Canonical Voices

Posts tagged with 'openstack'

Mark Baker

To paraphrase from Mark Shuttleworth’s keynote at the OpenStack Developer Summit last week in Hong Kong, building clouds is no longer exciting. It’s easy. That’s somewhat of an exaggeration, of course, as clouds are still a big choice for many enterprises, but there is still a lot of truth in Mark’s sentiment. The really interesting part about the cloud now is what you actually do with it, how you integrate it with existing systems, and how powerful it can be.

OpenStack has progressed tremendously in its first few years, and Ubuntu’s goal has been to show that it is just as stable, production-ready, easy-to-deploy and manage as any other cloud infrastructure. For our part, we feel we’ve done a good job, and the numbers certainly seem to support that. More than 3,000 people from 50 countries and 480 cities attended the OpenStack Summit in Hong Kong, a new record for the conference, and a recent IDG Connect survey found that 84 percent of enterprises plan to make OpenStack part of their future clouds.

Clearly OpenStack has proven itself. And, now, the OpenStack community’s aim is making it work even better with more technologies, more players and more platforms to do more complex things more easily. These themes were evident from a number of influential contributors at the event and require an increased focus amongst the OpenStack community:

Global Collaboration

OpenStack’s collaborative roots were exemplified early on with the opening address by Daniel Lai, Hong Kong’s CIO, who talked about how global the initially U.S.-founded project has become. There are now developers in more than 400 cities around the world with the highest concentration of developers located in Beijing.

Focus on the Core

One of the first to directly hit on the theme of needing more collaboration, though, was Mark Shuttleworth with a quote from Albert Einstein: “Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius — and a lot of courage — to move in the opposite direction.” OpenStack has grown fantastically, but we do, as a community, need to ensure we can support that growth rate. OpenStack should focus on the core services and beyond that, provide a mechanism to let many additional technologies plug in, or “let a thousand flowers bloom,” as Mark eloquently put it.

HP’s Monty Taylor also called for more collaboration between all of OpenStack’s players to really continue enhancing the core structure and principle of OpenStack. As he put it, “If your amazing plug-in works but the OpenStack core doesn’t, your plug-in is sitting on a pile of mud.” A bit blunt, but it gets to the point of needing to make sure that the core benefits of OpenStack – that an open and interoperable cloud is the only cloud for the future – are upheld.

Greasing the Wheels of Interoperability

And, that theme of interoperability was at the core of one of Ubuntu’s own announcements at the Hong Kong summit: the Ubuntu OpenStack Interoperability Lab, or Ubuntu OIL. Ubuntu has always been about giving companies choice, especially in the cloud. Our contributions to OpenStack so far have included new hypervisors, SDN stacks and the ability to run different workloads on multiple clouds.

We’ve also introduced Juju, which is one step up from a traditional configuration management tool and is able to distil functions into groups – we call them Charms – for rapid deployment of complex infrastructures and services.

Will all the new capabilities being added to OpenStack, Ubuntu OIL will test all of these options, and other non-OpenStack-centric technologies, to ensure Ubuntu OpenStack offers the broadest set of validated and supported technology options compatible with user deployments.

Collaboration and interoperability testing like this will help ensure OpenStack only becomes easier to use for enterprises, and, thus, more enticing to adopt.

For more information on Ubuntu OIL, or to suggest components for testing in the lab, email us at oil@ubuntu.com or visit http://www.ubuntu.com/cloud/ecosystem/ubuntu-oil

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Mark Baker

When it comes to using Linux on an enterprise server, Ubuntu is generally seen as the new challenger in a market dominated by established vendors specifically targeting enterprises. However, we are seeing signs that this is changing. The W3Techs data showing Ubuntu’s continued growth as a platform for online scale-out infrastructure is becoming well known, but a more recent highlight is a review published by Network World of five commercial Linux-based servers (note registration required to read the whole article).

The title of the review “Ubuntu impresses in Linux enterprise test” is encouraging right from the start, but what may surprise some readers are the areas in which the reviewers rated Ubuntu highly:

 

1. Transparency (Free and commercially supported versions are the same.)

This has long been a key part of Ubuntu and we are pleased that its value is gaining broader recognition. From an end user perspective this model has many benefits, primarily the zero migration cost of moving between an unsupported environment (say, in development) and a supported one (in production). With many organisations moving towards models of continuous deployment this can be extremely valuable.

2. Management tools

The reviewers seemed particularly impressed with the management tools that come with Ubuntu, supported with Ubuntu Advantage: Metal as a Service (MAAS), for rapid bare metal provisioning; Juju for service deployment and orchestration; and Landscape for monitoring, security and maintenance management. At Canonical we have invested significantly in these tools over the last few years, so it is good to know that the results have been well received.

