Canonical Embraces OpenStack in the Cloud, But Eucalyptus Still in the Mix
In February of this year, we discussed how Canonical was deepening its relationship with OpenStack, the open source platform targeted to manage both software-centric and storage-centric aspects of cloud computing, focusing on clusters that can leverage distributed resources. It has a number of heavy-hitters behind it, ranging from Rackspace to NASA. Now, the Ubuntu Project has announced that it is switching to OpenStack for its Ubuntu cloud foundation technology. Contrary to some reports, Eucalyptus is still working with Ubuntu, and existing customers won't be disrupted, but Ubuntu's relationship to OpenStack bodes very well for OpenStack's momentum.
The Ubuntu Project provided us with this clarification:
"The current releases of Ubuntu Enterprise Cloud (UEC), which is based on Eucalyptus, are not impacted: Eucalyptus will continue to be a available for download and will be supported by Canonical. This means that customers who have deployed private clouds based on existing Ubuntu releases will continue to receive maintenance, and in the case of Ubuntu 10.04 LTS this will continue through to April 2015. Eucalyptus will remain within Ubuntu and will be available for users who prefer this technology. For customers with existing private cloud deployments, Ubuntu will provide tools to automate the migration process to the Ubuntu Server 11.10 release when it is released in October 2011."
The advisory continued:
"The OpenStack project has developed significant user, developer and industry attention over the last year as it has matured. The Ubuntu team has been working closely with the OpenStack project and this will form a strong basis for Ubuntu Cloud product in the future. This decision clarifies the direction of Ubuntu Cloud over the next 12 months, as the project moves towards the long-term support (LTS) release in April 2012."
Indeed, OpenStack does have momentum. Cisco has also been deepening its relationship with the project. Still, it's good to see that Canonical is preserving an ecumenical approach to cloud platforms. That makes a lot of sense, as does the Ubuntu Project's focus on open technologies, because many businesses and organizations want flexibility as they deploy public and private cloud applications.
As we wrote in our post on OpenStack and Canonical back in February: "In all likelihood, Canonical will stay ecumenical in embracing more than one cloud platform. So far, it has clearly gravitated toward open platforms, which both Eucalyptus and OpenStack are, and there should be no reason to stray from that strategy. If Canonical can offer the most open, flexible ways to allow businesses to deploy public and private hybrid cloud offerings, and continue to work with mighty hardware players like Dell, cloud computing could be Canonical's next big frontier."
It won't be a surprise to see cloud offerings based on Ubuntu and OpenStack becoming ever more secure and competiting directly with costly, less flexible cloud platforms. That's a good thing for the whole cloud landscape.