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Cloudbase and Canonical partner to bring Windows Hyper-V Support

  • Partners bring Windows Hyper-V support to managed OpenStack clouds

Cloudbase Solutions, the developer of Windows components in OpenStack, announced today that it is partnering with Canonical to enable their customers to run KVM and Hyper-V environments side-by-side in the same managed cloud. Cloudbase Solutions believes Windows and open source interoperability is essential for the adoption of managed clouds by enterprises.

Delivered by BootStack, the managed private cloud service from Canonical, this new capability allows customers to run Windows virtual workloads on Hyper-V and Linux workloads on Ubuntu hosts, with seamless networking between Linux and Windows application components.

 

Cloudbase and Canonical

 

Enterprise users frequently employ Active Directory for identity management. BootStack now allows the integration of Keystone (OpenStack’s identity component) with Active Directory, either by leveraging an existing onsite domain or by provisioning a new fault tolerant Active Directory forest and domain.

Networking between Ubuntu and Hyper-V hosts is based on modern overlay standards provided by Open vSwitch (OVS) with VXLAN, VLANs and soon NVGRE on Microsoft’s native networking stack, fully integrated in Neutron. Open vSwitch comes natively in Ubuntu and has been recently ported to Hyper-V thanks to Cloudbase Solutions, VMWare and the rest of the other members of the community.

Since its launch in 2014, BootStack has been adopted rapidly by organisations looking to benefit from the agility of OpenStack without the need to worry about security updates, managing complex upgrades or alerts monitoring. BootStack is the only fully managed OpenStack cloud that’s SLA-backed and supported end-to-end.

Cloudbase Solutions has also contributed Windows support to Juju and MAAS, Canonical’s award-winning cloud automation tools, allowing the same level of automation, fault tolerance and user experience that Juju provides on Ubuntu. Cloudbase Solutions’ Juju charms are available for Hyper-V, Active Directory, Windows Scale-Out File Server Storage, Nagios, Windows Server Update Services (WSUS) and many other Microsoft based application workloads from the Charm Store.

Alessandro Pilotti, CEO Cloudbase Solutions said, “As OpenStack is maturing, a large market opportunity is opening up for bringing together the open source experience provided by Canonical and OpenStack with the Windows-based IT found in most enterprises. BootStack, along with our Hyper-V and Windows automation plus support, is the perfect managed product to achieve this goal”.

Arturo Suarez, Product Manager Canonical said, “We are committed to bringing the widest range of options to all the different levels of the stack, including the hypervisor. Our focus is ease of use and reliability and so by partnering with Cloudbase, Canonical delivers the many benefits of OpenStack to Microsoft workloads in the form of BootStack, our fully managed service offered worldwide.”

StackVelocity and Canonical team up to deliver cloud economics

  • StackVelocity Financial Services deliver Ubuntu OpenStack clouds that align costs to revenue

StackVelocity® has teamed up with Canonical to launch a suite of solutions designed to make the cash flow profile of on-premise managed cloud solutions match those of the public cloud. These offerings include a number of flexible options for aligning costs with revenue and optimizing cash flow. In some cases, superior to public cloud offerings, structured the payments allow clients to defer the initial payment until the first revenue is expected, shape the payments to reflect the forecasted ramp in revenue, or a combination of the two.

 

finance

 

Backed by partnerships with major global financial institutions, the financial service solutions enable financing of the entire data center solution, including hardware, software and services. Additionally, asset management services are available with the offering.

StackVelocity Financial Services options for Ubuntu OpenStack Cloud hardware include:

  • Standard Financing

In which costs are spread over an agreed upon term that more closely aligns to the revenue these assets generate.

  • Step Financing

In which payments are stepped up over time so that cash outflow is minimized in the early stages of a project and larger payments are structured to align with the expected benefits of the technology.

  • Deferred Financing

In which initial payments are deferred entirely until the technology is expected to start generating revenue.

“One of the key concerns we see is that customers have some applications and data that they just don’t want on the public cloud, but they really like the opex nature of the service” said Doug Taylor, general manager, StackVelocity. “This solution allows customers to have the best of both worlds – they have the cash profile of cloud and the security of on-premise dedicated equipment.”

