Ubuntu Expands Cloud Support
The forthcoming launch of Natty Narwhal (version 11) of Ubuntu will see the addition of OpenStack support APIs into the kernel in addition to the support that already exists for Eucalyptus and Amazon EC2 clouds. This will expand the Ubuntu Enterprise Cloud offering in the private cloud arena as well as the public. It has not yet been announced which release of OpenStack will be supported with the current Austin release due to be superseded by the Bexar release in February.
The April launch will continue to push Ubuntu as one of the fastest routes towards building a reliable cloud with all the required components included in the distribution by default. Supporting all three clouds allows businesses to move towards using the Amazon public cloud, or keep control of their private clouds behind the corporate firewall. It also gives more choice to those who wish to do it themselves as even though Eucalyptus supports the Amazon computer and storage model there have been reservations about its scalability.
The members of the Ubuntu community who were also working on OpenStack had first added the APIs to the Ubuntu distribution in October 2010. They have now just finished adding the Nova cloud-computer framework, which is based on PHP, and Swift scalable, distributed object store.
Canonical, who are the chief commercial sponsor of Ubuntu have not currently announced whether they will be supporting OpenStack, but currently provide a range of services focused on EC2 and Eucalyptus. Current offerings include various levels of support, training, consultancy and cloud management through the Landscape management tool. Landscape has a simple interface allowing users to monitor cloud instances in the same way as you would normally monitor physical servers.
Another member of the OpenStack community, Dell has a close working relationship with Canonical. Both will soon announce the forthcoming sale of Ubuntu Enterprise Cloud on PowerEdge C2100 and C6100 servers. This will be packaged and sold as the Dell Canonical UEC Solution.
This announcement gives businesses more options for their move to cloud computing and will hopefully be the start of a movement towards standards between the cloud systems with members of the Linux community working on both Eucalyptus and OpenStack.
By David Schofield