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Ubuntu Beefs Up OpenStack Support

Mitch Wagner

Canonical plans Thursday to ship a major new version of Ubuntu Linux with improved support for OpenStack.

Ubuntu 14.04 LTS provides long-term support (that's what the LTS stands for) for five years. Canonical introduces LTS releases every two years, with minor versions shipping every six months. LTS versions are typically the ones that carriers and enterprises use on their servers, Mark Baker, Ubuntu server product manager, tells Light Reading.

"Ubuntu has been well known among developers, and it's been popular with high-tech companies like Netflix, Instagram, and Snapchat. It has an association with next-generation technologies such as Hadoop," Baker says. "This last year we've seen a definite change: We're starting to see Ubuntu getting traction in the enterprise -- the suits-and-ties or brick-and-mortar brigades."

Ubuntu is used by a number of service providers, including AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T), Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK), NTT Group (NYSE: NTT), and Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ). Canonical said it worked with service providers to optimize Ubuntu for the cloud, including Amazon Web Services Inc. , Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) Azure, HP Inc. (NYSE: HPQ) Cloud, Joyent Inc. , and IBM Corp. (NYSE: IBM) SoftLayer and Smartcloud. (See Ubuntu Creates Carrier Advisory Group.)

As businesses move to the cloud, they're re-evaluating strategic technology platforms, opening the door to Ubuntu, Baker says. Best Buy is a recent enterprise win for Canonical. (See Firefox vs Ubuntu: Pick Me!)

What's new in Ubuntu 14.04 LTS? It supports Icehouse, the latest version of OpenStack, which features an improved scheduler to determine where a VM is placed when launched. Icehouse also supports improved metering, to help organizations get more details about how resources are being consumed by users, especially useful for billing.

Ubuntu 14.04 LTS supports Docker, a wrapper that allows developers to create, share, and move containers between platforms. "It's really like a shipping container," Baker says. "Docker is a way to move these things around more easily and more seamlessly."

The new version features enhanced support for the KVM and Zen hypervisor on ARM processors.

And it supports Juju and MAAS for rapidly and simply designing, deploying, and scaling cloud services.

Ubuntu 14.04 LTS supports new processors: Intel Corp. (Nasdaq: INTC) X86 and 64-bit chips, the Avatom Atom-based processor, and ARM- and IBM Power-based processors.

After 14.04 ships, the next version comes six months later. Canonical will continue on cloud development, adding improvements for hybrid clouds connecting elements running on-premise and externally, Baker says.

On the desktop, 14.04 includes minor GUI upgrades, and support for high-resolution displays. Canonical is also working on a mobile Ubuntu for handsets. Canonical recently scrapped Ubuntu One, a cloud storage and music download service

— Mitch Wagner, Circle me on Google+ Follow me on TwitterVisit my LinkedIn profileFollow me on Facebook, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading. Got a tip about SDN or NFV? Send it to wagner@lightreading.com.

Want to learn more about SDN and the transport network? Check out the agenda for Light Reading's Big Telecom Event (BTE), which will take place on June 17 and 18 at the Sheraton Chicago Hotel and Towers. The event combines the educational power of interactive conference sessions devised and hosted by Heavy Reading's experienced industry analysts with multi-vendor interoperability and proof-of-concept networking and application showcases. For more on the event, the topics, and the stellar service provider speaker lineup, see Telecommunication Luminaries to Discuss the Hottest Industry Trends at Light Reading's Big Telecom Event in June.

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Mitch Wagner
Mitch Wagner,
User Rank: Lightning
4/17/2014 | 3:12:07 PM
Re: Security?
sam masud, - Here's an HP security advisory that addresses the point. 
sam masud
sam masud,
User Rank: Light Sabre
4/17/2014 | 3:04:05 PM

Don't have the link, but understand that HP believes Ubuntu might be vulnerable to the Heartbleed bug. Just thought I'd mention it.
Mitch Wagner
Mitch Wagner,
User Rank: Lightning
4/15/2014 | 4:52:10 PM
Canonical is pushing the switcher angle hard. They see companies migrating to cloud as prime candidates for changing server operating systems, and they want to see those companies change to Ubuntu. How realistic is that?
User Rank: Lightning
4/15/2014 | 3:35:15 PM
Ubuntu 14.04 is looking great
Nice to see top companies collaborating to make a great product.


Canonicals effort will bear fruit.


Eagerly waiting for April 17th. 

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