Jane Silber, CEO at Canonical said: “As the appetite for private and hybrid cloud solutions increases, the market must offer a choice of ways to embark on new cloud projects. In recognition of the range of financial and technical circumstances companies operate under, this new finance service is an important development. It will allow more businesses than ever before to leverage Ubuntu OpenStack as a powerful way to deploy and manage enterprise clouds.”

According to the OpenStack User Survey, over 60% of production clouds today run on Ubuntu with more being deployed all the time. Canonical’s BootStack service brings that world leading technology offering to customers in an on-premise, managed cloud. In this partnership, StackVelocity will resell a readily-deployed  BootStack, with the added innovation of flexible Financial Service options.

For more information, click here

 

Eurecom join the Charm Partner Programme

Canonical are excited to announce that Eurecom, a graduate school and research centre in Communication Systems, is the newest member of the Charm Partner Programme. Eurecom will be working with Canonical to charm OpenAirInterface, an open­source platform allowing for experimentation in wireless systems, with a particular focus on cellular technologies.

The charm will allow OpenAirInterface users to take advantage of all the benefits Juju, the universal service modeling tool from Canonical, offers. Juju allows developers to design their application architecture like they would on a virtual whiteboard, with boxes for services, and lines to connect them. The Juju Charm Store has over 300 cloud based applications ready to be deployed, scaled and managed on most public and private clouds, as well as bare metal.

“By partnering with Canonical, we will be making it even easier for our users to utilise our platform in a repeatable, reusable and scaleable way,” said Christian Bonnet from Eurecom and President of the OpenAirInterface Software Alliance.

“OpenAirInterface is an exciting addition to our Charm Partner Program, and further strengthens our telco solution portfolio. With the inclusion of their charm, Juju users will now be able to experiment with wireless technologies in a drag and drop environment,“ said John Zannos, VP of Cloud Alliances at Canonical.

Canonical’s Charm Partner Programme helps solution providers make best use of Canonical’s universal service modeling tool, Juju; enabling instant workload deployment, integration, and scaling at the click of a button. Juju makes it easy to deliver complete solutions in minutes, on virtually any public or private cloud.

Charm Store now includes Galera Cluster

Canonical and Codership are excited to announce that the Galera Cluster charm is now available for use in the Juju Charm Store. With 300 charms and growing, the charm store is your destination for cloud­based enterprise applications.

Galera Cluster is a high availability solution to protect against unwanted or planned downtime and for high scalability solution for MySQL based solutions on premises or in cloud. With Galera Cluster, MySQL databases can be used in different geographical locations. They can be set up to work as one multi­master cluster, which provides fast local reads and writes to any location. Galera thereby offers disaster recovery against data center down­time and power outages.

“With the combination of Galera Cluster and Juju, users will now be able easily deploy, scale and manage a true multimaster cluster,” said Stefan Johannson, Global Software Alliances Director at Canonical.

“Galera Cluster is trusted by thousands of companies, ranging from small on­line businesses to e­commerce giants and telecom companies for MySQL high availability. With Canonical we are making OpenStack high availability easier than ever”, said Sakari Keskitalo, COO at Codership.

Codership is a valued partner of Canonical’s Charm Partner Program and its OpenStack Interoperability Lab (OIL).

The Charm Partner Programme helps solution providers make best use of Canonical’s cloud orchestration tool, Juju; enabling instant workload deployment, integration, and scaling at the click of a button. Juju makes it easy to deliver complete solutions in minutes, on virtually any public or private cloud.

OIL is an integration lab in which we test our cloud partners’ products in countless Ubuntu OpenStack configurations, currently working with over 3,000 combinations per month.

To learn more about Canonical’s partner programmes, please visit http://partners.ubuntu.com/.

The Open Enterprise Cloud – OpenStack’s Holy Grail?

The way people think about the enterprise IT is changing fast, putting into question many common assumptions on how hardware and software should be designed and deployed. The upending of these long held tenets of Enterprise IT are happening simply due to the innovation brought on by OpenStack and a handful of other successful open source projects that have gained traction in recent years.

