Ubuntu 15.04: OpenStack Advancements with Kilo and Snappy Core

by Ostatic Staff - Apr. 21, 2015

Ubuntu 15.04 for cloud and servers will be available for download from Canonical on Thursday, 23 April. For cloud users, this release delivers the new, Snappy Ubuntu Core for transactional systems, such as cloud container hosts, smart devices, and a new container-based hypervisor, LXD, which Canonical says sets a new benchmark for density and performance. With updated developer tools and the latest frameworks, languages, databases and packages, this is a significant release for Ubuntu professionals and developers.

We covered the Snappy core here, and what this minimalist take on Ubuntu can do for Docker deployments and platform-as-a-service environments. Amazon, Microsoft and others are all working with the Snappy core. 

LXD, the next-generation hypervisor for containers, is now available in Ubuntu 15.04. LXD provides the full experience of virtual machines, the security of a hypervisor, and bare-metal performance and density, according to Canonical.

“LXD eliminates the very high virtualisation penalty of traditional hypervisors, making Linux-on-Linux workloads much faster and much more dense,” said Mark Shuttleworth.

“Containers are the new frontier in virtualisation and cloud. We are delighted to lead with LXD and the integration of containers into OpenStack.”

 Early adopters include institutions with many Linux virtual machines running common code such as Tomcat applications under low load. LXD offers much higher density than KVM in these situations as the underlying hypervisor can consolidate common processes more efficiently, Canonical claims.

In addition, workloads which are traditionally run on bare metal, such as Hadoop, perform at native speeds under LXD without the 15-20% overhead of KVM, the company says.

“LXD support in OpenStack means big data specialists can now use OpenStack APIs for provisioning, and get bare metal performance for their analytics,” said Mark Baker, product manager for OpenStack in Ubuntu.

LXD is aimed at providing a full “virtual machine” experience inside which administrators can run tools like Docker.

“LXD and Docker work together. LXD provides a full system container, like a virtual machine, and Docker provides the application container for processes,” said Baker.

 ‘Snappy’ Ubuntu Core is the new, transactional version of Ubuntu designed for lightweight cloud container hosts running Docker and for smart devices. It contains all the code and updates of Ubuntu, but is packaged with the new ‘snappy’ system, enabling guaranteed updates with rollback for both the OS and applications installed on it.

“Snappy Ubuntu Core offers everything developers love about Ubuntu together with transactional updates,” says Dustin Kirkland, product manager for Ubuntu Server at Canonical. “Snap packages deliver apps securely to devices and cloud hosts, with isolation of application data and the guarantee that an update can be rolled back.”

This first version of Snappy Ubuntu Core features secure app containment and Docker 1.6 (1.5 in main release), and is available on major public clouds and for ARM and x86 devices on a range of popular boards for IoT.

Notably, Canonical claims that 64 percent of production OpenStack users are building on top of Ubuntu. According to the company:

"Telecommunication leaders such as AT&T, NTT and Deutsche Telekom, large enterprises including Time Warner and SKY, and service providers such as NEC and Yahoo! Japan have adopted Ubuntu OpenStack as their preferred platform for cloud. Canonical’s professional services teams work with them to achieve the highest levels of scalability and efficiency from OpenStack."

"Ubuntu will be the world's first OpenStack distribution to make the newest ‘Kilo’ release available to users, a significant step forward in scalability for virtual networks on OpenStack."

"In Kilo, Neutron is updated to include Distributed Virtual Routing (DVR) to enable Neutron to scale more efficiently, and a preview of “DNS as a service” from the new ‘Designate’ component."

"Cloud federation also takes a big step forward in Kilo with Ubuntu OpenStack now able to share identity across cloud regions. This enables enterprises with multiple OpenStack implementations to manage identity much more efficiently, and simplifies the path to hybrid cloud computing with OpenStack on-premise and public OpenStack clouds. Canonical is committed to cloud federation both with other Ubuntu OpenStack clouds, and with the distributions of other companies."

Ubuntu Server 15.04 is available for download at www.ubuntu.com/download from 23 April 2015.