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Ubuntu Plans To Base Cloud Service on OpenStack
Ubuntu Plans To Base Cloud Service on OpenStack

By Barry Levine
May 11, 2011 2:08PM

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OpenStack will become the foundation for the Ubuntu Linux cloud service. The change from Eucalyptus to OpenStack was announced at the Ubuntu Developer Summit in Hungary. Canonical said tools will help automate the migration from Eucalyptus to Ubuntu Server 11.10. Canonical has been testing the Cactus release of OpenStack.

The Ubuntu Linux project will use OpenStack as the foundation for its cloud service. The announcement was made Tuesday at the Ubuntu Developer Summit, a gathering for the open-source project now taking place in Budapest, Hungary.

OpenStack will become a core part of the Ubuntu Cloud product. Its inclusion will not affect current releases of Ubuntu Enterprise Cloud (UEC), which are based on Eucalyptus. Eucalyptus, which had been the core cloud component of Ubuntu, will continue to be supported by Canonical, the company that leads the Ubuntu project.

Not Unexpected

Canonical said that, for customers with existing private cloud deployments using Eucalyptus, tools will be provided for automating the migration to Ubuntu Server 11.10, which is expected to be released in October.

Canonical also said Ubuntu Server "integrates the best open-source cloud technologies every six months, providing an easy-to-use private cloud that contains the latest innovations." It added that, as the OpenStack project has developed "significant user, developer and industry attention over the last year," the Ubuntu team has been working closely with OpenStack.

The long-term support release of Ubuntu Cloud is scheduled for April 2012.

For Ubuntu followers, the move isn't unexpected. In the summer of 2010, the OpenStack project was announced, with more than 60 companies and institutions involved. Its intention was to release as open-source code the programming for Rackspace's cloud server and file systems, and for NASA's Nebula Cloud Computing platform.

'Never Look Back'

Nebula is an open-source cloud-computing project and service to provide an alternative to additional data centers for NASA scientists and engineers. Nebula was first developed in 2008 at the NASA Ames Research Center, and it became the cornerstone for the OpenStack initiative.

"Cloud technology will never look back," Rackspace proclaimed at the time on its web site, adding that the OpenStack open-source cloud platform will create new technology standards and cloud interoperability.

The key goal of OpenStack, according to its organizational web site, is "to allow any organization to create and offer cloud-computing capabilities using open-source software running on standard hardware."

At the time the project was announced, NASA's Chief Technology Officer for IT Chris Kemp said NASA and Rackspace "are uniquely positioned to drive this initiative based on our experience in building large-scale cloud platforms and our desire to embrace open source."

Kemp told news media that the "perfect scenario" for the space agency is "to get out of the cloud R&D business altogether" and get back "into the space-exploration business." To do that, he said, OpenStack needed to include enough of NASA's cloud requirements.

Rackspace said this kind of open cloud means business users can prevent vendor lock-in, increase flexibility in deployment for a highly elastic commodity cloud, offer a larger and more robust ecosystem, drive greater industry standards, and increase the speed of innovation for cloud technologies.

Last month, Canonical said it was testing integration with OpenStack's Cactus release.

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