What is still unclear is how to deliver all this innovation in a form that can be consumed by customers’ IT departments without the need to hire an army of experienced DevOps, itself as notoriously hard to find as unicorns commodity that has a non-trivial impact on the TCO.

The complexity of an OpenStack deployment is not just perception or FUD spread by the unhappy competition. It’s a real problem that is sometimes ignored by those deeply involved in OpenStack and its core community. The industry is clearly waiting for the solution that can “package” OpenStack in a way that hides the inherent complexity of this problem domain and “just works”. They want something that provides user-friendly interfaces and management tools instead of requiring countless hours of troubleshooting.

This blog post is the result of our attempt to find and successfully productize this ‘Holy Grail’, featuring a mixture of open source projects that we actively develop and contribute to (OpenStack, Open vSwitch, Juju, MAAS, Open Compute) alongside Microsoft technologies such as Hyper-V that we integrate into Openstack and that are widely used in the enterprise world.

The-Open-Enterprise-Cloud-2

Objectives

Here are the prerequisites we identified for this product:

  • Full automation, from the bare metal to the applications
  • Open source technologies and standards
  • Windows/Hyper-V support, a requirement in the enterprise
  • Software Defined Networking (SDN) and Network Function Virtualization (NFV)
  • Scalable and inexpensive storage
  • Modern cloud optimized hardware compatible with existing infrastructures
  • Easy monitoring and troubleshooting tools
  • User friendly experience

Hardware

Let’s start from the bottom of the stack. The way in which server hardware has been designed and produced hasn’t really change much in the last decade. But when the Open Compute Project kicked off it introduced a set of radical innovations from large corporations running massive clouds like Facebook.

Private and public clouds have requirements that differ significantly from what traditional server OEMs keep on offering over and over again. In particular, cloud infrastructures don’t require many of the features that you can find on commodity servers. Cloud servers don’t need complex BMCs beyond basic power actions and diagnostics (who needs a graphical console on a server anymore?) or too many redundant components (the server blade itself is the new unit of failure) or even fancy bezels.

Microsoft’s Open CloudServer (OCS) design, contributed to the Open Compute Project, is a great example. It offers a half rack unit blade design with a separate chassis manager in a 19” chassis with redundant PSUs, perfectly compatible with any traditional server room, unlike for example other earlier 21” Open Compute Project server designs. The total cost of ownership (TCO) for this hardware is significantly lower compared to traditional alternatives, which makes this is a very big incentive even for companies less prone to changes in how they handle their IT infrastructure.

Being open source, OCS designs can be produced by anyone, but this is an effort that only the larger hardware manufactures can effectively handle. Quanta in particular is investing actively in this space, with a product range that includes the OCS chassis on display at our Vancouver Summit booth.

Storage

“The Storage Area Network (SAN) is dead.” This is something that we keep hearing and if it’s experiencing a long twilight it’s because vendors are still enjoying the profit margins it offers. SANs used to provide specialized hardware and software that has now moved to commodity hardware and operating systems. This move offers scalable and fault tolerant options such as Ceph or the SMB3 based Windows Scale-Out File Server, both employed in our solution.

The OCS chassis offers a convenient way of storing SAS, SATA or SSD storage in the form of “Just a Bunch of Disks” (JBOD) units that can be deployed alongside regular compute blades having the same form factor. Depending on the requirements, a mixture of typically inexpensive mechanical disks can be mixed with fast SSD units.

Bare metal deployment

There are still organizations and individuals out there who consider that the only way to install an operating system consists in connecting monitor, keyboard and mouse to a server, insert a DVD, configure it interactively and wait until it’s installed. In a cloud, regardless of being private or public, there are dozens, hundreds or thousands of servers to deploy at once, so manual deployments do not work. Besides this, we need all those servers to be consistently configured, without the unavoidable human errors that manual deployments always incur at scale.

That’s where the need for automated bare metal deployment comes in.

We chose two distinct projects for bare metal: MAAS and Ironic. We use MAAS (to which we contributed Windows support and imaging tools), to bootstrap the chassis, deploy OpenStack using Juju, including storage and KVM or Hyper-V compute nodes. The user can freely decide any time to redistribute the nodes among the individual roles, depending on how many compute or storage resources are needed.

