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NASA backed open cloud platform rev’d, tapped by Ubuntu

Feb 4, 2011 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — views

Open source cloud computing platform OpenStack — backed by NASA and Rackspace — announced a second release codenamed “Bexar,” offering stability enhancements, IPv6 support, internationalization, and more hypervisors. Meanwhile, Canonical will bundle OpenStack in its upcoming Ubuntu Linux 11.04, and announced a separate cloud-related deal with OpenStack partner Dell.

With the Bexar release, organizations will find it easier to install the Linux-ready OpenStack, creating public and private clouds similar to services offered by Amazon Web Services, Jonathan Bryce, chairman of the OpenStack project oversight committee told eWEEK.

Users will be able to pre-install and create application environments and create additional copies as needed, said Bryce, who was also co-founder of the Rackspace Cloud.

Rackspace and NASA jointly launched OpenStack last July to create a vendor-neutral platform that would allow customers to move from one cloud service provider to another without being locked in. The initial "Austin" release in October included OpenStack Compute for provisioning and managing cloud servers, as well as the OpenStack ObjectStorage, cloud-based file-system, based on Rackspace's Cloud Files service, Bryce said.

Internap's XIPCloud Storage service, launched Jan. 18, was the first major deployment outside of Rackspace.

Primed for IPv6

Bexar was released on Feb. 3, the same day Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) distributed the final five blocks of IPv4 addresses to the regional Internet registries. With IT managers thinking about IPv6 transition, it is timely that one of the major features in Bexar is a dual-stack (IPv4/IPv6) implementation for built-in IPv6 support in OpenStack Compute, said Bryce.

The IPv6 support, provided by a Japanese telecom giant NTT, was previously announced when Internap deployed the ZIPCloud Service, along with changes to the storage object sizes in OpenStack ObjectStorage.

Previously in the Austin version, ObjectStorage had a 5GB object size limit, but this limit has been removed in Bexar, said Bryce. Object sizes are now limited only by the system storage capacity, he said.

ObjectStorage supports concurrent uploads, where large files are broken up into smaller chunks, uploaded to the cloud, and then reassembled in the cloud, said Bryce. The new release also adds support for eight international languages, so that implementers get messages back in their own language, Bryce said.

In addition, Partner contributed code to add support for Microsoft's Hyper-V virtualization technology, which expanded OpenStack's list of supported hypervisors. The platform already supported Red Hat's KVM and Citrix Systems' XenServer.

Step-by-step guides on how to get started with OpenStack Compute and OpenStack ObjectStore have been completed and are now available at, OpenStack said.

Support for live migration of virtual machines in a cloud environment was intended for Bexar but is now planned for the Cactus release, due in April, Bryce said. Cactus will have new tools to simplify management and also include features to make it robust enough for large-scale deployments at telecommunication companies and service providers, he added. Support for VMware's ESX Server is also said to be expected later this year.

Canonical adopts OpenStack for Ubuntu 11.04

Along with the Bexar release, OpenStack announced Canonical, Cisco Systems, Extreme Networks, and Grid Dynamics as new partners. Cisco is expected to contribute code that will make it easier for customers to configure Cisco switches in the OpenStack environment.

Canonical has committed to shipping OpenStack with the server version of Ubuntu Linux 11.04, expected in April. Codenamed "Natty Narwhal," the new Ubuntu release will support both OpenStack and Eucalyptus, another open source cloud platform, according to Mark Shutterworth, Canonical's founder. Eucalpytus has built-in support for Amazon Web Services.

"We'll have to see how they shake out from a competitive perspective," Shuttleworth said in a video on Dell's Web site.

Dell partners with OpenStack, bundles Canonical's UEC

Dell is another OpenStack partner. Dell Datacenter Solutions division provides customized hardware for customers interested in hyperscale environments, Barton George, the division's cloud computing and scale-out evangelist, told eWEEK.

Customers can take "the optimized hardware from Dell and the optimized code from OpenStack" and run it inside Dell's modular data centers for the most "efficient implementation," said George. The PowerEdge C6100 servers will be optimized for OpenStack deployments, he said.

On Feb. 2, Dell announced the release of Ubuntu Enterprise Cloud (UEC) software, based on Eucalyptus, on the PowerEdge C servers. The solution enables Dell's U.S.-based customers to more easily deploy IAAS (infrastructure as a service), Canonical officials said.

Organizations are said to be able use the UEC deployments to run cloud proof-of-concept programs, said Canonical. Workloads can be shared with external providers for capacity growth based on Ubuntu's open source implementation of Amazon Web Services cloud, said the company.


More information on OpenStack's Bezar release, as well as links to downloads, may be found at the OpenStack site.

Fahmida Rashid is a writer for our sister publication eWEEK.

This article was originally published on and has been donated to the open source community by QuinStreet Inc. Please visit for up-to-date news and articles about Linux and open source.

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