Feeds

Shuttleworth gets cloudy with Ubuntu 9.10

Karmic Koala

Boost IT visibility and business value

Mark Shuttleworth, founder of the Ubuntu project, has christened the next iteration of its Linux distro. It's called the Karmic Koala, and he says that the future release, due in October as Ubuntu 9.10, will have features that allow companies to build their own compute clouds.

The announcement of the future release was posted to the Ubuntu development list, as is traditional, and Shuttleworth gave a sneak peak at a few upcoming features.

On the server front, the support for cloud computing is going to be one of the key features in the Karmic Koala release. "A good Koala knows how to see the wood for the trees, even when her head is in the clouds," Shuttleworth said in the list posting.

"Ubuntu aims to keep free software at the forefront of cloud computing by embracing the APIs of Amazon EC2 and making it easy for anybody to setup their own cloud using entirely open tools. We're currently in beta with official Ubuntu base AMIs for use on Amazon EC2. During the Karmic cycle we want to make it easy to deploy applications into the cloud, with ready-to-run appliances or by quickly assembling a custom image."

AMI is short for Amazon Machine Image, and it is basically a rev of an operating system and software stack that can be deployed atop the Xen hypervisor used by Amazon for the EC2 cloud and its related storage services.

Ubuntu 9.10 is not only going to make it easier to deploy Ubuntu on the Amazon EC2 cloud, but will also tap a set of open source cloud management tools, appropriately called Eucalyptus, that are being developed at the University of California at Santa Barbara.

"It's no coincidence that Eucalyptus has just been uploaded to universe and will be part of Jaunty - during the Karmic cycle we expect to make those clouds dance, with dynamically growing and shrinking resource allocations depending on your needs," Shuttleworth explained.

"A savvy Koala knows that the best way to conserve energy is to go to sleep, and these days even servers can suspend and resume, so imagine if we could make it possible to build a cloud computing facility that drops its energy use virtually to zero by napping in the midday heat, and waking up when there's work to be done. No need to drink at the energy fountain when there's nothing going on. If we get all of this right, our Koala will help take the edge off the bear market."

Which sounds more like a bedtime story than release notes, but then again, these aren't release notes. Jaunty, of course, refers to the impending "Jaunty Jackalope" Ubuntu 9.04 release, of which the fourth alpha release came out on February 5. Ubuntu 9.04 is expected to be ready for production on April 22.

Shuttleworth admitted to that his cloud speak sounded "open" and "nebulous," and he said that the feature set for clouding computing for Ubuntu 9.10 would be hammered out the Ubuntu Developer Summit in Barcelona, which runs from May 25 through 29.

The Eucalyptus project is actually an acronym that stands for Elastic Utility Computing Architecture for Linking Your Programs To Useful Systems, which explains why UCSB should be banned from naming anything for at least five years.

The university has set up a public cloud that lets people kick it around, and the project seeks to create an open - and open source - framework that will manage private clouds (like the ones Shuttleworth wants people to build using Ubuntu) and slices of public ones like Amazon's EC2 in a seamless and transparent manner. You can read more about the project here (PDF).

As for the desktop variant, the Ubuntu team is trying to get Linux to boot faster and will continue in these efforts with Ubuntu 9.10. Shuttleworth said that the goal is to get a netbook running Januty to boot up in 25 seconds, and he wants to improve upon this with the Koala desktop. He added that the Ubuntu MID Edition would include all the latest enhancements from the Moblin project, which is an Intel-sponsored project that has created a variant of Linux optimized for netbooks and other mobile Internet devices (that's the MID part) based on Intel's own Atom processors. ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
'Stop dissing Google or quit': OK, I quit, says Code Club co-founder
And now a message from our sponsors: 'STFU or else'
Why has the web gone to hell? Market chaos and HUMAN NATURE
Tim Berners-Lee isn't happy, but we should be
Microsoft boots 1,500 dodgy apps from the Windows Store
DEVELOPERS! DEVELOPERS! DEVELOPERS! Naughty, misleading developers!
Apple promises to lift Curse of the Drained iPhone 5 Battery
Have you tried turning it off and...? Never mind, here's a replacement
Mozilla's 'Tiles' ads debut in new Firefox nightlies
You can try turning them off and on again
Uber, Lyft and cutting corners: The true face of the Sharing Economy
Casual labour and tired ideas = not really web-tastic
Linux turns 23 and Linus Torvalds celebrates as only he can
No, not with swearing, but by controlling the release cycle
Scratched PC-dispatch patch patched, hatched in batch rematch
Windows security update fixed after triggering blue screens (and screams) of death
prev story

Whitepapers

Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Backing up distributed data
Eliminating the redundant use of bandwidth and storage capacity and application consolidation in the modern data center.
The essential guide to IT transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIOs automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.