We recently contributed support for the OCS chassis manager in Ironic, so users have also the choice to use Ironic in standalone mode or as part of an OpenStack deployment to deploy physical nodes.

The initial fully automated chassis deployment can be performed from any laptop, server or “jump box” connected to the chassis’ network without the need of installing anything. Even a USB stick with a copy of our v-magine tool is enough.

OpenStack

There are quite a few contenders in the IaaS cloud software arena, but none managed to generate as much interest as OpenStack, with almost all relevant names in the industry investing in its foundation and development.

There’s not much to say here that hasn’t been said elsewhere. OpenStack is becoming the de facto standard in private clouds, with companies like Canonical, RackSpace and HP basing their public cloud offerings on OpenStack as well.

OpenStack’s compute project, Nova, supports a wide range of hypervisors that can be employed in parallel on a single cloud deployment. Given the enterprise-oriented nature of this project, we opted for two hypervisors: KVM, which is the current standard in OpenStack, and Hyper-V, the Microsoft hypervisor (available free of charge). This is not a surprise as we have contributed and are actively developing all the relevant Windows and Hyper-V support in OpenStack in direct coordination with Microsoft Corporation.

The most common use case for this dual hypervisor deployment consists in hosting Linux instances on KVM, and Windows ones on Hyper-V. KVM support for Windows is notoriously shaky, while Windows Hyper-V components are already integrated in the OS and the platform is fully supported by Microsoft, making it a perfect choice for Windows. On the Linux side, while any modern Linux works perfectly fine on Hyper-V thanks to the Linux Integration Services (LIS) included in the upstream Linux kernel, KVM is still preferred by most users.

Software defined networking

Networking has enjoyed a large amount of innovation in recent years, especially in the areas of configuration and multi tenancy. Open vSwitch (OVS) is by far the leader in this domain, commonly identified as software defined networking (SDN). We recently ported OVS to Hyper-V, allowing the integration of Hyper-V in multi-hypervisor clouds and VXLAN as a common overlay standard.

Neutron includes also support for Windows specific SDN for both VLAN and NVGRE overlays in the ML2 plugin, which allows seamless integration with other solutions, including OVS.

Physical switches and open networking

Modern managed network switches provide computing resources that were simply unthinkable just a few years ago and today they’re able to natively run operating systems traditionally limited to server hardware.

Cumulus Linux, a network operating system for bare metal switches developed by Cumulus Networks, is a Linux distribution with hardware acceleration of switching and routing functions. The NOS seamlessly integrates with the host-based Open vSwitch and Hyper-V networking features outlined above.

Neutron takes care of orchestrating hosts and networking switches, allowing a high degree of flexibility, security and performance which become particularly critical when the size of the deployment increases.

Deploying OpenStack with Juju

One of the reasons for OpenStack’s success lies in its flexibility: the ability to support a very large amount of hypervisors, backend technologies, SDN solutions and so on. Most of the medium and large enterprise IT departments already adopted some of those technologies and want OpenStack to employ them, with the result that there’s not a single “recommended” way to deploy your stack.

Automation, probably the leading glue in all modern datacenter technologies, doesn’t play that well with flexibility: the higher the flexibility, the higher the amount of automation code that needs to be written and tested, requiring often very complex deployments that become soon unfeasible for any continuous integration framework.

Puppet, Chef, SaltStack and similar configuration management tools are very useful when it comes to automating a specific scenario, but are not particularly suitable for generic use cases, unless you add on top tools like RDO’s PackStack to orchestrate them. Finally, while command line tools are the bread-and-butter of every DevOp, they don’t do much to bring a user-friendly experience that a more general user base can successfully employ without having to resort to cloud specialists.

When looking for a suitable deployment and configuration solution, we recognized that Juju was fulfilling most of our requirements, with the exception of Windows and CentOS support which we contributed shortly afterwards. What we liked in particular is the strict decoupling between independent configurations (called Charms), and a killer GUI that makes this brave new automation world more accessible to less experienced users.

