Dell made a strategic international software development community move March 22 when it announced a partnership with Ubuntu Linux provider Canonical to support Dell's own OpenStack-Powered Cloud solution in the U.K., Germany and China.
The deal was announced at the WorldHostingDays global conference in Europa-Park Rust, Germany.
Ubuntu Server 12.04 LTS (long-term support) is being built with the latest Linux kernel and OpenStack IT and is currently undergoing integration and quality assurance testing with Dell's version of OpenStack.
Crowbar's First International Launch
The Dell-Canonical platform, based on OpenStack-based software and integrated into Dell's servers, services and open-source deployment framework, Crowbar, was launched in the United States in 2011. This is Crowbar's first international launch.
"This is a great opportunity for enterprise customers who want to deploy their own private clouds with the same features and capabilities as public clouds," Canonica Director of Global Support and Services Martin Stadtler wrote in his blog. "So whether you are considering, actively planning or in the process of deploying an internal open source-based cloud, you can count on Canonical and Dell for support in your work.
"We know that when you're building private clouds, you want access to a full feature set and the confidence that vendor support provides. With Dell's OpenStack-Powered Cloud Solution, users of Ubuntu Server 12.04 LTS will be able to take advantage of the cost savings and flexibility of the open-source cloud, without the risk."
Raising the Support Bar
Canonical has been raising the bar in its enterprise-grade Linux services and support and now has more than two years' experience of bringing up, deploying and supporting mission-critical applications in private clouds.
"In fact, most major public OpenStack clouds are built on Ubuntu, for the simple reason that Ubuntu and OpenStack were built to work together," Stadtler wrote.
Canonical's Ubuntu Advantage now provides users with global support and 24/7 coverage for their production cloud environments, Stadtler said.
OpenStack, founded by Rackspace Hosting and NASA in 2010, is an infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) cloud computing project that has grown into a global software community of developers who collaborate on a standard and massively scalable open-source cloud operating system. Its mission is to enable any organization to create and offer cloud computing services running on standard hardware.
More than 150 companies are involved in the project, including Dell, Canonical, Intel, AMD, Citrix Systems, SUSE Linux, Hewlett-Packard and Cisco Systems. All components are free open-source software released under the terms of the Apache License.
OpenStack integrates code from NASA's Nebula platform as well as Rackspace's Cloud Files platform.
How ready for prime-time is Ubuntu and OpenStack at this point?
"OpenStack is still a technology stack, not an appliance. Companies will need open-source skills to take this on," Dell' European Director of Next-Generation Computing Andy Cash said at the conference. "You could use it to stand up a cloud with as few as 20 servers, but it is dependent on a certain level of skill. We would expect to be part of a customer project, but we are not intending to run this for people."
You can obtain more information via Twitter by following @UbuntuCloud, #WHD_global and #Dell.