Canonical Voices

Posts tagged with 'server'

Mark Baker

Ubuntu 14.04 LTS

Today is a big day for Ubuntu and a big day for cloud computing: Ubuntu 14.04 LTS is released. Everyone involved with Ubuntu can’t help but be impressed and stirred about the significance of Ubuntu 14.04 LTS.

We are impressed because Ubuntu is gaining extensive traction outside of the tech luminaries such as Netflix, Snapchat and wider DevOP community; it is being adopted by mainstream enterprises such as BestBuy. Ubuntu is dominant in public cloud with typically 60% market share of Linux workloads in the major cloud providers such as Amazon, Azure and Joyent. Ubuntu Server also is the fastest growing platform for scale out web computing having overtaken CentOS some six months ago. So Ubuntu server is growing up and we are proud of what it has become. We are stirred up by how the adoption of Ubuntu, coupled with the adoption of cloud and scale out computing is set grow enormously as it fast becomes an ‘enterprise’ technology.

Recently 70% of CIOs stated that they are going to change their technology and sourcing relationships within the next two or three years. This is in large part due to their planned transition to cloud, be it on premise using technologies such as Ubuntu OpenStack, in a public cloud or, most commonly, using combinations of both. Since the beginning of Ubuntu Server we have been preparing for this time, the time when a wholesale technology infrastructure change occurs and Ubuntu 14.04 arrives just as the change is starting to accelerate beyond the early adopters and technology companies. Enterprises now moving parts of their infrastructure to cloud can choose the technology best suited for the job: Ubuntu 14.04 LTS:

Ubuntu Server 14.04 LTS at a glance

  • Based on version 3.13 of the Linux kernel

  • Includes the Icehouse release of OpenStack

  • Both Ubuntu Server 14.04 LTS and OpenStack are supported until April 2019

  • Includes MAAS for automated hardware provisioning

  • Includes Juju for fast service deployment of 100+ common scale out applications such as MongoDB, Hadoop, node.js, Cloudfoundry, LAMP stack and Elastic Search

  • Ceph Firefly support

  • Openvswitch  2.0.x

  • Docker included & Docker’s own repository now populated with official     Ubuntu 14.04 images

  • Optimised Ubuntu 14.04 images certified for use on all leading public cloud     platforms – Amazon AWS, Microsoft Azure, Joyent Cloud, HP Cloud, Rackspace Cloud, CloudSigma and many others.

  • Runs on key hardware architectures: x86, x64,  Avoton, ARM64, POWER Systems

  • 50+ systems certified at launch from leading hardware vendors such as HP, Dell, IBM, Cisco and SeaMicro.

The advent of OpenStack, the switch to scale out computing and the move towards public cloud providers presents a perfect storm out of which Ubuntu is set to emerge the technology used ubiquitously for the next decade. That is why we are impressed and stirred by Ubuntu 14.04. We hope you are too. Download 14.04 LTS here

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Mark Baker

It is pretty well known that most of the OpenStack clouds running in production today are based on Ubuntu. Companies like Comcast, NTT, Deutsche Telekom, Bloomberg and HP all trust Ubuntu Server as the right platform to run OpenStack. A fair proportion of the Ubuntu OpenStack users out there also engage Canonical to provide them with technical support, not only for Ubuntu Server but OpenStack itself. Canonical provides full Enterprise class support for both Ubuntu and OpenStack and has been supporting some of the largest, most demanding customers and their OpenStack clouds since early 2011. This gives us a unique insight into what it takes to support a production OpenStack environment.

For example, in the period January 1st 2014 to end of March, Canonical processed hundreds of OpenStack support tickets averaging over 100 per month. During that time we closed 92 bugs whilst customers opened 99 new ones. These are bugs found by real customers running real clouds and we are pleased that they are brought to our attention, especially the hard ones as it helps makes OpenStack better for everyone.

The type of support tickets we see is interesting as core OpenStack itself only represents about 12% of the support traffic. The majority of problems arise between the interaction of OpenStack, the operating system and other infrastructure components – fibre channel drivers used by nova volume, or, QEMU/libvirt issues during upgrades for example. Fixing these problems requires deep expertise Ubuntu as well as OpenStack which is why customers choose Canonical to support them.

In my next post I’ll dig a little deeper into supporting OpenStack and how this contributes to the OpenStack ecosystem.