This model has the potential for a large impact on the usage spectrum, productivity improvement and the general TCO reduction. Furthermore, Juju offers also a wide and fast growing catalog of applications.

Applications and orchestration

People want applications, not virtual machines or containers. IaaS is nice to have, but what you do on top of it is what matters for most users. Juju comes to the rescue in this case as well, with a rich charms catalog. Additionally, we developed Windows specific charms to support all the main Microsoft related workloads: Active Directory, IIS, VDI, Windows Server Failover Clustering, SQL Server (including AlwaysOn), Exchange and SharePoint.

Besides Juju, we support Heat (providing many Heat templates for Windows, for example) and PaaS solutions like Cloud Foundry that can be easily deployed via Juju on top of OpenStack.

Cattle and Pets

Using the famous cattle vs pets analogy (a simplistic metaphor for what belongs to a cloud and what doesn’t), OpenStack is all about cattle. At the same time, a lot of enterprise workloads are definitely pets, so how can we create a product that serves both cases?

An easy way to distinguish pets and cattle is that pets are not disposable and require fault tolerant features at the host level, while cattle instances are individually disposable. Nova, OpenStack’s compute project, does not support pets, which means that failover cluster features are not available natively.

We solved this issue by adding one extra component that integrates Nova with the Microsoft Windows Failover Clustering when using Hyper-V. Other components, including storage and networking, are already fully redundant and fault tolerant, so this additional feature allows us to provide proper transparent support for pets without changes in the way the user manages instances in OpenStack. Cattle keep grazing unaffected.

Conclusions

Finding a reliable way to deploy OpenStack and managing it in all its inherent complexity with a straightforward and simple user experience is the ‘Holy Grail’ of today’s private cloud business. At Cloudbase Solutions, we believe we have succeeded in this ever elusive quest for simplicity of user experience by consolidating the leading open source technologies for setting up the bare metal right on to the top of the stack applications, including support for Enterprise Windows and Open source workloads deployed with Canonical’s Juju, and all this in perfect harmony.

The advantage for the user is straightforward: an easy, reliable and affordable way to deploy a private cloud, avoiding vendor lock-in, supporting Microsoft and Linux Enterprise workloads and bypassing the need for an expensive DevOps team on payroll.

Want to see a live demo? Come to our booth at the OpenStack Summit in Vancouver on May 18th-22nd!

About the author

Alessandro's photo

Alessandro Pilotti is the CEO of Cloudbase Solutions a company focused on cloud computing interoperability based in Timisoara, Romania. Cloudbase Solutions provides the integration between OpenStack and Windows, including the Hyper-V Nova Compute driver and Windows Cloud-Init. Original post

IoT World and the power of Snappy Apps everywhere

IoT World was an eye opener for many. The same open source operating system that everybody loves from the cloud now powered the first smart fridge with apps from GE, the first Ubuntu Core drone with apps from Erle-Robotics, industrial gateways with apps, Pengiun Computing professional top of the rack switches with apps, Acer smart home hubs with apps, Netcomm Wireless CPEs with apps, Patton VoIP gateways with apps, Raspberry Pi, TI Beagle Bone, etc. GE’s Milky Weigh assured you always knew how much milk you had left in the fridge, even from the other side of the world. The Beer Bank put an alarm system to protect your beer. The Chillhub has open APIs so in the future anybody can integrate with them and make the fridge even smarter.

