Ubuntu announcements from the Atlanta OpenStack Summit

Atlanta, Tuesday May 13th 2014 Mark Shuttleworth, founder of Ubuntu and Canonical, made several announcements on stage at the OpenStack Summit today. The themes of the Summit so far have been set by the SuperUsers – users of OpenStack who have been helping shape the development of OpenStack to ensure it better meets the needs of those who use it. Two words come up time and time again when listening to the SuperUsers: ecosystem and speed. So the announcements made by Mark at the summit seem to be spot on when it comes to addressing user requirements:


The Ubuntu OpenStack Interoperability Lab (OIL) now has 18 members and is building over 3000 clouds per month to test (using Tempest) all the various permutations and combinations of hardware and software. Much data has been collected which will be shared with the community soon.

Big news is that IBM is coming to the Ubuntu ecosystem and collaborating with Canonical in a few areas. The first is to contribute to Juju and build out a set of Juju enabled services (BlueMix for example). The second is that IBM and Canonical are collaborating to integrate Juju with Heat, the OpenStack specific orchestration framework. Juju orchestrates services across multiple clouds, hypervisors and baremetal hardware so OpenStack users who have Heat templates can now continue to use those and benefit from powerful orchestration of Juju. The third collaboration with IBM is around TOSCA. OASIS TOSCA is an initiative to standardise specifications to describe processes that create or modify web services. With many orchestration services emerging, TOSCA is needed to maintain interoperability so working with IBM will ensure that Juju is in lockstep with the TOSCA specification.

The OpenStack ecosystem is diverse and encompasses several operating systems and we announced that as a result of a partnership with Cloudbase, the company leading Windows integration with OpenStack, Juju can now orchestrate CentOS and Windows based services. Mark Shuttleworth showed Juju orchestrating a Windows Hyper-V based Nova compute node. This is exciting but, perhaps even more exciting is the ability to deploy manage and scale Active Directory, Sharepoint and SQLServer using Juju’s drag and drop interface. Now architecting and deploying services using multiple operating systems across multiple environments is easier than ever.


It appears to be undeniable now that the move to cloud is driven by the need for speed and there is no upper limit to the speed desired. During the talk Mark announced a set of record performance benchmarks that were obtained using the AMD SM15000 and Ubuntu OpenStack. The test shows that if required, Ubuntu OpenStack with Juju and MAAS orchestration tools on the right hardware can scale very quickly and efficiently to meet business demands.

We also announced an initiative to reduce the time to build, test, evaluate OpenStack whilst providing staff an environment in which they become familiar with devops principles without the need for large complex clusters of systems. The Orange Box was introduced – a compact cluster of 10 Intel NUC Microservers connected to shared storage and a gigabit switch all housed in a thermally efficient case. When it comes to speed the Orange Box is a way of providing a frictionless sandbox cloud in an instant.

Finally we announced Your Cloud, a fully managed service for those customers wanting to outsource the management and maintenance of their cloud to experts who have experience with some of the most demanding customers on the planet. For just $15.00 per server per day, Canonical will build, manage and scale your cloud.

With AMD we showed we can scale fast. With Your Cloud, we are showing that you can scale cost effectively. And with Juju we are showing that you can orchestrate services covering a wide variety of applications and platforms. If the positive reaction from the OpenStack Summit is anything to go by, we are hitting the right mark.

About the author

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Dustin Kirkland is part of Canonical's Ubuntu Product and Strategy team, working for Mark Shuttleworth, and leading the technical strategy, road map, and life cycle of the Ubuntu Cloud and IoT commercial offerings. Formerly the CTO of Gazzang, a venture funded start-up acquired by Cloudera, Dustin designed and implemented an innovative key management system for the cloud, called zTrustee, and delivered comprehensive security for cloud and big data platforms with eCryptfs and other encryption technologies. Dustin is an active Core Developer of the Ubuntu Linux distribution, maintainer of 20+ open source projects, and the creator of Byobu, DivItUp.com, and LinuxSearch.org. A Fightin' Texas Aggie Class of 2001 graduate, Dustin lives in Austin, Texas, with his wife Kim, daughters, and his Australian Shepherds, Aggie and Tiger. Dustin is also an avid home brewer.

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