// May 9th, 2011 // Comments Off on Canonical and Lenovo Collaboration in China // Uncategorized
Canonical can give details of more machines coming online from Lenovo in the Chinese consumer market.
There are now over 30 Lenovo ThinkPads certified with Ubuntu, with many of these being completed in the first half of 2011. The great work with Lenovo continues. .
Click here to access the link for the latest certified hardware.
The ThinkPads, pre-installed with Ubuntu 10.10 on Intel and AMD processors are available to purchase today in China. The model list includes the Lenovo ThinkPad Edge 14, the latest consumer and small business-oriented ThinkPad from Lenovo.
Having hardware certified through Canonical provides consumers and corporate user the assurance of a high-quality, user-friendly, maintainable operating system on every device. The key benefits of combining Ubuntu with Lenovo Thinkpads is the hassle free operation and a fast reliable performance.
See Lenovo’s link for Linux certified hardware online here. You can currently purchase a device in China from a Lenovo store directly or online from 360buy.com.
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more about certifying and pre-installing devices with Ubuntu.
It’s with some regret that we are announcing the end of the ShipIt Programme and the CD distributor programme. When we started ShipIt in 2005 broadband was still a marketing promise even in the most connected parts of the most developed nations. We knew that this represented a significant stumbling block to the adoption of a new technology like Ubuntu. So we invested in making the CDs free and freely delivered to anywhere in the world. Since then we have shipped millions of CDs to every country in the world and brought Ubuntu into the lives of millions of individuals, we hope making them a little better.
Technology moves on and as we look at ways to spread Ubuntu further, a CD distribution programme, especially one of that size and delivered in that way, makes less sense. We have been slowly easing back the programme over the last two years to limit the number of CDs per person and the number of times a person could apply for a CD. But for Ubuntu 11.04 you will no longer be able to go to our website and apply for a free CD.
That’s not to say there won’t be CDs. We are going to make large numbers of CDs available to the Ubuntu Local Communities (LoCos) through a shipIt-lite program. We are asking the LoCos, who are much better placed than Canonical in many ways, to find creative ways to get CDs to those that need them. And of course, every single person reading this who has a CD is a potential distributor – it is after all free to copy, modify and redistribute. We will also continue to make the packs available through the store which are sold more or less at cost price (plus shipping).
We also decided to take a look at the CD distributor programme that we have had running for some time. The volume of CDs distributed through this programme is relatively low but the administrative burden for the programme is surprisingly high for Canonical. Of course everyone is still welcome to simply go to the Canonical store and buy and redistribute CDs. All that changes is that there is no need for an official blessing from Canonical and we will no longer list the websites on ubuntu.com. We encourage them to continue to promote Ubuntu and provide this great technology in their local market.
Where’s the money going?
With the removal of the ShipIt programme some may ask what we are going to do with the money we save. Firstly there is still significant cost in CDs for LoCos and those we produce for events and other distribution methods. Soon we will launch a free online trial for Ubuntu using the goodness of the cloud which will be a great first step for Windows users in particular, allowing them to see for themselves the product that so many of us enjoy. Finally, we will we be doing much more this year to reach out to the mainstream markets across the world, to bring Ubuntu to the next wave of users. This great project of ours needs more and different people to come on board so that we can bring free software into everyday computing lives. Onwards and upwards!
// March 9th, 2011 // Comments Off on Ubuntu Netbook Edition folded into Ubuntu for next release // Uncategorized
One of the benefits of the direction that’s been taken with the next release of Ubuntu is that there is no longer a need for a separate netbook edition. The introduction of the new shell for Ubuntu means that we have a user interface that works equally well whatever the form factor of the PC. And the underlying technology works on a range of architectures including those common in netbook, notebooks, desktops or whatever you choose to run it on. Hence the need for a separate version for netbooks is removed.
To be clear, this is the opposite of us withdrawing from the netbook market. In fact looking at the download figures on ubuntu.com interest in netbooks is not only thriving but booming. It’s us recognising that the market has moved on and celebrating that separate images are no longer a requirement as the much anticipated convergence of devices moves closer.
A return to the Ubuntu name
Which actually got us thinking about our naming conventions in totality. ‘Ubuntu Desktop Edition’ arose in 2005 as a response to the launch of Ubuntu Server Edition and our desire to distinguish between the two. But desktops are no longer the pre-eminent client platform. And actually naming the the ‘edition’ after any target technology is going to have us chasing the trend. Also we were tying ourselves to some ungainly product titles – Ubuntu 10.04 LTS Server Edition for instance. User feedback also told us that people thought the edition was not for them as they had a laptop and spent time looking for a ‘Laptop Edition’.