Landscape Cloud Support

Landscape Cloud Support

3. Cloud capability

The availability of cloud images that run on public clouds is called out as being valuable, as is the inclusion of OpenStack to be able to create an OpenStack Cloud. Cloud has been a key part of Ubuntu’s focus since 2008, when we started to create and publish images onto EC2. With the huge growth of Amazon and the more recent rapid adoption of OpenStack, having cloud support baked into Ubuntu and instantly available to end users is valuable.

4. Virtualisation support

It is sometimes thought that Ubuntu is not a great virtualisation platform, mainly because it is not really marketed as being one. The reality, as recognised by the Network World reviewers, is that Ubuntu has great hypervisor support. Like some other vendors we default to KVM for general server virtualisation, but when it comes to hypervisor support for Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Ubuntu is far more hypervisor agnostic than many others, supporting not only KVM, but VMware ESXi, and Xen as well. Choice is a good thing.

Of course there are areas of Ubuntu that the reviewers believed to be weak – installation being the primary one. We’ll take this onboard and are confident that future releases will deliver an improved installation experience. There are areas that you could suggest are important to an enterprise that are not covered in the review – commercial application support being one – but the fact remains that viewed as a platform in its own right, with a vast array of open source applications available via Juju, Ubuntu seems to be on the right path. If it continues this way, soon it could well cease to be the challenger and become the leader.

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Mark Baker

Juju, the leading tool for continuous deployment, continuous integration (CI/CD), and cloud-neutral orchestration, now has a refreshed GUI with smoother workflows for integration professionals spinning up many services across clouds like Amazon EC2 and a range of public OpenStack providers. The new GUI speeds up service design – conceptual modelling of service relationships – as well as actual deployment, providing a visual map of the relationships between services.

“The GUI is now a first-class part of the Juju experience” said Gary Poster, whose team lead the work, “with an emphasis on rapid access to the collection of service charms and better visualisation of the deployment in question”. In this milestone the Juju GUI can act as a whiteboard, so a user can mock up the service orchestration they intend to create using the same Juju GUI that they will use to manage their real, live deployments. Users can experience the new interface for themselves at jujucharms.com with no need to setup software in advance.

Juju is used by organisations that are constantly deploying and redeploying collections of services. Companies focused on media, professional services, and systems integration are the heaviest users, who benefit from having repeatable best-practice deployments across a range of cloud environments.

Juju uniquely enables the reuse of shared components called ‘charms’ for common parts of a complex service. A large portfolio of existing open source components is available from a public Charm collection, and browsing that collection is built into the new GUI. Charms are easy to find and review in the GUI, with full documentation instantly accessible. Featured, recommended and popular charms are highlighted for easy discovery. Each Charm now has more detailed information including test results from all supported providers, download count, related Charms, and a Charm code quality rating. The Charm collection includes both certified, supported Charms, and a wider range of ad-hoc Charms that are published by a large community of contributors.

The simple browser-based interface makes it easy to find reusable open source charms that define popular services like Hadoop, Storm, Ceph, OpenStack, MySQL, RabbitMQ, MongoDB, Cassandra, Mediawiki and WordPress. Information about each service, such as configuration options, is immediately available, and the charms can then be dragged and dropped directly on a canvas where they can be connected to other services, deployed and scaled. It’s also possible to export these service topologies into a human-readable and -editable format that can be shared within a team or published as a reference architecture for that deployment.

Recent additions to the public Charm collection include OpenVPN AS, Liferay, Storm and Varnish. For developers the new GUI and Charm Browser mean that their Charms are now much more discoverable. For those taking part in the Charm Championship, it’s easier to upload their Charms and use the GUI to connect them into a full solution for entry into the competition. Submit your best Charmed solution for the possibility of winning $10,000.

The management interface for Charm authors has also been enhanced and is available at  http://manage.jujucharms.com/ immediately.

See how you can use Juju to deploy OpenStack:

The current version of Juju supports Amazon EC2, HP Cloud and many other OpenStack clouds, as well as in-memory deployment for test and dev scenarios. Juju is on track for a 1.12 release in time for Ubuntu 13.10 that will enhance scalability for very large deployments, and a 2.0 release in time for Ubuntu 14.04 LTS.

See it demoed: We’ll be showing off the new Juju GUI and charm browser at OSCON on Tuesday 23rd at 9:00AM in the Service Orchestration In the Cloud with Juju workshop.