Most of the devices on display either had WiFi, Ethernet or Bluetooth connectivity or at least an extra USB slot to enable them. As such xylophone playing robots, Sphero colour changing ball robots, one base wheel balancing Wowwee MIPs, Sunfounder robot spiders & cars, etc. were all making the stand come to life. The Hybrid Group used gesture control [Leap Motion], mind control [Neurosky] and even a bar code scanner to control all types of robots. Dataart showed how predictive maintenance is now ready to be deployed in one drag-and-drop on any cloud via their DeviceHive Juju Charms bundle. Two fans, two vibration detecting sensor tags, a smart light and some duct tape were all they needed to demo how any industrial gateway can be converted into a predictive maintenance power machine. Their integration with the energy harvesting Enocean light switches got lots of people excited that wanted to IoT enable their homes and businesses without drilling holes and putting cables. Also health was well served via bluetooth oximeters/heartbeat monitors and EEG Neurosky real-time graphing. RTI showed the power of distributed reliable industrial communication and robot control. The Energy Detective showed the future of energy management. Emutex and Cloudplugs showed how Scada and PLC integrations are done via Snappy Apps. ARM showed how the mBed Device Server in a Snap could control mbed OS devices. There were lots of interesting Snappy Apps running on various machines, e.g. Zabbix monitoring, Microsoft real-time performance monitoring integration into Azure, Forgerock’s access and identity management solutions for IoT, Balabit’s Zorp firewall, F5’s Linerate loadbalancer, Freedomotic, Eclipse MQTT via Mosquito, M2MLabs, IP camera security solutions, WebRTC conference solutions, etc. The future of software defined radio was shown by Lime Micro, Nuand and ChaosPrime.

We would like to thank all our partners for providing hardware and/or software. If you missed IoT World or want to get more information about any of the demos that were shown, be sure to contact us.

Ubuntu Advantage Storage launches at OpenStack Summit

Canonical launches software-defined storage solutions with cloud-style pricing

  • Ubuntu Advantage Storage delivers a range of supported software-defined storage technologies
  • Initial portfolio includes Ceph, NexentaEdge, Swift and SwiftStack
  • Share of support revenues goes to upstream open source storage projects
  • Plans include option for metered pricing based on data stored, independent of total storage capacity deployed

Vancouver – OpenStack Summit – 18 May 2015. Canonical today announced a new software-defined storage support service, offering a range of storage solutions. Metered support plans are available and priced based on the amount of data written, not the number or size of disks or the number of machines used to provide the service. Support is provided by Canonical with optional L3 escalation to a range of specialist partners.

The portfolio will include both open source technologies such as Ceph and Swift, and vendor solutions from Nexenta, Swiftstack and other third-party providers. Plans from multiple partners may be offered for the same technology.

The Ubuntu Advantage storage offerings enable enterprises to deploy scale-out storage technology onto their commodity hardware infrastructure, distinguishing between supported and unsupported clusters, and routing support calls to a wide range of specialist providers through Canonical as the common L1 support provider.

With Ubuntu Advantage Storage, customers can dynamically increase storage capacity simply by adding more machines or disks to the cluster. By contrast, NAS and SAN arrays require up-front commitment to large amounts of capacity and are difficult to scale incrementally. Canonical works with vendors to integrate leading software-defined storage capabilities into a single deployment and management framework, and into OpenStack clouds built on Ubuntu and the Canonical OpenStack distribution. Scale-out management, RDMA transport enablement, support for SSD & NVMe acceleration, and flexible cache tiering are key features requested by end-users which are now available from open source SDS technologies. Canonical meets customer demand for production delivery by backing them with a commercial support commitment.

“We are privileged to support some of the world’s largest open storage clusters, and are now expanding our offerings to meet customer preference for on-demand usage-based pricing, which helps customers get started” said Mark Shuttleworth, founder of Canonical and Ubuntu. “Fully automated management and integration enable us to deliver a first class experience from day one, even for smaller clusters.”

“OpenStack deployments come with radical storage requirements,” said Thomas Cornely, Chief Product Officer at Nexenta. “By partnering with Canonical on Ubuntu Advantage Storage, NexentaEdge delivers its streamlined architecture and unique functionality – inline deduplication, smart placement, and extremely high data integrity — in a production-ready, fully-supported package that addresses the storage needs of the most demanding cloud deployments while bringing new options to OpenStack administrators.”

SwiftStack was founded to give enterprises the benefits of OpenStack Swift without having to develop their own management stack,“ said Joe Arnold, Co-Founder and Chief Product Officer at SwiftStack. “Programs like Ubuntu Advantage Storage help Enterprises choose the engine that powers the world’s largest storage clouds with SwiftStack, the certified object storage distro in the OpenStack Marketplace.”

Metered Pricing

Storage solutions are typically priced per-node or by the total disk capacity deployed. This leads to an obvious penalty for good practices such as replication and advance build-out of total capacity.

