Canonical gears Linux upgrade to the cloud

Ubuntu Server 12.04 LTS will feature the Essex release of the OpenStack cloud fabric layer

Canonical is focusing on cloud deployments with an upgrade to its Ubuntu Linux distribution being unveiled on Thursday.

Ubuntu Server 12.04 LTS (Long Term Support) will feature the Essex release of the OpenStack cloud fabric layer, making it easier to use the OS in clouds and to deploy workloads. "The cloud layer automates the consideration about where to put that workload," said Steve George, Canonical vice president of products and communications.

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OpenStack, which can be used for public or private clouds, offers an open source alternative to proprietary cloud solutions from companies like VMware and Microsoft, George said. Also featured in version 12.04 is an updated version of Canonical's Juju stack for service deployment. Users can automate such processes as running big data databases on Ubuntu.

Canonical offers an LTS release every two years. These releases maintain security patches for five years. Version 12.04 also supports ARM servers. "We're the first vendor to bring an OS to market that has support for the ARM architecture," said George.

Enhanced Juju support was hailed by one industry analyst. "The 12.04 release is highlighted by the continued evolution of Juju, which now supports more than 70 other applications and tools in the area of devops, where application development and IT operations come together in an agile fashion," analyst Jay Lyman, of 451 Research, said. "Deeper integration and support for OpenStack is also significant for the server version of Ubuntu 12.04, and this is helping drive integration, certification, and support from other key players in hardware, networking, and other areas, including Dell, IBM, and Cisco."

Canonincal also is offering version 12.04 for desktops. Support is featured for desktop virtualization from Citrix and VMware alongside Microsoft RDP 7.1. Canonical offers support services for Ubuntu.

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Copyright © 2012 IDG Communications, Inc.