Tech Pioneer Shuttleworth Demos OpenStack on Linux

NEWS ANALYSIS: The founder of Ubuntu Linux deployed an OpenStack cloud in real-time, demonstrated new hardware, and announced new technology partnerships and initiatives.

Mark Shuttleworth

ATLANTA—Mark Shuttleworth, the founder of Ubuntu Linux and its lead commercial sponsor Canonical, is passionate about OpenStack and his company's role in it. In a dramatic keynote presentation at the OpenStack Summit here, Shuttleworth performed technology demonstrations and made multiple new technology initiative announcements.

"Nearly 70 percent of OpenStack public clouds run on Ubuntu," Shuttleworth said.

Shuttleworth performed a number of live installations of OpenStack on Ubuntu on stage. At the core of Ubuntu's Linux technology is an orchestration system known as Juju, that has been enabling Ubuntu cloud deployments since the Ubuntu 11.10 Linux release in 2011.

"Juju is an open-source service orchestration system that enables rapid builds," Shuttleworth said.

During his keynote, Shuttleworth announced that IBM is now partnering with Canonical on Juju technology. The partnership involves enabling IBM's software to work with Juju in a seamless manner.

IBM and Canonical are also partnering on an effort to integrate the OpenStack Heat technology with Juju. Shuttleworth explained that Heat is well-suited for infrastructure orchestration while Juju is about application orchestration.

Shuttleworth announced that Juju is now being enabled to do cross-Linux distribution orchestration, with the CentOS Linux distribution. CentOS is a community version of Red Hat Enterprise Linux, which is one of Ubuntu's primary rivals in the Linux marketplace.

Juju is now also being integrated into the Ubuntu Landscape management system as well, enabling users to simply deploy and manage cloud infrastructure from a graphical interface. For the Landscape Juju demo, Shuttleworth deployed an OpenStack cloud in real-time on top of an Advanced Micro Devices SeaMicro server.

"Landscape is a management system that will evolve how the cloud handles version upgrades and manages the system, from the bare metal all the way up, effectively as a service," Shuttleworth said.

In tests that Canonical performed prior to the OpenStack Summit, using Ubuntu on 576 AMD SeaMicro hosts, 168,000 virtual machines were able to be launched, Shuttleworth explained, adding that the world's fastest computer, the TH-2 in China, is now running on Ubuntu.

While big machines are impressive, Ubuntu is also able to run OpenStack on very small machines.

Shuttleworth demonstrated the new Ubuntu Orange Box, which is a small-form-factor system in a 10-node mobile box. Each node has an Intel i5-3427U CPU, 16GB of RAM and 120GB solid-state drive (SSD) storage. Shuttleworth described the Orange Box as an easy way to help train and demonstrate the power of OpenStack.

Shuttleworth announced a new managed service offering for Ubuntu OpenStack cloud. The "your cloud" effort will operate private clouds remotely for customers for a cost starting at $15 per server per day.

Shuttleworth also addressd the recent acquisition of storage filesystem vendor Inktank by Red Hat for $175 million. Inktank is the lead commercial sponsor of the Ceph, a filesystem that is widely used on Ubuntu cloud deployments.

"We are delighted for the Ceph guys on their acquisition," Shuttleworth said. "When you buy an open-source company, you don't buy the ecosystem or the magic; we will be fully supporting Ceph for all of our customers on Ubuntu."

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at eWEEK and Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.

Sean Michael Kerner

Sean Michael Kerner

Sean Michael Kerner is an Internet consultant, strategist, and contributor to several leading IT business web sites.