Ubuntu Server 9.10 Looks Skyward

Ubuntu 9.10 Server Edition will become available for free download on Oct. 29, and it may be able to give companies a quick on-ramp to cloud computing.

The server software’s list of new features is topped with Ubuntu Enterprise Cloud (UEC) as a fully supported technology. UEC is the umbrella name for severalcloud technologies, including the open source Eucalyptus project.Canonical, the commercial sponsor of the open source Ubuntu OS family,collaborated with the Eucalyptus community to fully integrate thatcore technology and then tweak it for Ubuntu server performance,according to Gerry Carr, head of platform development for Canonical.

“The growing attraction for cloud computing drove our development ofthe UEC. It is probably the most notable new feature,” Carr toldLinuxInsider.

Amazon Compatible

One aspect of the new Ubuntu Server release likely to drive itsadoption is its ability to allow enterprises to set up their ownprivate clouds. UEC is a an open source cloud computing environmentbased on the same application programming interfaces (APIs) as AmazonEC2.

“Not everyone is using the clouds yet,” said Carr. So, he said, the UEC featurewill give enterprises a new way to make the migration.

Ubuntu 9.10 Server Edition will also be available on the Amazon EC2environment as an Amazon Machine Image (AMI) from Oct. 29, Carr.said.

That arrangement enhances portability between the two platforms.Ubuntu’s UEC images are identical to Ubuntu’s AMI. Work done in oneenvironment can be uploaded to the other.

User Benefits

The UEC features allow system administrators to set up, deploy andmanage a cloud environment. Users alreadyfamiliar with elastic compute environments can build a similarinfrastructure behind their own firewalls, avoiding regulatory andsecurity concerns that prevent many enterprises from taking advantageof cloud environments, explained Carr.

Another benefit of the UEC integration is a tight integration withpower management tools. For example, the new Canonical-sponsoredPowerNap project allows users to put the server to sleep when theyare not actively used.

“This will be a big step for many enterprise users. It will be a bigboon to adopting cloud technology,” said Carr.

More Added

Canonical re-engineered the core server and kernel in this release.Numerous kernel improvements better support both Xen (guest) and KVM(host and guest) virtualization, and caching performance.

Also, USB 3.0 protocol will support super speed transfer rates whendevices become available. In addition, the new server package, called”Django,” includes fully supported framework-enhancing Web serveroptions.

Canonical added support for system management extended through supportfor the WBEM (Web-based enterprise management) protocols. This opensthe Ubuntu environment to support many popular system managementtools currently deployed in enterprises, according to Carr, and allows them to interactmore easily with Canonical’s management tool for Ubuntu, called”Landscape.”

Other improvements include the addition of MySQL 5.1 and a directorystack and Single Sign On tools upgrade for improved directoryintegration.

Pricing and Availability

Beta versions with some but not all of the final features are currentlyavailable at the Ubuntu Web site.

The full release of Ubuntu 9.10 Server Edition will be available forfree download on Oct. 29.

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