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Mark Baker

We are pleased to announce a seriously good addition to the our product team: Ratnadeep (Deep) Bhattacharjee. Deep joins Canonical as Director of Cloud Product Management from VMware where he led its Cloud Infrastructure Platform effort and has a solid understanding of customer needs as they continue to move to virtual and cloud infrastructure.

Ubuntu has fast become the operating system of choice for cloud computing and Ubuntu is the most popular platform for OpenStack. With Deep’s direction, we plan to continue to lead Ubuntu OpenStack into enterprises, carriers and service providers looking for new ways to deliver next generation infrastructure without the ‘enterprise’ price tag and lock in. He will also be key in building out our great integration story with VMWare to help customers who will run heterogeneous environments. Welcome Deep!

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Mark Baker

In April at the OpenStack Summit, Canonical founder Mark Shuttleworth quipped “My OpenStack, how you’ve grown” as a reference to the thousands of people in the room. OpenStack is indeed growing up and it seems incredible that this Friday, we celebrate OpenStacks’ 3rd Birthday.

Incredible – it seems like only yesterday OpenStack was a twinkle in the eyes of a few engineers getting together in Austin. Incredible that OpenStack has come so far in such a short time. Ubuntu has been with OpenStack every day of the 3 year journey so far which is why the majority of OpenStack clouds are built on Ubuntu Server and Ubuntu OpenStack continues to be one of the most popular OpenStack distributions available.

It is also why we are proud to host the London OpenStack 3rd Birthday Party at our HQ in London. We’d love to see you using OpenStack with Ubuntu and even if you don’t, you should come and celebrate OpenStack with on Friday, July 19th.

http://www.meetup.com/Openstack-London/

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Mark Baker

Ubuntu developer contest offers $10,000 for the most innovative charms

Developers around the world are already saving time and money thanks to Juju, and now they have the opportunity to win money too. Today marks the opening of the Juju Charm Championship, in which developers can reap big rewards for getting creative with Juju charms.

If you haven’t met Juju yet, now’s the ideal time to dive in. Juju is a service orchestration tool, a simple way to build entire cloud environments, deploy scale and manage complex workloads using only a few commands. It takes all the knowledge of an application and wraps it up into a re-usable Juju charm, ready to be quickly deployed anywhere. And you can modify and combine charms to create a custom deployment that meets your needs.

Juju is a powerful tool, and its flexibility means it’s capable of things we haven’t even imagined yet. So we’re kicking off the Charm Championship to discover what happens when the best developers bring Juju into their clouds — with big rewards on offer.

The prizes

As well as showing off the best achievements to the community, our panel of judges will award $10,000 cash prizes to the best charmed solutions in a range of categories.

That’s not all. Qualifying participants will be eligible for a joint marketing programme with Canonical, including featured application slots on ubuntu.com,  joint webinars and more. Win the Charm Championship and your app will reach a whole new audience.

Get started today

If you’re a Juju wizard, we want to see what magic you’re already creating. If you’re not, now’s a great time to start — it only takes five minutes to get going with Juju.

The Charm Championship runs until 1 October 2013, and it’s open to individuals, teams, companies and organisations. For more details and full com

petition rules, visit the Charm Championship page.

Charm Championship page

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Mark Baker

“May you live in interesting times.” This Chinese proverb probably resonates well with teams running OpenStack in production over the last 18 months. But, at the OpenStack Summit in Portland, Ubuntu and Canonical founder Mark Shuttleworth demonstrated that life is going to get much less ‘interesting’ for people running OpenStack and that is a good thing.

OpenStack has come a long way in a short time. The OpenStack Summit event in April attracted 3000 attendees with pretty much every significant technology company represented.

Only 12 months ago, being able to install OpenStack in under a few hours was deemed to be an extraordinary feat. Since then deployment tools such as Juju have simplified the process and today very large companies such as AT&T, HP and Deutsche Telekom have been able to rapidly push OpenStack Clouds into production. This means the community has had to look into solving the next wave of problems – managing the cloud in production, upgrading OpenStack, upgrading the underlying infrastructure and applying security fixes – all without disrupting services running in the cloud.

With the majority of OpenStack clouds running on Ubuntu, Canonical has been uniquely positioned to work on this. We have spent 18 months building out Juju and Landscape, our service orchestration and systems management tools to solve these problems, and at the Summit, Mark Shuttleworth demonstrated just how far they have come. During a 30 min session, Mark performed kernel upgrades on a live running system without service interruption. He talked about the integrations and partnerships in place with VMWare, Microsoft and Inktank that mean these technologies can be incorporated into an OpenStack Cloud on Ubuntu with ease. This is is the kind of practicality that OpenStack users need and represents how OpenStack is growing up. It also makes OpenStack less “interesting” and far more adoptable by a typical user which is what OpenStack needs in order to continue its incredible growth. We at Canonical aim to be with it every step of the way.

