Future versions of Ubuntu Cloud will be based around the OpenStack cloud project, relegating Eucalyptus, the previous lynchpin.
The shift, announced on Tuesday at the Ubuntu Developer Summit in Budapest means that Eucalyptus — once the core cloud for Ubuntu — has been sidelined in favour of OpenStack.
"The Ubuntu team has been working closely with the OpenStack project and this will form a strong basis for [the] Ubuntu Cloud product in the future," Canonical — which stewards the commercial development of Ubuntu — said in a statement on Tuesday. "This decision clarifies the direction of Ubuntu Cloud over the next 12 months, as the project moves towards the long term support (LTS) release in April 2012."
The change has been hinted at for some time. In April Canonical announced experimental integration of OpenStack's Cactus release into the 11.04 Ubuntu Server distribution.
This meant 11.04 supported two cloud projects within the same package. Eucalyptus had been a key component since the 9.04 release in April 2009.
"Generally speaking, our objective is to have a single 'blessed' and maintained technology," Steve George, director of business development at Canonical told ZDNet UK at the time of the 11.04 release.
However, Eucalyptus which sits inside the Ubuntu Enterprise Cloud in 11.04 alongside OpenStack will continue to receive maintenance. Because of Eucalyptus's inclusion in the 10.04 LTS of Ubuntu Server the platform will be supported and maintained through to 2015.
Upon Ubuntu Server's 11.10 release, which is expected to occur in October, technical migration tools will be provided to those keen to shift to OpenStack, Canonical said in its statement.
Nonetheless, Canonical is not expecting all Eucalyptus users to convert. "Many [users] will prefer to continue with Eucalyptus and we expect that many more new users will make a choice between the two," a Canonical representative told ZDNet UK on Tuesday.
OpenStack is an open-source cloud platform that takes core technology from Rackspace, for storage, and Nasa, for compute. It has around 60 partners involved in contributing code, including Dell, Intel and AMD. OpenStack's most recent distribution, Cactus, was released in April.
Eucalyptus is a cloud platform that coheres with Amazon Web Services' cloud via an Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2)-compatible API.