Canonical rolls out Ubuntu container management for suits

Time to get serious with LXD

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Canonical has kicked out its container management architecture for the suits with Ubuntu 15.10.

The Linux spinner is today expected to drop its latest disro with the server including final code for its Linux Container Hypervisor (LXD).

LXD is Canonical’s container management environment which it claims is similar to a hypervisor but of course isn’t a hypervisor.

The payoff, according to Canonical, is you get the security and performance of a hypervisor, but without the fat overhead.

Security is the watchword with LXD – a system-level demon that manages how containers are raised and provisioned, treating them like little Linux instances with the requisite level of security.

Containers – especially Docker – have proved popular with devs – but not with the boys and girls down in security and compliance, because they aren’t isolated like a virtual machine.

Mark Baker, Canonical’s Ubuntu server and cloud product manager, said: “The security and audit guys want to inspect containers, need to be able to do back up and monitoring and so need something that looks and behaves like a full Linux system.

“Many organisations have geared their processes to that environment but Docker requires a mindset change.

“This is a way of being able to deliver the benefits of performance and security and identity in a way that still comes with the security isolation and the semantics people like from a VM," said Baker.

Of course, container management environments exist already. Also, this isn’t the first time Canonical has gone its own way on Linux system.

It announced Mir/Xmir as its replacement to X Window System in 2013 but has yet to deliver – with the community working on Wayland. The industry, meanwhile, is backing Google’s Kubernetes container orchestration software and it remains to be seen if they’ll go with LXD.

Other features in Ubuntu 15.10 OpenStack autopilot, to deploy and manage clouds using this open-source cloud. It’s a system of check boxes using architectures Baker says are based on experience and best practices. You can spin up to 300 nodes. Auto pilot will knit together MySQL, Rabbit MQ and OpenStack services such as Nova while there is integration with the Open Daylight SDN controller.

“The main focus [of Ubuntu 15.10] has been making OpenStack easy to consumer and manage,” Baker said. ®

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