Ubuntu Advantage Storage is different: pricing is based on the amount of data written to the storage pool by the user. There is no duplication of costs for replicas, and customers don’t pay for empty space – as expected from a modern public cloud storage service.

Inspired by cloud storage services with a pay-for-what-you-use approach, the metered pricing model is a radical departure from enterprise storage pricing, which is normally based on number of server nodes or total capacity deployed. “Bringing cloud-style pricing to the on-premise market is a key step in the evolution of private cloud,” said Christian ‘Kiko’ Reis, VP of Hyperscale and Storage at Canonical. “Customers now have utility-based pricing for an open portfolio of software-defined storage solutions from a wide range of competing and innovating players, all under one program, on whatever commodity hardware they prefer.”

This innovative pricing model also underlines Canonical’s dedication to support open source projects, including a commitment to contribute a percentage of support revenues to the further development of the upstream open source technology these storage solutions embed.

Jane Silber, CEO at Canonical said “The pace of data creation is exploding. As unstructured data fills disks and data retention policies lengthen, every organisation must grow their storage infrastructure. Organisations facing the imperative to scale need cloud-style economics in the pricing of software and services, and that’s what the Ubuntu Advantage Storage service offers. ”

Ubuntu Advantage Storage Highlights

  • Full support for scale-out storage solutions starting with Ceph, NexentaEdge, Swift, and SwiftStack
  • Designed for on-premise deployment on commodity server hardware
  • Service includes storage software, deployment & management tools, security & stability updates, reference architectures, knowledge base access and 24×7 commercial support
  • Services delivered by cloud experts with real-world experience running some of the largest mega-datacenter storage deployments in the world
  • Unique cloud-style pricing option: based on content written, not disk space or server nodes, and priced from $0.022 per usable GB per month

Technologies

Available now In the Ubuntu Advantage Storage product portfolio are a variety of leading open source SDS technologies:

  • Ceph, a converged storage framework that offers block, file and object storage capabilities.
  • NexentaEdge, a block and object storage service offering inline de-duplication & compression, low latency block services, instant snapshots and clones, and enterprise grade end to end data integrity.
  • Swift, the high performance S3-compatible object store with class-leading multi-region replication, now with Erasure Codes.
  • SwiftStack, an object storage system built on OpenStack Swift, with an innovative storage controller for global management and NFS and SMB/CIFS file gateways.

These technologies are delivered as 24×7-supported solutions, including reference architectures deployed on top of Ubuntu via Canonical’s suite of cloud tools, including Juju, MAAS, Landscape and Autopilot.

Canonical is exhibiting at OpenStack Summit, Vancouver. Visit booth P3 for further details and to meet the team.

Meizu launches the Ubuntu MX4 for Developers in China

Meizu HERO Group

In the first of a series of launches, Meizu has announced that the Ubuntu MX4, which will be sold across Europe soon, is immediately available to developers in China. The move kicks off Meizu’s push towards strengthening the Ubuntu ecosystem in China, ahead of launching the Chinese Edition to its user base later this year.

Meizu is one of the most popular high-end smartphone brands in China, recognized for its innovative and elegant product design and for pioneering the user centric distribution model that has become the standard for several Chinese manufacturers.

The Ubuntu MX4 launch also coincides with the final months of the China Mobile Ubuntu Developer Contest, which is already seeing thousands of developers participating in onsite and online training as well as hackathons at various universities across China.

With the introduction of Scopes – a way to integrate the content and services typically hidden behind apps directly into the OS – developing mobile experiences on Ubuntu can be done at a fraction of the cost of developing traditional apps, while at the same time delivering a much more discoverable and engaging experience to users.

A number of Chinese scopes are already available from the Ubuntu store including Baidu, Dianping, Weibo, Youku, Sohu and Chinese versions of the Today, Nearby and News aggregation scopes. Web apps are also available for Tmall, Taobao and QQ among others, and Sogou is working on bringing their popular Chinese input method to Ubuntu phones.

