Ubuntu 13.10 Improves Linux Server Deployment

by Sean Michael Kerner

Enhancements to the Juju orchestration system aim to make cloud server deployments easier.

The Ubuntu 13.0 Linux server release is now available, providing administrators with new cloud management and deployment capabilities.

Ubuntu 13.10, which carries the codename "Saucy Salamander," is closely aligned with the OpenStack Ubuntucloud platform that had its own OpenStack Havana milestone release earlier this week.

Mark Baker, Ubuntu Server and Cloud Product Manager at Canonical, told ServerWatch that the Juju system gets a big boost in Ubuntu 13.10. Juju first debuted in 2010's Ubuntu 11.10 release and is a server and cloud deployment orchestration technology.

"Juju has 'charms,' which is where services are defined, and part of that definition details what it can connect to and how it can be installed," Baker said.

He added that what was frequently happening would be administrators scripting the deployment of Juju charms. In Ubuntu 13.10 the concept of Juju bundles is being included, providing administrators the ability to include more deployment scripting options. Juju bundles can also be shared, which defines a number of charms.

OpenStack Havana

Ubuntu 13.10 Server also provides the new OpenStack Havana release. Havana is notworthy in that it has its own cloud orchestration system called "Heat." Baker doesn't necessarily see Heat as being competitive with what Ubuntu is already providing with Juju.

"Heat is a server orchestration system designed for OpenStack, while Juju is a server orchestration system designed for multiple different clouds and environments," Baker said. "We'll wait and see how Heat develops, [and] if it becomes more efficient to drive apps through the Heat API than Juju we may well do that in the future."


Prior to Ubuntu 13.10, each time Juju launched a new service, a new virtual machine instance would be spun up. With the new co-location capability, administrators can now run multiple services in the same virtual machine instance.

"You could kind of do that before, but it was a very manual process," Baker said.

Also new in the Ubuntu 13.10 release is a Juju Inspector function that is now being made available in the Juju GUI.

"Before it was quite simple with green for good and red for a problem," Baker said. "It has now evolved so you can inspect services to see that they are running, the number of connections and some other basic metrics."


Ubuntu 13.10 will now also provide extended Linux container (LXC) support. Baker said performance has been improved with the use of LXC with a new installation method. The system now can do fast and efficient cloning of user data with containers.

Baker said that Containers are being increasingly popular as a virtualization alternative to traditional hypervisor-based virtual machines.

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at ServerWatch and InternetNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.

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This article was originally published on Friday Oct 18th 2013
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