CANONICAL HAS formally announced the latest version of its Ubuntu Linux operating system, which is now stable and ready for servers.
Ubuntu 15.10, also known as 'Wily Werewolf', will be available to download from 22 October, and is an incremental release designed as a bridge towards the next Long Term Support (LTS) release, 16.04, which is due in April 2016. It's also the first to run on the recently launched OpenStack Liberty.
New in this release is a crop of incremental improvements, along with the usual round of tweaks and bug fixes.
The INQUIRER spoke to Mark Baker, server product manager for Ubuntu, about what's new in the Server edition and how it can help those looking to use OpenStack in an enterprise environment.
The biggest change is the addition of OpenStack Autopilot, a system designed to make OpenStack clouds without any of the technical know-how and IT support infrastructure you might expect.
"Autopilot is designed as a tool that will allow you not just to build an OpenStack cloud, but to manage it and scale it. We've put a lot of work into ensuring that there is intelligence built into the tool, so when your cloud capacity requirements change, Autopilot is able to rearchitect the things that go to keeping OpenStack clouds ticking over in an optimal way for the resources you have available," he said.
The technology behind Autopilot is LXC containers, which allows the information to be transported between nodes in an optimum way. "It uses standard Linux containers - there's no secret sauce - but it uses our products to manipulate the products as you need to," explained Baker.
There is full integration of the Open Daylight SDN controller, allowing users to start migrating some of their expensive clunky hardware switches over to software-defined networking.
"Open Daylight is a project that has grown into a fully open-source SDN and because of that we've implemented it in Wily Werewolf," he said.
"We see getting the networking right of critical importance to OpenStack deployment which is why we've spent so much time and effort integrating it into Autopilot. We do see many organisations wanting to integrate SDN into their strategy, and that was part of the thinking behind Autopilot."
Baker echoed the sentiment expressed by Linux Foundation chief executive Jim Zemlin when we spoke to him recently, in that software networking is a skill that is not easily found, and that too has been an inspiration for the Autopilot system.
"OpenStack and cloud represents by far the biggest chunk of Canonical's revenue now, and we've seen the lack of those skills in the market as an inhibitor to the growth of OpenStack, and therefore to our growth in the market," he said.
"We've addressed that previously with BootStack, our fully managed OpenStack offer, but Autopilot tries to bring that out to a wider market - you don't need to have multiple PhDs."
LXD machine containers reach maturity in this edition, offering a pure container hypervisor which can run Ubuntu as well as CentOS and other guest Linux distros. It can support everything from IPv4 and IPv6 to RESTful API, and has full compatibility with OpenStack's other core projects, including Neutron, Swift and Ceph.
"As the community is getting behind container technology, these technologies allow users to use containers where they want to, with the advantages of smooth, light, almost bare metal performance," said Baker.
"Docker has done an excellent job of making containers accessible and attractive to developers. While Docker is very much a part of 15.10 and we work closely with Docker, we also see the need for machine-based containers, where people can put SSH in and add bits or change the configuration."
Also included is a preview of Nova Cells V2 to improve implementation of single region large-scale clouds, along with improvements for Neutron, Nova and Cinder.
In Extensibility, there's support for OpenStack as the integration engine with 'Big Tent' ancillary project identification, the LXD Nova driver allowing workloads to be deployed as LXC containers, and the first release of Magnu, supporting integration of Kubernetes, Swarm and Mesos.
Ubuntu 15.10 Server edition is available from today on the Canonical website. Users of Ubuntu 14.04, the most recent LTS version, can upgrade to OpenStack Liberty via the Ubuntu Cloud Archive. µ
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