The Ubuntu 12.10 Linux Server release is now generally available, providing administrators with an enhanced platform for cloud deployment.
The 12.10 release follows the 12.04 release by six months and updates a number of key components. At the core, Ubuntu has updated its Ubuntu Enterprise Cloud (UEC) to the Folsom release of OpenStack.
Folsom was first released by the OpenStack community at the end of September. Ubuntu is among the first major OpenStack vendors to now bundle in the Folsom technology as part of a production-grade release.
Among the key enhancements in OpenStack Folsom is the Quantum networking project, which provides a Software-Defined Network (SDN) architecture that can be used for cloud deployments.
"Ubuntu Server is the reference operating system for OpenStack, which means no other operating system will work with Folsom as naturally," Jane Silber, CEO at Canonical, said in a statement.
Ubuntu isn't just relying on what the upstream Folsom release delivers, though. A key value proposition comes from the included Juju orchestration tools. This week, at the OpenStack Summit in San Diego, Ubuntu Linux founder Mark Shuttleworth demoed the 12.10 version of Juju.
With Ubuntu 12.10, there is a new graphical user interface that provides better ease of use and more control over cloud service orchestration.
At the Summit, Shuttleworth went so far as to use the tool to upgrade a live production instance of an older OpenStack Essex release to the new Folsom release in only three minutes. With the new interface, users get a graphical representation of services and the relationship between them as they are deployed and taken down.
From a security perspective, Ubuntu 12.10 supports Open Attestation (OAT) from Intel. OAT enables OpenStack clouds to be authenticated with a cryptographically signed key. The idea is to have an additional layer of integrity for cloud images, which is important for regulatory compliance.
Ubuntu has been supporting the ARM system architecture since 2011. With the 12.10 release, that support is being extending into bare metal provisioning as well. The Ubuntu Metal-As-A-Service (MAAS) tool now supports bare metal deployment to Calxeda ARM.
Calxeda is building a scale-out system architecture with a number of partners, including HP.