So we are going back to our roots. From 11.04 the core product that you run on your PC will be simply, Ubuntu. Therefore the next release will be Ubuntu 11.04 and you can run that, my friend, on anything you like from a netbook to a notebook to a desktop. Ubuntu Server will be maintained as a separate product of course and named simply, Ubuntu Server 11.04.
We think this will make things simpler. When we mean Ubuntu for notebooks we will say just that rather than the more confusing, ‘Ubuntu Desktop Edition for notebooks’. We are retaining the concept of ‘remixes’ for community projects and the naming convention therein. And we would love to hear what you think.
// March 2nd, 2011 // Comments Off on Ubuntu, the cloud OS // Uncategorized
We made a small flurry of announcements last week, all of which were related to cloud computing. I think it is worthwhile to put some context around Ubuntu and the cloud and explain a little more about where we are with this critical strategic strand for our beloved OS.
First of all, the announcements. We announced the release of Ubuntu Enterprise Cloud on Dell servers. This is a hugely significant advance in the realm of internal cloud provision. It’s essentially formalising a lot of the bespoke work that Dell has done in huge data centres (based on a variety of OSes) and making similar technology available for smaller deployments. We attended the Dell sales summit in Las Vegas and we were very encouraged to meet with many of the Dell salespeople whose job it will be to deliver this to their customers. This is a big company, backing a leading technology and encouraging businesses to start their investigations of cloud computing in a very real way.
More or less simultaneously, we announced our formal support for the OpenStack project and the inclusion of their Bexar release in our next version of Ubuntu, 11.04. This will be in addition to Eucalyptus, it is worth stating. Eucalyptus is the technology at the core of UEC – and will be in Ubuntu 11.04 – as it has been since 9.04. Including two stacks has caused some raised eyebrows but it is not an unusual position for Ubuntu. While we look to pick one technology for integration into the platform in order to deliver the best user experience possible, we also want to make sure that users have access to the best and most up to date free and open-source software. The increasing speed of innovation that cloud computing is driving has meant that Ubuntu, with its 6 month release cadence, is able to deliver the tools and programs that developers and admins want before any other operating system.
Users will ultimately decide what deployment scenarios each stack best suits. Eucalyptus certainly has the advantage of maturity right now, especially for internal cloud deployments. OpenStack, meanwhile, continue to focus on rapid feature development and, given its heritage, has appeal to service providers looking to stand up their own public clouds. Wherever the technology is deployed, be it in the enterprise or for public clouds, we want Ubuntu to be the underlying infrastructure for all the scenarios and will continue to direct our platform team to deliver the most tightly integrated solution possible.
Finally we saw our partner Autonomic Resources announce UEC is now available for purchase by Federal US government buyers. This is the first step on a long road the federal deployment, as anyone familiar with the governmental buying cycles will realise. But it is a good example of the built-to-purpose cloud environments that we will see more of – with the common denominator of Ubuntu at the core of it.
Which actually raises an interesting question – why is it that Ubuntu is at the heart of cloud computing? Perhaps we ought to look at more evidence before the theory. In addition to being the OS at the heart of new cloud infrastructures, we are seeing enormous usage of Ubuntu as the guest OS on the big public clouds, such as AWS and Rackspace, for instance. It is probably the most popular OS on those environments and others – contact your vendor to confirm
So why is this OS that most incumbent vendors would dismiss as fringe, seeing such popularity in this new(ish) wave of computing? Well there are a host of technical reasons to do with modularity, footprint, image maintenance etc. But they are better expressed by others.
I think the reason for Ubuntu’s prominence is because it is innovation made easy. Getting on and doing things on Ubuntu is a friction-free experience. We meet more and more tech entrepreneurs who tell us how they have built more than one business on Ubuntu on the cloud. Removing licence costs and restrictions allows people to get to the market quickly.
But beyond speed, it is also about reducing risk. With open-source now firmly established in the IT industry, and with the term open used so promiscuously, it is easy to forget that the economic benefits of truly free, open-source software. The combination of cloud computing, where scale matters, and open source is a natural one and this is why Ubuntu is the answer for those who need the reassurance that they can both scale quickly but also avoid vendor lock-in in the long-term.
More specifically, and this brings us back to the announcements, there are now clear scenarios where users can reach a point where even the economics of a licence-free software on a public cloud start to break down. At a certain stage it is simply cheaper to make the hardware investment to run your own cloud infrastructure. Or there might be regulatory, cultural or a host of other reasons for wanting cloud-like efficiencies built on internal servers.
The work we have done with OpenStack and with Eucalyptus means Ubuntu is an ideal infrastructure on which to build a cloud. This will typically be for the internal provision of a cloud environment but equally could be the basis or a new public cloud. It is entirely open as to the type of guest OS and in all cases continues to support the dominant API of Amazon EC2, ensuring portability for those writing applications.
