Canonical joins the OpenStack community

OpenStack today have made a number of announcements about the Bexar release of their cloud stack and we were delighted to be able to confirm its inclusion in the repositories for Ubuntu 11.04 as well as officially joining the community. We have been engaged with the OpenStack community informally for some time. Some Canonical alumni have been key to driving the OpenStack initiative over in Rackspace and there has been a very healthy dialogue between the two projects with strong attendance at UDS and at the OpenStack conferences by engineers in both camps.

In fact it is noteworthy that the OpenStack project has taken a lot of the methodology of the Ubuntu project and applied to how they self-organise and release. They have the same twice-yearly open conference to drive the definition of the project and a similar but three-monthly release cycle. It’s easy to forget that this now ‘standard’, time based, approach to open source development and release was pioneered by Ubuntu and it is gratifying to see it permeate.

But as to OpenStack technology, I know that there are many users very keen to get their hands on a more fully integrated version that Bexar on Ubuntu Server 11.04 will offer. It has always been the goal of Ubuntu with regards to cloud to offer the best integrated experience for open source cloud development and deployment. We did it with Eucalyptus for Ubuntu Enterprise Cloud for the past two years and the next release of this in April will continue on offering a great fully-supported option for businesses looking to bring cloud technology within the firewall. In fact only yesterday saw the official launch of UEC on Dell servers (www.dell.com/canonical) which offers businesses the opportunity to buy hardware from Dell with UEC baked in and fully supported by both companies.

Our aim with OpenStack over time is to make Ubuntu the best OS for clouds built on this stack, both at the infrastructure and guest levels. There is real energy and momentum building around this technology and we congratulate the guys and girls in that project for their success so far. It looks a terrific base for building out open-source based public clouds and its embracing on not just its own APIs but also the EC2 APIs. This offers great options for users and customers to remain flexible as we move towards industry-wide open standards for these types of architectures. In 11.04 (Natty Narwhal), OpenStack 2011.1 (Bexar) will be delivered as a technology preview, and Canonical will not yet be able to provide full support for it. We first want to allow our users to test it and provide us feedback before providing it as a production ready environment. Comments, feedback and reactions are welcome on the Ubuntu-Cloud mailing list, forum and irc channels (http://cloud.ubuntu.com/community/interact/).

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