Dianping Surface Sohunews Depts

As of this latest release, developers will also be able to submit their own scopes as sources to the aggregation scopes installed by default on the device by a simple tagging mechanism when submitting to the Ubuntu Store. The store itself has been revamped, now counting over 1300 scopes and apps within just a few months from the first device coming to market.

Music_Ag-50GU_Meizu ShouldCloud-50GU_Meizu-250px

For developers who have existing HTML5 apps running on Android and iOS – it’s a breeze to bring those to Ubuntu – see here.

The device is set to go on sale today, directly from Meizu’s website.

Upgrading LMDE (from UP8 to “Betsy”)

The upgrade path is now open. LMDE 1 “Debian” users can upgrade to LMDE 2 “Betsy” by following this tutorial:

http://community.linuxmint.com/tutorial/view/2013

As always, make sure to read everything and don’t hesitate to connect to the IRC while performing the upgrade.

One important note among the warnings: Make sure to disable Romeo prior to upgrading. Cinnamon 2.6 and MATE 1.10 will hit it very soon, they’re not fully stable yet. If you want to test them, it’s better to enable Romeo post-upgrade so they don’t interfere with the upgrade.

IoT World: Snappy for Whitebox Switches

Snappy Ubuntu Core 15.04 is now available as a development Linux kernel for whitebox and OCP switch designs. This allows any ODM, Network Operating System vendor, or whitebox reseller to offer switches with the same leading Linux distribution customers use on their servers and OpenStack environments.

Snappy Ubuntu Core is a new rendition of Ubuntu with transactional updates, a minimal server image, and a simple way to install additional network and NFV applications. The Snappy approach is faster, more reliable, and provides stronger security guarantees for apps and users. Snappy apps and Ubuntu Core itself can be upgraded atomically and rolled back if needed, a bulletproof approach for switching environments where predictability and reliability are paramount.

Snappy Architecture

Since whitebox switches are designed using off the shelf server components married to switching ASICs the conventional thought of Leaf, Edge, or top of rack switches being simple forwarding engines is no longer the case. This new breed of switches has the ability to drive NFV applications right where they’re needed at the server level. By using this distributed model, network applications running in containers on the switch can provide much higher scalability to meet the most demanding scaled out clouds. Snappy Ubuntu Core is perfectly suited for this environment making application installation a Snap.

Benefits

  • The base operating system is built on the best of Ubuntu but even faster, smaller, and more reliable
  • Transactional updates for each app and kernel separately with rollback
  • Frameworks extend the base operating system
  • A new simpler application packaging system
  • NOS and NFV applications are provided directly by trusted vendors as Snap packages
  • Application isolation with Docker and LXD plus confinement from one another and the OS with Canonical’s AppArmor security system and rigorous MAC-based isolation technology
  • World class technical services and hardware certification

Enterprises now have a single platform to manage for a very wide range of devices – from switches to access points to robotics to bare metal container hosts. Snappy Ubuntu Core unifies ‘all the things’ and provides management with a universal firmware and app store. We are delighted to support both the traditional and the new breed of network equipment providers in their move to software-defined infrastructure, and delighted to work with all major silicon manufacturers to accelerate the adoption of their newest and best reference platforms.

Mark Shuttleworth, Founder of Canonical and Ubuntu

Penguin Computing will be the first to qualify and offer switches based on Snappy with their Artica network control software available as a Snap. Initial offerings will be top of rack 10GE and aggregation 40GE models (contact Penguin Computing directly for details and release dates).

Penguin Computing Arctica 4806xp

“For well over a decade Penguin Computing has been the leader in developing open, Linux-based cloud and HPC solutions. We are excited to support Canonical’s vision of Snappy and Snap installed applications on our solutions. The pairing of Snappy and Artica brings incredible feature parity and value to the whitebox switch market. We look forward to adding these switches to our data center and OpenStack solutions,” said David Ingersoll, Vice President Penguin Computing.

With Snappy Ubuntu Core Canonical continues to unleash a new wave of developer innovation and opportunities in the cloud and across devices. The advantages of a common OS across IoT devices up through the cloud allow for amazing new integration and collaboration between applications. To try Snappy Ubuntu Core, visit http://developer.ubuntu.com/en/snappy/