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Mark Baker

It is with great pride that we saw Ubuntu winning W3tech’s Operating System of the year award.

w3techs_Jan2014

For those of us that work on Ubuntu, increased adoption is one of the most satisfying results of our work and is the best measure of the if we are doing the right thing or not. What is most significant about this though, as is highlighted above, this is the third year running that Ubuntu has won the award. The reasoning is fairly simple: the growth of Ubuntu as a platform for online infrastructure has far outstripped that of other operating systems.

w3techs_last3_yrs

In fact, over the last three years only two Linux operating systems showed any growth at all – Debian and Ubuntu, although Gentoo had some traction in 2013.

Ubuntu overtaking CentOS was the most significant change in 2013 and our popularity continues to grow whilst many other decline. Many of the notable web properties of 2013 are confirmed Ubuntu users: Snapchat, Uber, Instagram, Buzzfeed, Hailo, Netflix etc…Developers at fast thinking, innovative companies love Ubuntu for its flexibility and the ability to get the latest frameworks up and running quickly and easily on cloud on or bare metal.

As observers of the industry will know, tech used in Silicon Valley startups quickly filters through to more traditional Enterprises. With the launch of Ubuntu 14.04 LTS in April, Ubuntu is set for continued greatness this year as more and more businesses seek the agility and innovation shown by many of the hot tech properties. It will be fun trying to make it happen too.

Read about the w3tech awards at:

http://w3techs.com/blog/entry/web_technologies_of_the_year_2013

Images courtesy of w3techs.com

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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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admin

  • Ubuntu Server 13.10 is available from 17th October; first fully supported release of the new OpenStack Havana, with VMWare vSphere integration, faster node installation and a new version of Juju that supports ultra-dense containerised application deployment.

Canonical today announced that the next version of Ubuntu for server and cloud environments will be released on 17 October 2013.

“Ubuntu 13.10 delivers the latest and best version of OpenStack, and is the fastest, most flexible platform for scale-out computing,” says Mark Shuttleworth, Founder of Ubuntu and VP Products for Canonical. “Ubuntu is typically used in very large scale deployments. In this release we’ve tuned the cloud deployment experience for very small clusters as well, to support dev-and-test environments.” This 13.10 release makes it possible to deploy a full OpenStack cloud on only 5 servers and offers a sophisticated Landscape dashboard for the management of Ubuntu OpenStack clouds no matter their size.

Enterprise management of OpenStack clouds and the workloads deployed on them has been a focus for Canonical in the latest development cycle. “With Landscape, we simplify the lives of enterprise compliance and administration teams, with a full suite of compliance, performance monitoring and security update tools that work on all cloud and physical environments. Now we’ve added real-time dashboards for your OpenStack cloud, too” says Federico Lucifredi, who leads Ubuntu server product management.

While Ubuntu itself is an operating system, much of the recent work by Canonical and the Ubuntu community has been to deliver complete solutions and applications on top of it. The breakthrough Juju service orchestration tool from Canonical makes it easy to design, deploy, manage and scale workloads securely from a browser or the command line. In 13.10, Juju can instantly deploy an entire software environment or service as a “bundle” directly from the easy-to-use Juju GUI, improving on the previous deployment of individual components. This reduces complexity and enables administrators to share entire complex workloads consisting of many related parts.

Ubuntu leads the way with integration between OpenStack and VMware vSphere so ESXi users can interoperate with OpenStack. “The ability to deploy Ubuntu OpenStack alongside ESXi with orchestration that spans both properties is extremely valuable, bringing OpenStack right to the centre of common enterprise virtualization practice” said Mark Shuttleworth.

13.10 introduces Juju management of LXC containers, which allow multiple services to run on the same physical or virtual machine. This gives sysadmins the option of greater density, reducing the total number of machines required to run a service, and reducing cost.

A new installer enables very rapid provisioning of thousands of nodes, typically five times faster than the best traditional Linux installation process. Ubuntu is uniquely suited to rapid provisioning and re-provisioning in large-scale data centers. The Ubuntu LXC update in 13.10 provides blindingly fast (less than one second) and efficient cloning of containers for faster scaling of containerized services, unique to Ubuntu.

Ubuntu’s OpenStack distribution brings the famous “Ubuntu Just Works” usability to complex cloud deployment; clouds are simple to design, deploy and scale for private or public purposes. Ubuntu 13.10 includes Havana, the latest version of OpenStack, with new and updated tools such as Ceilometer for metering and monitoring, and Heat for auto-scaling.

