Ubuntu 14.10 Offers Improved App Deployment, Orchestration

Also known as the Utopic Unicorn, Ubuntu 14.10 expands the Juju charms orchestration system. Juju now has the ability to "charm" Hadoop big data deployments.

Ubuntu 14.10 Utopic Unicorn

Canonical, the lead commercial sponsor of the open-source Ubuntu Linux operating system, came out today with its 14.10 release, also known as the Utopic Unicorn. The 14.10 release follows the 14.04 release by six months and introduces improved application deployment and orchestration capabilities.

The Juju orchestration system has been expanded in the Ubuntu 14.10 release, Mark Baker, Ubuntu server and cloud product manager at Canonical, explained to eWEEK. Juju, which first appeared in the Ubuntu 11.10 release in October 2011, has been steadily improved ever since. With Juju, administrators build and leverage what is known as "charms," which define how a service can be configured and deployed.

In the Utopic Unicorn, Juju now has the ability to "charm" Hadoop big data deployments, making it easier for server administrators to deploy big data processing and analytics.

Juju isn't just for deploying Linux-only workloads anymore either: The orchestration system can now deploy Microsoft Windows Server-based workloads, Baker said. "A key part of our strategy is to enable administrators to use Ubuntu tools to manage multiple workloads, irrespective of the operating system," he said.

From a bare-metal server perspective, Juju now includes a feature known as Machine View that enables administrators to see where workloads are running on physical hardware, he said.

Juju is able to work with native bare-metal workloads as well as virtualization workloads. In the Utopic Unicorn release, there has been new emphasis and support to enable Docker containers as well. Docker has emerged over the past year to become a popular way for server administrators to package, deploy and run virtualized applications.

Any Ubuntu user who writes a Juju charm for any application can use Docker, Dustin Kirkland, Ubuntu cloud solutions product manager and strategist at Canonical, explained to eWEEK. "We're continuing to push the envelope with what Juju can deploy," he said.

In Ubuntu 14.10, Juju is now also able to deploy CloudFoundry, an open-source platform-as-a-service (PaaS) project led by EMC spinoff Pivotal, Kirkland said. Deploying CloudFoundry can be a complex process, and it took a lot of effort from Ubuntu developers to build Juju charms to deploy it, he added.

CloudFoundry itself has had the Bosh tool for enabling deployment in the market since 2012. "Bosh was built specifically to deploy CloudFoundry," Kirkland said. "Juju is a more generic tool, and we have demonstrated that it can deploy hundreds of different services and application workloads."

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at eWEEK and InternetNews.com. 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.