Canonical dresses Ubuntu 12.10 in garb fit for the cloud

Ubuntu 12.10 comes with a host of cloud features due to its close relationship with OpenStack, though its dependence on a networking feature from recent VMware acquisition Nicira could prove troublesome.
Written by Jack Clark, Contributor

The 12.10 release of Ubuntu has seen Canonical skew the Linux distribution toward a variety of young web technologies for developers eager to get ahead in the cloud.

Along with Juju support and the expansion of its metal-as-a-service bare metal provisioning tool to work for Calxeda servers, 12.10 also brings support for the latest 'Folsom' release of the open-source cloud platform OpenStack.

"Because OpenStack uses Ubuntu as a reference architecture, we can get features developed in OpenStack," Steve George, Canonical's vice president of communications and products, said.

As a result, Ubuntu 12.10 servers can be linked together to form an OpenStack-based infrastructure cloud.

The Folsom release brings with it Quantum networking, which "allows you to set up more complicated network topologies if deploying in an OpenStack environment", George said.

Much of Quantum's code has been contributed by software-defined networking company Nicira, which was acquired by VMware for $1.3bn in July.

When asked whether VMware's acquisition could shut off future code contributions from Nicira staffers, George said: "Will Quantum continue? We certainly believe it will, we wouldn't integrate if it we didn't, but we're certainly aware of that [concern]."

Along with the inclusion of Quantum networking, Folsom has also upgraded block storage and added native support for Juju, an Ubuntu server orchestration tool.

"Ubuntu Server 12.10 combines the latest time-saving tools from Ubuntu with the newest release of OpenStack, making it the fastest and easiest way to take advantage of the latest open cloud technology. Ubuntu Server is the reference operating system for OpenStack, which means no other operating system will work with Folsom as naturally," Jane Silber, Canonical's chief executive, said in a statement.

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