From client to cloud, Ubuntu 11.10 sets the pace for business IT

Ubuntu 11.10 will be available for free public download from October 13

Hyderabad - The latest iteration of products, tools and services that help businesses deploy open-source cloud-oriented infrastructure with Ubuntu at the core have been announced. With Ubuntu 11.10 for desktop, server and cloud, Canonical delivers open platform solutions for all key parts of business technology infrastructure. Ubuntu 11.10 will be published on October 13, 2011 for free public download.

The deployment, management and orchestration tools that DevOps practitioners need to embrace cloud computing are central to this platform. Ubuntu 11.10 introduces Juju (codenamed Ensemble during development) for service deployment and orchestration across multiple cloud infrastructures, large-scale bare-metal deployments and workstation-based service prototyping.

Juju enables infrastructure and service developers to describe the deployment and scaling requirements of their applications, simplifying and enhancing the dialogue between developers and ops teams. Juju can be referred to as “DevOps Distilled” because it brings such clarity to the development-deployment dialogue and process. Juju simplifies deployment across multiple cloud providers and farms of physical servers running cloud-style workloads such as Hadoop.

This is the final release prior to Ubuntu’s next Long Term Support (LTS) release, due in April next year. “Ubuntu 11.10 gives forward-looking companies a chance to road-test the cloud and desktop technologies that will change the game for IT cost and performance” said Jane Silber, CEO of Canonical in a press release issued in Hyderabad. “We’re thrilled to deliver multiple firsts with this release: a technology pre for the ARM architecture on servers, cloud infrastructure and Juju service orchestration in the box.”

Ubuntu Cloud Infrastructure now includes OpenStack as the core infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) element of Ubuntu Cloud. Canonical’s investment in lightweight container technology LXC alongside the well-known KVM and Xen virtualisation technologies, has resulted in a tightly integrated cloud infrastructure solution that works across all hardware platforms. That means any business can deploy Ubuntu Cloud Infrastructure on their preferred server platform today.

Ubuntu Server 11.10. includes smart tools for provisioning and deploying Ubuntu across multiple physical servers. Field tested in deployments of thousands of nodes, Ubuntu 11.10 raises the bar for high-volume low-touch server OS deployment. These tools give administrators a standardised and fully automated way to deploy Ubuntu Server that minimises manual intervention and ensures consistency.

Ubuntu Server 11.10 sees Ubuntu become the first general-purpose, server-focused operating system that supports the ARM architecture. This adds to Ubuntu’s existing support for a huge range of Intel x86 server configurations from the world’s leading manufacturers. ARM support is released as a technology preview, and Canonical has done significant work to support the architecture with the core OS and with essential high-volume server applications such as the LAMP stack. The ARM architecture is considered to have the potential to improve the performance per watt density of data centers dramatically.  With the choice of Intel x86 and now ARM, Ubuntu Server 11.10 gives power-sensitive companies the opportunity to assess the best solution for their requirements.

Canonical has also improved LXC integration in Ubuntu, and added LXC support to OpenStack as a technology preview. LXC offers lightweight workload separation, with improved utilisation on all servers and support for all architectures, so for the first time users can start to explore ARM-based clouds. For deployment, Ubuntu Cloud Infrastructure is fully supported on x86-based servers.

For business desktop users, Ubuntu 11.10 continues to build on the Unity user experience introduced in the April 2011 release of Ubuntu 11.04. Machines with less powerful or modern graphic cards now have Unity in 2D, allowing every user to enjoy the widely acclaimed new interface. Unity is now fully supported on ARM, making extremely low-power and low-cost thin clients possible for large-scale institutional deployments. Another change sees the popular and cross-platform Mozilla Thunderbird replace Evolution, giving businesses a more up-to-date and feature-rich email client.

Ubuntu has seen significant uptake in recent months as the corporate and desktop desktop of choice at organisations as diverse as Qualcomm, the City of Munich and LVM Insurance. This release continues on that trajectory, offering businesses a compelling and lower cost alternative to Windows on the business desktop. Cost and security-conscious enterprises with 5,000 or more desktops will want to identify teams or divisions which would be more productive on Ubuntu, and to plan a migration program that delivers real benefits both to users and the bottom line.

Downloads and links:

Download Ubuntu Server 11.10 and Ubuntu Cloud Infrastructure from October 13th at http://www.ubuntu.com/download/server

Try Ubuntu Cloud Guest on Amazon Web Services for free from October 13th at http://try.cloud.ubuntu.com

Find Ubuntu Cloud Guest images at http://cloud.ubuntu.com/ami/

Learn more about Juju at http://juju.ubuntu.com


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