Much as the early days of the web presented a great deal of hype and complexity and options, only to settle down into a few key standard practices and platforms, cloud infrastructure today presents a wealth of options and a paucity of clarity; from NoSQL choices, through IAAS choices, through PAAS choices. Over the next couple of months I’ll outline how we think the cloud stack will shape up. Our goal is to make that “clean, crisp, obvious” deployment Just Work, bringing simplicity to the cloud much as we strive to bring it on the desktop.

For the moment, though, it’s necessary to roll up sleeves and get hands a little dirty, so the team I mentioned previously has been busy bringing some distilled wisdom to customers embarking on their cloud adventures in a hurry. Most of these engagements started out as custom consulting and contract efforts, but there are now sufficient patterns that the team has identified a set of common practices and templates that help to accelerate the build-out for those typical scenarios, and packaged those up as a range of standard cloud building offerings.


Read more
Dustin Kirkland

I recently gave an introduction to the CloudFoundry Client application (vmc),  which is already in Ubuntu 11.10's Universe archive.

Here, I'd like to introduce the far more interesting server piece -- how to run the CloudFoundry Server, on top of Ubuntu 11.10!  As far as I'm aware, this is the most complete PaaS solution we've made available on top of Ubuntu Servers, to date.

A big thanks to the VMWare CloudFoundry Team who has been helping us along with the deployment instructions.  Also, all of the packaging credit goes straight to Brian Thomason, Juan Negron, and Marc Cluet.

For testing purposes, I'm going to run this in Amazon's EC2 Cloud.  I'll need a somewhat larger instance to handle all the services and dependencies (ie, Java) required by the platform.  I find an m1.large seems to work pretty well, for $0.34/hour.  I'm using the Oneiric (Ubuntu 11.10) AMI's listed at


To install CloudFoundry Server, add the PPA, update, and install:

sudo apt-add-repository ppa:cloudfoundry/ppa

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install cloudfoundry-server

During the installation, there are a couple of debconf prompts, including:
  • a mysql password
    • required for configuration of the MySQL database (enter twice)
All in all, the install took me less than 7 minutes!

Next, install the client tools, either on your local system, or even on the server, so that we can test our server:

sudo apt-get install cloudfoundry-client


Now, you'll need to target your vmc client against your installed server, rather than, as I demonstrated in my last post.

In production, you're going to need access to a wildcard based DNS server, either your own, or a DynDNS service.  If you have a standard account ($30/year), CloudFoundry actually supports dynamically adding DNS entries for your applications.  We've added debconf hooks in the cloudfoundry-server Ubuntu packaging to set this up for you.  So if you have a paid DynDNS account, just sudo dpkg-reconfigure cloudfoundry-server.

For this example, though, we're going to take the poor man's approach, and just edit our /etc/hosts file, BOTH locally on our laptop and on our CloudFoundry server.

First, look up your server's external IP address.  If you're running Byobu in EC2, it'll be the lower right corner.

Otherwise, grab your IPv4 address from the metadata service.

$ wget -q -O-

And you'll need to add an entry to your /etc/hosts for, AND every application name you deploy.  Make sure you do this both on your laptop, and the server!  Our test application here will be called testing123. Don't forget to change my IP address to yours ;-)

echo "" | sudo tee -a /etc/hosts


Now, let's target our vmc client at our vcap (CloudFoundry) server:

$ vmc target

Succesfully targeted to []

Adding Users

And add a user.

$ vmc add-user 

Password: ********
Verify Password: ********
Creating New User: OK
Successfully logged into []

Logging In

Now we can login.

$ vmc login 

Password: ********
Successfully logged into []

Deploying an Application

At this point, you can jump over to my last post in the vmc client tool for a more comprehensive set of examples.  I'll just give one very simple one here, the Ruby/Sinatra helloworld + environment example.

Go to the examples directory, find an example, and push!

$ cd /usr/share/doc/ruby-vmc/examples/ruby/hello_env

$ vmc push
Would you like to deploy from the current directory? [Yn]: y
Application Name: testing123
Application Deployed URL: ''?
Detected a Sinatra Application, is this correct? [Yn]: y
Memory Reservation [Default:128M] (64M, 128M, 256M, 512M, 1G or 2G)
Creating Application: OK
Would you like to bind any services to 'testing123'? [yN]: n
Uploading Application:
  Checking for available resources: OK
  Packing application: OK
  Uploading (0K): OK
Push Status: OK
Staging Application: OK
Starting Application: OK

Again, make absolutely sure that you edit your local /etc/hosts and add the to the right IP address, and then just point a browser to

And there you have it!  An application pushed, and running on your CloudFoundry Server  -- Ubuntu's first packaged PaaS!

What's Next?

So the above setup is a package-based, all-in-one PaaS.  That's perhaps useful for your first CloudFoundry Server, and your initial experimentation.  But a production PaaS will probably involve multiple, decoupled servers, with clustered databases, highly available storage, and enterprise grade networking.

The Team is hard at work breaking CloudFoundry down to its fundamental components and creating a set of Ensemble formulas for deploying CloudFoundry itself as a scalable service.  Look for more news on that front very soon!

In the meantime, try the packages at ppa:cloudfoundry/ppa (or even the daily builds at ppa:cloudfoundry/daily) and let us know what you think!


Read more