It's Official: Ubuntu Will Embrace the Cloud--Flexibly
It's official: Ubuntu version 11.04, which is coming in April and is dubbed Natty Narwhal, will flexibly support cloud computing through both OpenStack and Eucalyptus cloud platforms. The operating system will contatin APIs that allow users to work with technology from both, according to this interview with Mark Shuttleworth. "We will have both OpenStack and Eucalyptus based cloud options in Ubuntu 11.04 in April," Shuttleworth said. We've covered OpenStack and Eucalyptus, and it's good news for users that Ubuntu will reach out to these platforms.
Shuttleworth said that he is encouraged to see standardization taking place in the cloud computing space, and clearly remains positive about both OpenStack and Eucalyptus. Clearly, Shuttleworth also likes the idea of open cloud standards.
If you're unfamiliar with OpenStack and Eucalyptus, OpenStack provides an alternative to Amazon EC2 and S3 cloud implementations, while Eucalyptus is an open source cloud computing architecture that allows the Amazon interface and storage metapors to be maintained, even in private cloud computing instances. Ubuntu had already embraced Eucalytpus, as The Register notes:
"Until now, Ubuntu's cloud bet has been Eucalyptus because of its Amazon compatibility. But last year, Eucalyptus suffered a major set back when NASA decided the system wasn't scalable or open enough for its Nebula cloud. NASA built its own compute engine and fabric controller, which it open sourced under an Apache 2.0 license as part of OpenStack."
It's good news that Canonical is aggressively pursuing flexible cloud computing initiatives, and the moves will only result in more Ubuntu users over time. It's proven that business users want flexibility in the cloud. Some businesses are willing to commit their applications and data to the cloud without a whole lot of reservations, but lots of them want the flexibility of private clouds and hybrid cloud offerings. Canonical is getting all of this, and let's hope Ubuntu offers very flexible models for cloud computing.