Canonical is touting private cloud capabilities in an upgrade to its Ubuntu Linux OS being announced on Tuesday.
Available for free download on October 29, Ubuntu 9.10 Server Edition introduces UEC (Ubuntu Enterprise Cloud), an open source cloud computing environment based on the same APIs as Amazon EC2 (Elastic Compute Cloud). Businesses can take advantage of private clouds, Canonical said.
"Essentially, what this release is doing is targeting cloud computing, in particular," said Steve George, director of support and services for Canonical. With version 9.10, users can take core ideas of cloud computing, including agility, resource pooling, and virtualisation in deploying clouds on their own hardware, George said.
Users can set up 10 to 15 private servers and use the same APIs as in Amazon EC2, thus leveraging the same capabilities they would use with Amazon, George said. Applications can be taken off the Amazon cloud and put into the user's own cloud, or vice versa.
UEC is an umbrella name for a set of cloud technologies including the Eucalyptus project, which provides an open source system for implementation of on premise and hybrid clouds using hardware and software already in place. UEC, Canonical said, makes it easy to deploy and manage a cloud environment.
Eucalyptus backing piqued the interest of analyst Stephen O'Grady, of RedMonk.
"As far as the server aspect to the release, the Eucalyptus inclusion is certainly the most interesting development, enabling as it does private cloud functionality with an Amazon and VMware compatibility story," O'Grady said.
Previously codenamed "Karmic Koala," Ubuntu 9.10 also will be available on the Amazon EC2 environment as an Amazon Machine Image. UEC images are identical to Ubuntu AMIs. Work done in one environment can be uploaded to the other, Canonical said.
A store capability is being prepared in UEC to provide users with access to ready to deploy applications in the UEC environment.
Also featured in version 9.10 is the addition of the MySQL 5.1 database. The directory stack and single sign on tools add improved directory integration, and Django now ships as a supported framework to enhance web server options.
Kernel improvements better support Xen and KVM virtualisation and improve caching performance. Support for the USB 3.0 protocol enables "super speed transfer rates" when devices become available, Canonical said. OpenLDAP integration is featured for mixing Ubuntu into an existing LDAP network, providing for centralised authentication and authorisation.
System management support is featured for WBEM (web-based enterprise management) protocols. This enables support of the Ubuntu environment via popular system management tools.
Canonical provides engineering, online and professional services to customers and partners. The company will provide maintenance, security updates, and critical fixes for version 9.10 for the next 18 months.