Review: Ubuntu Enterprise Cloud

By Tom Henderson and Brendan Allen, Network World |  Hardware, Canonical, Linux

Once done, we could download a zip file that included our credentials (X.509 certs, public/private key pairs) which can be used with Amazon EC2 tools (or the Eucalyptus tools and certain other third-party tools). Also, you can get a query ID and secret key for use with Amazon-like tools. HybridFox, a Firefox plug-in, seemed to be the simplest and quickest tool to setup that we could find to make managing the cloud much simpler (as opposed to ssh'ing into the cloud server using only command line tools).

For power conservation, we could manage power for nodes not in use, turning them on for jobs, then off when done. After setting this up, it's automatic and the controller will remotely turn on and off the machines when necessary. To manage this, we had to turn Wake-On-LAN for our network interface on the node.

In addition, the server host machine needs to be able to support at least one of the following of several common Linux power management commands: pm-suspend, pm-hibernate or poweroff. The default setting is for the machine to use one of the previous commands if it hasn't been used in 5 minutes (and, of course, no instances running).

We tested this and it seemed to work well, after 5 minutes our node turned off. We then tried loading a new instance, and the machine turned back on and started to run the instance. This seems like a pretty good way to save power when your nodes are not being used — without having to perhaps walk across a campus and flip power switches.

Image Bundles

With each job there's a VM instance that's preconfigured to do a piece or all of the work. The OS is designed to use only the components needed. Once a VM is built, it can also be replicated so that multiple concurrent instances can do many jobs, or many pieces of a job or batch application processing.

Bundling Ubuntu Enterprise Cloud Linux images is very similar to the Amazon EC2 method of bundling images and uses almost the exact same commands. If you are familiar with how EC2 does this, then you should have no problems here either. If not, the Eucalyptus Web page docs supply information on its bundling command, euca-bundle-vol.

To bundle our VM, we started off with a base Ubuntu 10.04 Ubuntu Enterprise Cloud server image. After launching this instance, we used ssh to link into the machine and follow the instructions to install more application functionality options, in this case we used the LAMP server option. After this initial installation, we upgraded to the latest packages, then installed our test Web site. The bundle was then built using the command line tools. The bundling commands aren't smart enough to do things like check disk space first.

Originally published on Network World |  Click here to read the original story.
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