Havana is also available to customers on Ubuntu 12.04 LTS thanks to the 12.04 Cloud Archive, from Canonical. This means that LTS users can get access to the latest Ubuntu OpenStack release, tools and features while continuing to enjoy the stability and maintenance commitment that backs our current LTS.

 

Availability
Ubuntu Server 13.10 will be available for download from the 17th October 2013 at: http://www.ubuntu.com/download.  OpenStack Havana release notes: https://wiki.openstack.org/wiki/ReleaseNotes/Havana

 

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Mark Baker

The telco business has long prided itself on providing dependable services all day every day. Today, dial tones generally survive earthquakes, hurricanes, wars and power cuts and that is testimony to the service quality telcos provide. This high level of service quality runs through a telco’s DNA, which gives their applications the renowned ‘telco-grade’ high quality, highly scalable and constant availability. But creating such a culture comes at a cost.

 

The standards are a result of the tightly controlled software used by telcos which have been tested over many years. Strict processes are employed to minimise the chance of failure of any item in the service, and robust backup or failover services are provided in the advent of failure. While this is essential to deliver failsafe services, it also creates a restrictive environment in which launching new services based on new technologies is severely hampered.

 

As a result, new technology businesses are out-maneuvering telcos by being able to offer services based on the latest development frameworks. These are put together using agile processes and pushed into production by super smart DevOps who have planned application architectures assuming failures will happen. Whether it is Infrastructure As A Service (IAAS) platforms, a move towards IP based voice and data services, or mobile application delivery services that drive customer engagement and retention, startups and tech companies are all delivering strong solutions into the market and putting pressure on telcos to do the same.

The Telco Application Developer Summit in Bangkok, November 21st and 22nd, aims to try and accelerate the pace of new service delivery for telcos by enabling developers to discuss the benefits of DevOp and agile practises. With Ubuntu being at the centre of many of the recent innovations in the high tech space, be it OpenStack cloud, Platform As A Service (PAAS), Software Defined Networking (SDN) or public cloud computing, we are very excited to be a part of this conference. We will be in attendance and demonstrating technologies such as Juju, which enables services to be launched and scaled instantly. If you are involved in the delivery of application services for telcos you should check TADS out and maybe we will see you there.

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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

On Monday August 26th, VMware announced the general availability of their vCloud Hybrid Service. This service, initially opened back in May to a restricted set of early adopters provides VMware customers with a means of being able to easily bring their workloads out of their own datacentres and into to the cloud.

For many customers this is exactly what they want – they may have been wanting to move some of their workloads off premise but found the prospect of switching to a full blown public cloud provider a scary prospect. vCHS offers them a great way to move workloads to the cloud without having to worry about migrating to new technologies, api compatibility or sourcing a new vendor. At Canonical we have a vision of complete workload portability across any public or private cloud. Sure, it is a requirement that the workloads run on Ubuntu but Ubuntu’s ubiquity in cloud is close to making this a reality and with our growth in usage for scale out workloads such as delivery of online infrastructure far outstripping that of other Linux platforms, it seems that end users don’t have a problem with it. It certainly seems that with our engagements around OpenStack, Nicira and vCHS, VMware believe in the ubiquity of Ubuntu in cloud. Combined with VMware’s ubiquity in the enterprise, between the 2 of us we are going to do some great things.

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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

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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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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Jane Silber

Today’s inauguration of Barack Obama to his second term provides a good opportunity to look back at last year’s campaign and appreciate it in a bit more detail. We’ll skip discussion of the adverts, polls, photo ops, sound bites, political theatre and even the much appreciated informed debate on the issues, and focus instead on the interesting stuff – the IT infrastructure that powers something as dynamic as a presidential campaign. You can imagine the demands placed on such an infrastructure – scalability, reliability, cost effectiveness, manageability, openness, cloud. Once you have those requirements in mind, the clear choice for meeting those demands is Ubuntu. And so it’s no surprise that the Obama campaign reached the same conclusion.  We recently spoke with Harper Reed, the CTO of the Obama campaign, about the challenges he faced and solutions he and his team put in place during the campaign. We’ve published that piece in honour of today’s inauguration; you can find it on our new Insights blog.

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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 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.

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Ubuntu Insights

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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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