Canonical switches to OpenStack for Ubuntu Linux cloud

Canonical switches to OpenStack for Ubuntu Linux cloud

Summary: Canonical switches its cloud architecture and loses its chief cloud leader.


OK, it’s not too surprising that Canonical, Ubuntu Linux’s parent company, has switched to OpenStack for its Ubuntu cloud foundation technology. After all, Canonical started flirting with OpenStack back in February. What is surprising is that Neil Levine, who as Canonical’s VP of corporate services, which included the cloud, has jumped ship to start a new company, Soba Labs.

First, for Ubuntu, OpenStack, and not Eucalyptus will make up the core of the Ubuntu Cloud. The company claims that the current releases of the Eucalyptus-based Ubuntu Enterprise Cloud (UEC), will not be impacted. Specifically, “Eucalyptus will continue to be a available for download and will be supported by Canonical. This means that customers who have deployed private clouds based on existing Ubuntu releases will continue to receive maintenance, and in the case of Ubuntu 10.04 LTS (Long Term Support) this will continue through to April 2015. Eucalyptus will remain within Ubuntu and will be available for users who prefer this technology. For customers with existing private cloud deployments, Ubuntu will provide tools to automate the migration process to the Ubuntu Server 11.10 release when it is released in October 2011.”

In short, you can still use your Eucalyptus-based Ubuntu cloud, but sooner or later, you’ll be moving to the OpenStack version. For many users that will be in October with the Ubuntu Server 11.10 release

If you really like Eucalyptus for your cloud, you won't need to change though. According to Mårten Mickos Eucalyptus's CEO, “Eucalyptus will continue to fully support Ubuntu Linux. The UEC is a set of extensions to Eucalyptus that Canonical maintains as add-ons to the baseline set of Eucalyptus Ubuntu packages. We plan to continue to package Eucalyptus for Ubuntu; it is the set of add-ons that will no longer be supported by Canonical. While the packaging in UEC is a benefit for experimenters who want to get going quickly with an easy installation, production sites will want to configure their on-premise cloud to their own specification. They may even use multiple Linux distros in the same cloud deployment. Indeed, many of our users run Eucalyptus on Ubuntu Linux without Canonical's UEC enhancement.”

As for Levine, Soba’s Web site declares that its “developing an infrastructure analytics platform for cloud-based systems.” The business is currently in start-up mode.

What concerns me the most about this news is the technology side at all though. Cloud technologies are still in a state of flux. Companies will shift partners and technologies for another year or two before things finally settle down. No, what concerns me is that Canonical has now had two senior technical leaders leave. Last week Matt Zimmerman, Canonical’s long time CTO left the business. How much longer can Canonical keep its quality up when it’s also in the midst of making a dramatic change to its desktop interface:Ubuntu Unity?

Related Stories:

Canonical brings Ubuntu to the OpenStack Cloud

Canonical, Ubuntu Linux, CTO leaves

Shuttleworth on Ubuntu 11.04 Linux & Unity

Ubuntu Linux 11.04’s Target Audience: Casual Windows Users

The new Ubuntu Desktop: Unity

Topics: Linux, Open Source, Operating Systems, Software

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  • Choose your cloud infrastructure partner carefully

    Personally, I'd give the vendor who is long on experience first dibs.

    AWS may have experienced a black eye recently with down-time but they really know private cloud.
    Dietrich T. Schmitz --- Your Linux Advocate
  • Canonical's trying, but NOT keeping up a good front.

    [Katherine Noyes wrote an article in 'PC World' on 29 April entitled "Shuttleworth: Ubuntu's 'Unity' Puts Users First". I am repeating my comments to that article as a comment here, as I think you're the first columnist I've read who sees and reads correctly the very strong warning signs emanating from Canonical; I am, of course, referring to your last paragraph]

    With all the major and minor players at Canonical--and influential volunteers--jumping ship and/or being forced out, exactly WHO is there "to put the user first". Certainly not the Grand Lord High Omnipotent Benevolent Dictator-For-Life, who has already proved that HE is not there to put the user first.

    By the way, have you read the nauseatingly condescending comments of all those who have bailed? It's obvious that the Grand High Poobah not only made his servants sign a really binding non-disclosure agreement, but a "I-will-give-Canonical-the-most-glowing-report-they-ask-me-to-sign-when-I-leave-under-ANY-circumstances" clause.

    Canonical, we're too dumb to read between the lines.

    Now that you've ruined Ubuntu, what do you do for your next trick?
  • KVM is a good alternative. VMWare is a good expensive one, but

    vmware just last year said they were stopping continued development for ESX and only supporting ESXi from now on.

    We moved to ESXi without any guest issues, but we had to spend some time on the phone to fix the differences between the network configurations required.

    One thing i would recommend is taking advantage of the USB keyfob OS install instead of disk based. Saves time and ensures a disk failure is never in the cards.
  • big changes

    I'm not too worried about Canonical's changes; they do not necessarily spell out doom. For example, Apple switched from SystemX to MacOS then to the really huge change, OSX. That was all very good news for Apple. Canonical is obviously trying to be different and working hard to offer something that people would want and which they believe is what's good for the future - that's all good stuff (now they just need the income to continue the work and some time to get all their overhauls done).
    • RE: Canonical switches to OpenStack for Ubuntu Linux cloud

      @zoroaster Those are called gambles, and sometimes they pay off in disaster. Apple was able to secure a few percentage points more in market share with the transition from intel and OSX. Palm attempted a similar radical move and it failed for them.
      Your Non Advocate
  • Missing key information

    More important than the names of the people and companies involved ... would have been an outline of the relative technical merits of the two competing options.
    • RE: Canonical switches to OpenStack for Ubuntu Linux cloud

      @johnfenjackson@... You're right. That would be a good story, but this is just a blog on the news: not a technical comparison. That said, I like both open-source cloud platforms, but I confess I've always had fits getting the commercial version of Eucalyptus to work. Your clouding may vary.

  • RE: Canonical switches to OpenStack for Ubuntu Linux cloud

    Any IT manager adopting cloud infrastructure needs to get their head examined. Clearly, they don't give a rats about the serious security nightmares that the cloud entails. They've obviously fallen prey to the BS about data centralization, ease of access and scalability - all untested promises that are far riskier than first believed. I really think people have become so conditioned to new IT "trends" that they fail to grasp the enormous tradeoffs they are making with their own freedoms and the freedoms of others. Things are going to get worse and before one knows it, we will have next to no privacy left.

    Working in IT makes me sick when I see how mindless and ignorant a lot of people are about the potential for technology to be used against us. It's not coming - it's here now.