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Mark Baker

If you are interested in either OpenStack or MySQL (or both) then you need to know about 2 meetups running the evening of May 23rd in London.

The London OpenStack meetup.

This is the 3rd meeting to take place and promises to be a good one with 3 talks planned so far:

* Software defined networking and OpenStack – VMWare Nicera’s Andrew Kennedy
* OpenStack Summit Overview – Rackspace’s Kevin Jackson
* An introduction to the Heat API – Red Hat’s Steven Hardy

For a 4th talk we are looking at a customer example – watch this space.

To come along please register at:

http://www.meetup.com/Openstack-London/

The MySQL Meetup.

This group hasn’t met for quite some time but MySQL remains as popular as ever and new developments with MariaDB mean the group has plenty to catch up on. There 2 talks planned so far:

* HP’s database as a service – HP’s Andrew Hutching

* ‘Whatever he wants to talk about’ – MySQL and MariaDB founder Monty Widenius.

 

With David Axmark also in attendance it could be one of the most significant MySQL meetings in London ever. Not one to miss if you are interested in MySQL, MariaDB or related technologies

MySQL meetups are managed in Facebook – please register to attend here:

http://www.meetup.com/The-London-MySQL-Meetup-Group/events/110243482/

 

Of course given the events are running in rooms next to each other you are welcome to register for both and switch between them based on the schedule. We hope to see you there!

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anthony-c-beckley

From our Cloud partner Inktank…

Today marks another milestone for Ceph with the release of Cuttlefish (v0.61), the third stable release of Ceph. Inktank’s development efforts for the Cuttlefish release have been focused around Red Hat support and making it easier to install and configure Ceph while improving the operational ease of integrating with 3rdparty tools, such as provisioning and billing systems. As ever, there have also been a ton of new features we have added to the object and block capabilities of Ceph, as well as with the underlying storage cluster (RADOS), alongside some great contributions from the community.

So what’s new for Ceph users in Cuttlefish?

Ease of installation:

  • Ceph-deploy: a new deployment tool which requires no other tools and allows a user to start running a multi-node Ceph cluster in minutes. Ideal for users who want to do quick proof of concepts with Ceph.
  • Chef recipes: a new set of reference Chef recipes for deploying a Ceph storage cluster, which Inktank will keep authoritative as new features emerge in Ceph. These are in addition to the Puppet scripts contributed by eNovance and Bloomberg, the Crowbar Barclamps developed with Dell, and the Juju charms produced in conjunction by Canonical, ensuring customers can install Ceph using most popular tools.
  • Fully tested RPM packages for Red Hat Enterprise Linux and derivatives, available on both the ceph.com repo and in EPEL (Extra Packages for Enterprise Linux).

Administrative functionality:

  • Admins can now create, delete or modify users and their access keys as well as manipulate and audit users’ bucket and object data using the RESTful API of the Ceph Object Gateway. This makes it easy to hook Ceph into provisioning or billing systems.
  • Administrators can now quickly and easily set a quota for a RADOS pool. This helps with capacity planning management as well as preventing specific Ceph clients from consuming all available data at the expense of other users.
  • In addition, to the pool quotas, administrators can now quickly see the total used and available capacity of a cluster using the ceph df command, very similar to how the generic UNIX df command works with other local file systems.

Ceph Block Device (RBD) Incremental Snapshots

It is now possible to just take a snapshot of the recent changes to a Ceph block image. Not only does this reduce the amount of space needed to store snapshots on a cluster, but forms the foundation for delivering disaster recovery options for volumes, as part of the popular cloud platforms such as OpenStack and CloudStack.

You can see the complete list of features in the release notes are available at  http://ceph.com/docs/master/release-notes/. You can also check out our roadmap page for more information on what’s coming up in future releases of Ceph. If you would like to contribute towards Ceph, you can visit Ceph.com for more information on how you can get started and we invite you to join our online Ceph Development Summit on Tuesday May 7th, more details available at http://wiki.ceph.com.

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David Duffey

Today we announced a collaborative support and engineering agreement with Dell.  As part of this agreement Canonical will add Dell 11G & 12G PowerEdge models to the Ubuntu Server 12.04 LTS Certification List and Dell will add Ubuntu Server to its Linux OS Support Matrix.

