Canonical launches Ubuntu-powered cloud cluster in a box

The Orange Box cluster is designed to encourage companies to experiment with Canonical's Ubuntu OS and orchestration tools when building cloud and distributed compute clusters.

Canonical — the company behind Ubuntu — is to encourage companies to build clouds around its tools by selling a micro cluster in a box.

The Orange Box is a 40 core, 10-node cluster packed inside a luggable flight case to allow rapid deployment of a cloud stack.

To streamline deployment and management of software across the cluster, it will ship with Ubuntu 14.04 LTS 64-bit OS and JuJu cloud orchestration tools. And, to simplify hardware configuration, the cluster will also include Canonical's metal as a service software.

Canonical suggests the cluster is suited to deploying software from the OpenStack cloud infrastructure project, the Cloud Foundry platform, Hadoop clusters, and highlights the hundreds of JuJu charms that provide blueprints for deploying common cloud workloads.

Each node in the cluster includes an Intel i5-3427U processor, 16GB of DDR3 RAM, 120GB of SSD storage, an Intel HD 4000 GPU, and an Intel gigabit network interface controller. Four of the 10 nodes will include additional solid state drive and one of the 10 nodes will feature an Intel Centrino Advanced-N 6235 wi-fi adapter and a 2TB hard drive.

Each node is connected to a D-Link DGS-1100-16 managed gigabit switch with 802.1q VLAN support. Six Gigabit Ethernet LAN ports are exposed on the rear panel, as are three USBs and an HDMI. The cluster is served by a 100V–240V power supply.

The Orange Box. Image: Canonical

The box itself measures 290mm by 213mm by 545mm and weighs 17kg when empty and 32kg when loaded with accessories.

The Orange Box is available from Tranquil PC for £7,575 in its base configuration.

Canonical offers two days of training with its engineers on how to use Ubuntu, MAAS, JuJu and other tools with the cluster, as well as consultation on rolling out these tools for use within the business.

Canonical is attempting to position the Ubuntu OS and its orchestration tools as an integral part of cloud stacks.

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