Ubuntu Server 12.10: What to Expect
From standard feature upgrades to controversial integration with Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN), we’ve already surveyed the highlights of the desktop version of the upcoming Ubuntu 12.10 release. But what do Ubuntu server users have to look forward to Oct. 18? Read on for a round up of the new bells and whistles set to make their debut in the backroom version of one of the world’s most popular open source operating systems.
Since Ubuntu Server 12.10 is not a longterm support (LTS) release, which means its lifetime of official support from Canonical will be relatively short, it’s not likely to see significant implementation in production environments. But that also makes it a ripe testing ground for Ubuntu developers to roll out new server features and get some real-world feedback in time to smooth out the kinks before the next LTS release.
Ubuntu Server 12.10: What’s New
Toward that end, Ubuntu Server 12.10 will introduce its fair share of enhancements. Probably the most significant for many users is an upgraded version of the OpenStack open source cloud infrastructure. Ubuntu 12.10 will include the latest release of OpenStack, known as Folsom.
But perhaps more importantly, Ubuntu Server users can look forward to an easy means of keeping up to date with OpenStack releases throughout the Ubuntu 12.10 lifecycle, thanks to a new initiative from Canonical to create an OpenStack archive for Ubuntu. Beginning with Ubuntu 12.10, users interested in building public or private clouds based on open source platforms no longer will have to choose between using a tried and true iteration of the operating system or taking advantage of the latest cloud software features.
Along similar lines, Ubuntu 12.10 will feature cloud-init support for “config drive v2” of the Folsom version of OpenStack. This functionality will make it easier to automate the initialization of instances of Ubuntu running in the cloud.
Ubuntu server users interested in the cloud may also be happy to know that cloud images of Ubuntu Server 12.10 will be available for the armhf architecture. This higher-end family of ARM chips are likely to become increasingly important as server hardware expands beyond the confines of the traditional x86 world.
In addition to cloud-related enhancements, other notable upgrades and new features in Ubuntu 12.10 include:
- 0.48.1 of Ceph, the distributed data storage system. This is an important update for Ubuntu’s fortunes in the world of Big Data.
- Packages for Floodlight and mininet.
- Version 7 of the Apache Tomcat Java platform.
Will Ubuntu Server 12.10 introduce any truly radical features? Not really. But it does promise to bring a series of significant incremental enhancements that, combined with other improvements to non LTS releases of Ubuntu, will pay off when Canonical rolls out the next LTS version to Ubuntu Server customers.