And as we have seen, Ubuntu is the ultimate OS to deploy in a cloud and with which to build a cloud. No-one provides more up-to-date images on the most popular public cloud platforms. Our work to ensure compatibility to the most popular standards means that those guests will run just as well on a UEC cloud however that is deployed – either internally or for cloud provision externally.
So technology moves markets. Economics does too, only more so. Ubuntu has come at the right point in our short IT history to ride both waves. The scale is there, the standards are emerging and the ability to provide an answer to the choice between running a cloud or running on a cloud is more fully realised on Ubuntu than on any other OS – open source or not.
// February 4th, 2011 // Comments Off on DCS’s Chief Geek takes us on a tour of his mini Home Lab // Uncategorized
Dell’s Data Center Solutions (DCS) group has some pretty colorful folks. One of the more interesting members is Jimmy Pike, the man IDG New’s James Niccolai refered to as the “Willy Wonka of servers.” Jimmy, the self-proclaimed “chief geek” of the DCS team is the consummate tinkerer whether that involves constructing a data center in a brief case or thinking of new ways of driving down data center power consumption by leveraging alternative forms energy.
Last Spring I visited Jimmy’s home to check out what he was working on in his “free time.” Here’s what I saw (he keeps telling me he’s got much cooler stuff since I shot this so I may have to do a “geekquel”)
Some of the things Jimmy show us:
The low-power chips he’s playing with
His experimentation with user interfaces and superman glasses
His mini rack of servers
The various forms of desktop virtualization and OS’s he uses
// February 3rd, 2011 // Comments Off on Dell provides Ubuntu-powered IaaS-in-a-box // Uncategorized
Yesterday, the announcement went out that the Dell | Canonical Enterprise Cloud, Standard Edition was out and ready for consumption. What this cloud-in-a-box allows folks to do is to set-up affordable Infrastructure-as-a-Service (Iaas)-style private clouds in their computer labs or data centers. The cool thing is that, because the Ubuntu Enterprise Cloud (UEC) software is compatible with Amazon Web Services EC2 and S3 services, it enables IT admins and developers to move workloads between public and private clouds.
Application developers and IT service providers and admins who are setting up cloud POC’s are perfect candidates for this pre-configured testing and development environment. With regards to industries, areas where there is a lot of software development work like Hosters, Telco & Communications, Media & Entertainment and Web 2.0 businesses are prime markets for the Dell UEC solution.
So what’s in it?
The solutions’ basic components are Dell PowerEdge C systems plus a Dell-specific download of the Ubuntu Enterprise Cloud (made up of the Ubuntu operating system and the Eucalyptus platform for private cloud computing). To simplify getting the whole shebang up and running Dell and Canonical are providing the following:
Walrus Controller (W) – the cloud’s storage repository
Cluster Controller (CC) – the controller for a up to 1024 compute cores grouped together as a cluster
Storage Controller (SC) – the controller for cluster’s storage repository
Compute Node (CN) – cloud’s compute node
And on the support side…
If you’re looking for systems management and support services with your order, you are in luck. Canonical, the company behind Ubuntu, has put together UEC Assist, a support service built specifically for Dell customers deploying SE Edition and which is delivered by Canonical’s Global Services and Support team.
Its all about efficiency
From a Dell DCS (the group at Dell behind this) point of view, this offering fits in well with our strategy of bringing total solutions to market that optimize efficiency at every layer, from code to servers to storage. The open source Dell UEC solution is tailor made to deliver a ready to go IaaS solution.
// January 11th, 2011 // Comments Off on Mark Shuttleworth on UEC and OpenStack // Uncategorized
Mark Shuttleworth, the ever gracious founder of Ubuntu, stopped by Dell this morning to talk to various folks about various subjects. I was able to grab some time with him between meetings and get his thoughts on a few topics.
I was particularly interested in getting his thoughts on Ubuntu Enterprise Cloud (UEC) which will be available this week from Dell as the Dell | Canonical UEC Solution (along with the UEC software, the solution is based on our PowerEdge C2100 and C6100 and comes with a reference architecture and deployment guide). The other topic I wanted to get his insight into was OpenStack.
Here’s what Mark had to say:
What Mark talked about
How Mark has settled into his role as non-CEO (he is still chairman).
What he is focusing on these days: the cloud and product design e.g. Unity.
[1:45] The thinking behind UEC and the combined Dell Canonical offering.
[3:45] OpenStack and Canonical’s participation
Working with both OpenStack and Eucalyptus and how both of these are central to the process of standardization that we are starting to see at the infrastructure layer of cloud computing.