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Ubuntu 15.04: What’s new for cloud users?


on 21 April 2015

This article was last updated 4 years ago.

Ubuntu 15.04: OpenStack ready to roll with Kilo and first outing of Snappy Core

  • Adds LXD, a new hypervisor with incredible density and speed
  • First release of Snappy Ubuntu Core for cloud container hosts and smart devices
  • OpenStack “Kilo” – Ubuntu leads with choice of SDNs, easy install and management
  • Updated developer tools for cloud and IoT

London – 21 April 2015: Ubuntu 15.04 for cloud and servers will be available for download from Canonical on Thursday, 23 April.

For cloud users, this release delivers the new, Snappy Ubuntu Core for transactional systems, such as cloud container hosts, smart devices, and a new container-based hypervisor, LXD, which sets a new benchmark for density and performance. With updated developer tools and the latest frameworks, languages, databases and packages, this is a significant release for Ubuntu professionals and developers.

Container-based hypervisor LXD sets records for density and speed

LXD, the next-generation hypervisor for containers, is now available in Ubuntu 15.04. LXD provides the full experience of virtual machines, the security of a hypervisor, and bare-metal performance and density.

“LXD eliminates the very high virtualisation penalty of traditional hypervisors, making Linux-on-Linux workloads much faster and much more dense,” said Mark Shuttleworth.

“Containers are the new frontier in virtualisation and cloud. We are delighted to lead with LXD and the integration of containers into OpenStack.”

Early adopters include institutions with many Linux virtual machines running common code such as Tomcat applications under low load. LXD offers much higher density than KVM in these situations as the underlying hypervisor can consolidate common processes more efficiently.

In addition, workloads which are traditionally run on bare metal, such as Hadoop, perform at native speeds under LXD without the 15-20% overhead of KVM.

“LXD support in OpenStack means big data specialists can now use OpenStack APIs for provisioning, and get bare metal performance for their analytics,” said Mark Baker, product manager for OpenStack in Ubuntu.

LXD provides a full “virtual machine” experience inside which administrators can run tools like Docker.

“LXD and Docker work together. LXD provides a full system container, like a virtual machine, and Docker provides the application container for processes,” said Mr Baker.

This version of Ubuntu provides:

  • Live migration of LXD containers between hosts
  • Automatic, rigorous security for containers through kernel AppArmor profiles
  • Docker 1.5

Snappy Ubuntu Core – Transactional Host for Containers and Things

‘Snappy’ Ubuntu Core is the new, transactional version of Ubuntu designed for lightweight cloud container hosts running Docker and for smart devices. It contains all the familiar code and updates of Ubuntu, but is packaged with the new ‘snappy’ system, enabling guaranteed updates with rollback for both the OS and applications installed on it.

Snappy Ubuntu Core is the smallest Ubuntu available, designed for security and efficiency in devices or on the cloud.

“Snappy Ubuntu Core offers everything developers love about Ubuntu together with transactional updates,” says Dustin Kirkland, product manager for Ubuntu Server at Canonical. “Snap packages deliver apps securely to devices and cloud hosts, with isolation of application data and the guarantee that an update can be rolled back.”

This first version of Snappy Ubuntu Core features secure app containment and Docker 1.6 (1.5 in main release), and is available on major public clouds and for ARM and x86 devices on a range of popular boards for IoT. Snappy Ubuntu Core is already running on the next-generation of network switches, home routers, smart drones and robots.

Ubuntu delivers OpenStack Kilo first

The Ubuntu OpenStack distribution from Canonical continues to be the most popular way to consume the latest OpenStack, with 64% of production OpenStack users choosing Ubuntu.

Telecommunication leaders such as AT&T, NTT and Deutsche Telekom, large enterprises including Time Warner and SKY, and service providers such as NEC and Yahoo! Japan have adopted Ubuntu OpenStack as their preferred platform for cloud. Canonical’s professional services teams work with them to achieve the highest levels of scalability and efficiency from OpenStack.

Ubuntu OpenStack includes the widest ecosystem of certified software-defined network and software-defined storage from a partner list that includes Juniper Networks, Cisco, Nuage Networks, PLUMgrid, Midokura, MetaSwitch and many other vendors.

Canonical leads OpenStack development in key areas, notably container-based hypervisors (LXD) for performance and techniques for cloud scalability. In this release, the company has integrated ZeroMQ (0MQ) as a brokerless messaging system to eliminate bottlenecks in messaging as the cloud infrastructure scales. ZeroMQ is an intelligent transport layer for distributed applications. Canonical has pioneered the use of 0MQ to enhance the scalability of the core infrastructure itself.

Matthew Smith, Infrastructure Design Manager at Sky said: “Sky is delivering innovative new services based on Ubuntu OpenStack and each release gets better and better. Rapid access to new technologies like LXD for containers is one of the reasons we chose to work with Ubuntu.”

Ubuntu will be the world’s first OpenStack distribution to make the newest ‘Kilo’ release available to users, a significant step forward in scalability for virtual networks on OpenStack.

In Kilo, Neutron is updated to include Distributed Virtual Routing (DVR) to enable Neutron to scale more efficiently, and a preview of “DNS as a service” from the new ‘Designate’ component.

Cloud federation also takes a big step forward in Kilo with Ubuntu OpenStack now able to share identity across cloud regions. This enables enterprises with multiple OpenStack implementations to manage identity much more efficiently, and simplifies the path to hybrid cloud computing with OpenStack on-premise and public OpenStack clouds. Canonical is committed to cloud federation both with other Ubuntu OpenStack clouds, and with the distributions of other companies.

Canonical’s OpenStack Interoperability Lab (OIL) continues to set the pace for multi-vendor interoperability, certification and testing of OpenStack. Canonical tests quality and interoperability on more than 3,000 cloud configurations each month, with 33 individual OIL partners on Ubuntu OpenStack, including PLUMgrid, Quanta, MetaSwitch, Nuage Networks, PMC Sierra and Coho Data. Participation in OIL provides customers with confidence that components of an OpenStack cloud interoperate well together – making it easier to deploy and consume cloud resources.

Ubuntu on Public Clouds

Canonical’s Certified Public Cloud (CPC) program includes the world’s leading cloud providers such as Amazon AWS, Microsoft Azure, Google Compute Engine, Brightbox, Cloudsigma, Fujitsu and others. The CPC program guarantees a consistent Ubuntu experience for developers and users, on every one of Canonical’s partner clouds. All Certified Public Clouds will be receiving images for Ubuntu 15.04 in the traditional server format together with new, snappy editions.

Jeremy Jarvis, co-founder of Brightbox, said: “Alongside our official Ubuntu cloud server images, we have recently started offering Snappy Ubuntu Core images to customers on our cloud platform for container deployments. As an “Ubuntu-by-default” provider, we’re excited about taking this a step further with early access to 15.04.”

Ubuntu Server 15.04 is available for download at from 23 April 2015.

For full commentary on the Ubuntu 15.04 release, including desktop and devices, click here.

Further information:

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Ubuntu on public clouds

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