"Increasingly we're seeing customers who want to run VMware in conjunction with their OpenStack deployments," Baker said. In some cases, organizations have to run workloads in VMware environments due to compliance issues, or they may need one particular tool that VMware offers, though they also wish to use OpenStack for development or other purposes.
By communicating with VMware's vSphere, OpenStack's Nova can initiate a new ESX VM within a VMware environment, stop the VM, and collect various metrics about the VM's performance.
Elsewhere in the updated Ubuntu stack is a newly updated Juju orchestration engine. Juju now allows multiple services to be bundled in the same VM. Instead of writing a script to assemble multiple programs within a VM, administrators can now assemble all the programs needed directly from within the Juju console.
Leading up to this release, Ubuntu 13.10 perhaps generated the most news around a feature it it did not include in the desktop edition, namely Mir, a graphics stack that Canonical planned as a replacement for the aging X Window System, but was dropped at the last minute. A version of Mir is still available for users to download and install themselves.
"There are still some outstanding quality issues that we want to resolve before we feel comfortable turning it on by default," wrote Canonical engineer Oliver Ries, in an e-mail to an Ubuntu development mailing list.
Ubuntu 13.10 is Canonical's final release of Ubuntu until the next Long Term Support (LTS) release of Ubuntu, version 14.04. Canonical supports LTS releases for five years, rather than the customary 9 months for other releases. Ubuntu is updated twice a year and LTS's are issued every 2 years.
For desktop users, 13.10 also includes Smarty Scope, which allows them to search within applications across their own hard drives, the Internet and e-commerce sites such as Amazon.com.
Ubuntu 13.10 will run on Linux kernel version 3.11.