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Canonical Puts Ubuntu Enterprise Services Into The Cloud

Darryl K. Taft covers IBM, big data and a number of other topics for TechWeekEurope and eWeek

Canonical, the founder of the Ubuntu Linux project, has launched new professional services to help and support users building private clouds.

Canonical, the founder of the Ubuntu project, has launched new professional services to help and support users building private clouds, following its preview release of the Ubuntu Enterprise Cloud in April.

In an interview with eWEEK, Simon Wardley, head of cloud strategy at Canonical, said the new Ubuntu Enterprise Cloud (UEC) services use an open source system known as Eucalyptus to enable organisations to test, deploy and experiment with their own in-house, private cloud that matches the Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) application programming interface (API).

Eucalyptus is an open-source software infrastructure for implementing cloud computing on an organisation’s own clusters. Eucalyptus enables enterprises to create their own cloud-computing environment to maximise computing resources and provide a cloud environment to their users.

Meanwhile, UEC is now a part of the open source Ubuntu Server Edition technology stack. And by creating private clouds with the technology, organisations can optimise server use and increase data-centre efficiencies, while lowering costs and providing end users with self-service IT. Ubuntu is the first Linux distribution to provide such a system and now Ubuntu Enterprise Cloud Services from Canonical help businesses build these environments with optimal efficiency, Wardley said.

“In April we launched the Ubuntu Enterprise Cloud based on Eucalyptus to enable our users to make private clouds; now we’re launching a number of services to build upon this,” he added. And the services include cloud assessment, deployment and management support, he said.

“Enterprises are realising that building ‘private clouds’ enables them to better manage variable workloads, while reducing the waste of idle servers,” said Mark Shuttleworth, Canonical chief executive. “Building on an open-source technology also avoids the issue of vendor lock-in. Ubuntu Enterprise Cloud enables businesses to do this – and the addition of these services helps them to do it with confidence.”

Wardley said Canonical has teamed up with Eucalyptus to jointly provide the cloud services, but with a single interface for the customer through the Canonical support team.

“While the IT industry talks of future strategies and releases vapourware, UEC today allows businesses to deploy and now support a ‘private cloud’ on open standards from a renowned Linux provider,” said Woody Rollins, chief executive of Eucalyptus, in a statement. “We are very excited to lend our expertise to building the type of professional services that will help more businesses discover the benefits of private clouds built on open technologies.”

Ubuntu Enterprise Cloud Services will enable users to scale up from a five-machine environment all the way to a site licence covering all machines, physical and virtual, in a single location.

“We’ll help you assess your environment to help you deploy a private cloud,” Wardley said. “And we’ll help you with the transition from public cloud to private cloud.” In addition, Canonical will help enterprises with proof-of-concept activities and also support for their cloud environments.

To use Ubuntu Enterprise Cloud, you must first install Ubuntu 9.04 Server Edition. You can download Ubuntu Server Edition free from its website.

To find out more about Ubuntu Cloud Computing, go to: www.ubuntu.com/products/whatisubuntu/serveredition/cloud.