​The Wily Werewolf, Ubuntu 15.10, is unleashed

On servers and clouds, this new Ubuntu springs forward to take a big bite.

Ubuntu is already the dominant cloud operating system. With the release of Ubuntu 15.10, Wily Werewolf, Canonical's Ubuntu is ready to take an even bigger bite.

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Canonical's new Ubuntu release, Wily Werewolf, is ready to snap up your cloud and server work.

First, Canonical has bundled its new Ubuntu OpenStack cloud deployer and management tool: OpenStack Autopilot with this release. OpenStack is not easy to install. Companies such as Mirantis and Red Hat have also worked hard on making it simple to install the popular open-source cloud.

While Autopilot runs side by side with Ubuntu 15.10, it deploys, manages and scales Ubuntu 14.04 LTS and Ubuntu OpenStack Kilo. It has been designed to fully support in-place upgrades between releases.

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"One of the biggest issues organisations using OpenStack face is how to scale their clouds in line with expansion without having to employ expensive cloud architects to manually re-design them. Autopilot offers enterprises a smart, way to scale their cloud technically and financially," said Shawn Madden, Autopilot Product Manager at Canonical in a statement. "We have built Autopilot to deliver superior scale and economics in a simple to use package."

If your company does have OpenStack expertise, then you might want to try Ubuntu 15.04's built-in OpenStack: the brand-new OpenStack distribution Liberty.

This cloud distribution has three key themes of Manageability, Scalability and Extensibility:

Manageability

  • Common library adoption
  • Improved configuration management
  • More granular Neutron security settings with role-based access control (RBAC) support

Scalability

  • Initial version of Nova Cells V2 implementation to improve of single region large scale OpenStack clouds
  • Neutron, Nova and Cinder scale improvements

Extensibility

  • Support for OpenStack as the integration engine with 'Big tent' model of ancillary project identification
  • Support for containers with debut of LXD Nova driver to enable workloads to be deployed as LXC containers
  • First release of Magnum with container framework support for integration of Kubernetes, Swarm and Mesos.

OpenStack Liberty is also available for Ubuntu 14.04 LTS via the Ubuntu Cloud Archive.

On the server side, LXD, Ubuntu's machine container hypervisor, is now included in Ubuntu by default. With it, Ubuntu servers can easily host hundreds of other Linux guest containers.

According to Canonical, "LXD provides all of the key features expected of a modern hypervisor -- image management, snapshots, live migration, Fan overlay networking, IPv4 and IPv6 support, and an industry leading security profile." In addition to these features, LXD also provides an open, RESTful API. This can be used to create tools that can start, stop, clone, and live migrate LXD containers. The RESTful API is still beta. The first example, a OpenStack nova-compute-lxd driver, is now available as a Tech Preview in Ubuntu OpenStack Liberty.

This release also includes an improved version of the Ubuntu's Metal as a Service (MaaS) platform. This can be used to install Linux or Windows operating system onto physical hardware. In 15.10, MaaS's web interface has been redesigned, and can be used on both PCs and mobile devices..

The Wiley Werewolf server is built on the v4.2 Linux kernel. This kernel brings Advanced Configuration and Power Interface (ACPI) support for ARM processors, Linux Security Module (LCM) Stacking, and the new thermal Power Allocator governor to Ubuntu.

On top of this Canonical has added fan networking for container network address space expansion. As an experiment, the Werewolf also introduces a Data Plane Development Kit (DPDK) faster packet processing in network-heavy applications. DPDK is a set of libraries and drivers for fast packet processing. It's currently being tested and deployed by telecoms companies in high-volume OpenStack deployments.

The Ubuntu desktop may get the attention, but with these advances, chances are you're more likely to use Ubuntu, hidden behind the scenes, on clouds and servers. This wolf is on the prowl.

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