Thursday, May 20, 2010

Easily test or demo Ubuntu Enterprise Cloud (UEC) in EC2 instance

Consider the following items:
  • recent efforts by Robert Collins, Dustin Kirkland and others have enabled running all components of UEC on a single system.
  • while performance suffers greatly, Eucalyptus can easily be made to use qemu rather than kvm for virtualization without hardware virtualization extensions
  • Ubuntu server images are quickly launchable on EC2

Now, re-read those, but do so while thinking about wanting to provide people with an easy way to test UEC.

Thats right, if you have $0.40 per hour, and an EC2 account, you can play with UEC. No real hardware required.

This nested virtualization is obviously not going to provide you with the worlds fastest performing cloud, but it will provide a functional system for test or demo purposes.

I've put some copy-and-paste shell code in commands.txt in a bzr branch uec-on-ec2.

  • check out the bzr branch: lp:~smoser/+junk/uec-on-ec2

    bzr branch lp:~smoser/+junk/uec-on-ec2

  • follow 'commands.txt', copy and pasting its content bit by bit in a root shell (run 'sudo -s').
  • Publish and run an instance (do this as 'ubuntu' user):

    $ uec-publish-tarball fastboot-amd64-0.11.tar.gz fastboot-amd64-0.11 amd64
    # the above creates an emi, see its output
    $ ( umask 066 ; euca-add-keypair mykey > mykey.pem )
    $ euca-run-instances --addressing private --key mykey emi-4D6C12BF
    # soon this will enter 'running' state and have an IP address associated with it.
    $ ssh -i mykey ubuntu@${IPADDR}

Your instance should now be functional.

There are a couple things that could be cleaned up on this, patches are very welcome:
* ideally all of the setup could be done from a '#!' user data script, I've just not worked out all the timing yet.
* separate the node out, allowing for multiple nodes
* fix the requirement of private addressing for functional nodes
* fix the issue with the NC being eventually discovered 3 times (with each of its 3 IP addresses)

That said, you should be able to test this and try out UEC on EC2 in a m1.large for less than $0.40 per hour.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

UDS Maverick: Call for Participation

The Ubuntu Developer Summit (UDS) is the event in which the Ubuntu community discusses and plans the upcoming Ubuntu release. UDS Maverick begins Monday, May 10 (tomorrow) in Brussels.

If you've not yet made plans to attend physically, then its unlikely that you'll be present in the rooms. However, the Canonical IS does an outstanding job of making remote participation possible. For more information, on how you can participate remotely, read the Remote Participation document. In short, you join an IRC channel, listen to a live high quality audio stream from the room, and can see edits to a live gobby document.

The comprehensive list of all sessions is available through the summit schedule, or a filtered list of only the Ubuntu Server sessions.

Below is short, self centered, list that you might find interesting. The Ubuntu Community would love to have your participation.

  • Running cloud images outside UEC or EC2 (Tuesday 11:00 UTC+1): The UEC images that we produce to run in EC2 or UEC are ready-to-go filesystem image of Ubuntu Server. It seems that these images might also serve a more general purpose as a live demo of ubuntu server, or a very convenient starting point for customizing your own. Here we'll discuss other ways these images could be used, and what would need to be done to make that possible.
  • Improvements for cloud-init (Tuesday, 09:00 UTC+1) : This session will cover ways in which the cloud images can be made more user friendly. If you've ever booted one of the Ubuntu images, or re-bundled one, I'd like to know what we could do to the images to make that easier.
  • Handling kernel upgrades in EC2 and UEC (Wednesday 11:00 UTC+1): When a user starts a UEC/EC2 instance, they specify they have the option of specifying the kernel/ramdisk to use with it or use the default associated with the instance. Afterwards, the instance has no ability to modify that initial selection. We'll discuss ways that we could improve the user experience by making that limitation more clear, or possibly providing ways to overcome it.
  • Improve cloud libraries in ubunt (Thursday, 10:00 UTC+1): Throughout the 10.04 release, we packaged some popular libraries for interaction with AWS. We'd like to continue that work in Maverick. If you have suggestions on libraries you use that are not present in Ubuntu, please let us know
  • Utilties for easier interaction with UEC or EC2 (Tuesday, 10:00 UTC+1): If you have ideas on utilities that would make your life using Ubuntu on EC2 or UEC easier, please attend this session and let us know.
  • server-maverick-conffiles-and-puppetThis should be an interesting session discussing how Ubuntu can improve the management of conffiles. Soren Hansen has sent an email with more information
  • Discussion on plans for vmbuilder (17:10 UTC+1): Many people have used vmbuilder to build virtual machine images. In this session we'll discuss where vmbuilder is and where it is going.

If you have input for any session, but are not able to attend in real time, feel free to send me input at smoser at sign ubuntu dot com, and I'll try to make sure it gets brought up.

Oh, and if you're reading this on Sunday, May 9, don't forget Mother's Day.

Update 2010-05-10: Added times for sessions and used the titles rather than blueprint names so you can find them on the schedule

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Ubuntu 10.04 LTS - Lucid Lynx available in all EC2 Regions

I'm a bit late to the party. Ubuntu 10.04 LTS (Lucid Lynx) was released almost a week ago at this point. Multitudes of others have blogged, reviewed, used, etcetera.

That said, I wanted to announce it here, and point out a few things. To get a list of AMI ids for Ubuntu 10.04 LTS Server, look at either:

Now, some miscellaneous items I wanted to mention:
  • 10.04 LTS was released on EC2 in all 4 regions (us-east-1, us-west-1, eu-west-1, and the new ap-southeast-1) at the same time as all other Ubuntu releases. The 10.04 LTS images were available on the ap-southeast-1 region less than 24 hours after it was officially announced.
  • The published EC2 images do not have a ramdisk associated with them. This is by design. The kernel has enough smarts built in to find the root filesystem and boot the system. The end result is that we only have to update and manage 2 pieces instead of 3, and the instances should boot faster.
  • In addition to 10.04 images, we also populated the ap-southeast-1 region with the latest released versions of 8.04 and 9.10 images.