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New Release of Ubuntu Server Offers Amazon-Compatible Cloud

The next iteration of
Ubuntu Linux will really help companies lift up into the clouds.

The April 30 release of Ubuntu Server will have the ability to migrate KVM-based virtual machines from one physical server to another, similar to VMware's ability to use VMotion to migrate virtual machines, said Steve George, director of the enterprise group at Linux supplier Canonical.

KVM is the Kernel Virtual Machine, an open source hypervisor that was produced by Israeli company Qumranet.
Red Hat Inc. (Nasdaq: RHAT) purchased Qumranet last year. Qumranet developer Avi Kivity submitted KVM to the Linux kernel development process, and it was included in a refresh of the kernel in early 2007.

In addition, Canonical is adding clustering software that will manage a set of x86 Ubuntu servers as if they were a combined cloud resource. If a virtual workload is assigned to the cluster, Ubuntu's new "cloud controller" will determine which server to deploy it to, no further administrative action needed. In effect, it will balance the load, based on policy decisions that the cluster administrator has put into the controller, George said in an interview.

The cloud controller will be a "tech preview" feature that won't be considered stable and available for production use until Ubuntu Server 9.10 is released. According to the Ubuntu naming convention, which lists the year and month of the release, 9.10 will become available in October.

Ubuntu Server 9.04 will have an additional "cloud" feature as it comes out of the blocks at the end of April. It will be available to run in the Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN) Elastic Compute Cloud, George said.

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