May 13, 2010, 4:07 PM — If you're building an internal or private cloud, Canonical wants you to use Ubuntu Linux 10.04 as your operating system of choice. To that end, the newest version of Ubuntu includes a feature set called Ubuntu Enterprise Cloud.
In keeping with its open source pedigree, Ubuntu Enterprise Cloud is integrated with the open source Eucalyptus private cloud platform, making it possible to create a private cloud with much less configuration than installing Linux first, then Eucalyptus.
And for those thinking about eventually moving resources to the public cloud, or simply bursting to the public cloud when workloads spike, the Ubuntu/Eucalyptus internal cloud offering is designed to be compatible with Amazon's EC2 public cloud service.
On the flip side, you'll need to familiarize yourself with both Ubuntu and Eucalyptus, as Ubuntu Enterprise Cloud's dependence on Eucalyptus will force you to reach beyond Ubuntu documentation when problems occur. For example, we found Ubuntu had weak documentation for customizing images, an important step in deploying Ubuntu Enterprise Cloud.
Basically, Ubuntu Enterprise Cloud can be deployed on internal hardware to run job/batch applications. The idea is to initially allocate storage, then rapidly build multiple virtual machines to process data, collect the data, then tear down the infrastructure for re-use by a subsequent purpose.
Ubuntu Enterprise Cloud provides internal cloud control methods that closely mime what can be done on Amazon's public cloud infrastructure. Its tools can be used to process recurring jobs or one-shot distributed applications, like DNA analysis, video rendering, or database table reformatting/reindexing.
Ubuntu Enterprise Cloud uses the open source kernel-based virtual machine (KVM) platform to host virtual machines that run on the backend nodes. This is important because there are extra Eucalyptus-provided images that include both the KVM and Xen kernels, but you must use the KVM ones if you're important them into Ubuntu Enterprise Cloud.