In May 2012, Dell launched the OpenStack Cloud Reference Architecture using Ubuntu 12.04 LTS on select PowerEdge-C series servers. Today’s announcement expands upon that offering by combining the benefits of Ubuntu Server Certification, Ubuntu Advantage enterprise support, and Dell Hardware ProSupport across the PowerEdge line.

Dell customers can now deploy with confidence when purchasing Dell PowerEdge servers with Dell Hardware ProSupport and Ubuntu Advantage.  When these customers call into Dell, their service tag numbers will be entitled with ProSupport and Ubuntu Advantage, which will create a seamless support experience via the collaborative Dell and Canonical support and engineering relationship.

In preparation for this announcement, Canonical engineers worked with Dell to enable and validate Ubuntu Server running on Dell PowerEdge Servers.  This work resulted in improved Ubuntu Server on Dell PowerEdge support for PCIe SSD (solid state drives), 4K-block drives, EFI booting, Web Services Management, consistent network device naming, and PERC (PowerEdge RAID Controllers).

Dell hardware systems management can be done out-of-band via ipmi, iDRAC, and the Lifecycle Controller.  Dell OMSA Ubuntu packages are also available but it is recommended to use the supported out-of-band systems management tools.  Dell TechCenter is a good resource for additional technical information about running Ubuntu Server on Dell PowerEdge servers.

If you are interested in purchasing Ubuntu Advantage for your Dell PowerEdge servers, please contact the Dell Solutions team at Canonical.  If your business is already using or thinking about using a supported Ubuntu Server infrastructure in your data-center then be sure to fill out the annual Ubuntu Server and Cloud Survey to provide additional feedback.

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anthony-c-beckley

We are exhibiting at this year’s CeBIT event on March 5-9th, 2013 in Hannover Germany, in conjunction with our partner in the region, Teuto.net and we’re giving away number of free tickets to selected customers and partners. If you are interested in one of these tickets, please contact me at anthony.beckley@canonical.com for more information.

The Canonical/Teuto.net stand will be in the Open Source Arena (Hall 6, Stand F16, (030) and we will be showcasing two enterprise technology areas:

  • The Ubuntu Cloud Stack – demonstrating end user access to applications via an OpenStack cloud, powered by Ubuntu,
  • Ubuntu Landscape Systems Management – demonstrating ease of management of desktop, server and cloud nodes.

We will be running hourly demonstrations on our stand and attendees have the chance to win a Google Nexus 7 tablet! Simply come to out stand and watch a short demo or your chance to win If you would like to pre-register for a demonstration, email me at anthony.beckley@canonical.com

We look forward to seeing you at the show!

CeBIT draws a live audience of more than 3,000 people from over 100 different countries. In just five days the show delivers a panoramic view of the digital world’s mainstay markets: ICT and Telecommunications, Digital Media also Consumer Electronics.
To learn more about CeBIT click here.

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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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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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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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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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Susan Wu

Open-source software is increasingly at the heart of the biggest changes happening in enterprise computing all over the world. For me, open cloud is a perfect way to illustrate the benefits open source is bringing businesses and this is the major theme being discussed by some of the biggest names in the industry at the 2012 OpenStack APAC Conference in Beijing right now.

The business case for switching to or adopting cloud computing – and in particular, the open cloud – has never been stronger. Enterprises are realising reduced costs and increased flexibility without the risk of vendor lock-in. Open clouds let organisations move critical workloads to the cloud with the confidence that they can move from one vendor to another or onto a private cloud as they demand. This is because open source technology complies with established open standards.

As well as these business benefits, software like Ubuntu 12.04 LTS is helping devops massively reduce the complexity of cloud projects with deployment and service orchestration tools like Juju and MAAS. These sorts of technologies are streamlining the deployment process, making it quicker and simpler than ever to get applications running in the cloud.

The combination of Ubuntu and OpenStack has rapidly become the platform of choice for businesses building private cloud infrastructure.

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Cezzaine Haigh

The cloud is disrupting the enterprise computing world, driven by the growth of open-source software. As a result, new opportunities are emerging; it’s time to exploit them. 

On the 30th October, Canonical will host an Ubuntu Enterprise Summit in Copenhagen. Industry analysts and enterprise users of Ubuntu and open source technologies, will join key figures from Canonical to discuss the opportunities these converging trends present.

The event is designed around three key topics

- How flexibility creates business value
- Choosing which bandwagon to board
- The way ahead, from client to cloud

With a keynotes from Ubuntu founder Mark Shuttleworth and two streams of content – one aimed at business decision-makers and the other at enterprise technologists – it offers an essential briefing on delivering effective IT in a cloud-obsessed world.

Learn more and register your place.

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