Ubuntu shoots for the cloud

Canonical’s Ubuntu offering, Ubuntu 11.04, Natty Narwhal, which launches this week, will come with support for the OpenStack open source cloud platform.

The company said that the OpenStack platform, downloadable for the operating system’s software repositories, is the most tightly integrated implementation of the OpenStack cloud platform in the market.

Ubuntu 11.04 comes the new Unity desktop in place of the familiar GNOME, marking one of the biggest user-facing changes in the distribution's history. Ubuntu told thinq_ the graphical user interface will help to conquer Windows on the desktop. Tablets can wait, the outfit said.

OpenStack, an open source cloud computing platform, was started by Rackspace and NASA and now has the support of more than 40 key industry players including the likes of Dell and Cisco.

The platform is as a tech preview, with a full launch planned for some future as-yet unspecified date.

The server edition of the Ubuntu OS will also come with the Ubuntu Enterprise Cloud based on Eucalyptus, which is compatible with Amazon’s cloud computing offerings.

“Ubuntu 11.04 offers exciting opportunities for businesses to improve the reliability, security and manageability of desktop, cloud and server deployments, challenging the traditional licence or subscription fee model and embracing open-source technology,” said Jane Silber, CEO of Canonical said in a statement.

“This release comes at a time of accelerating corporate adoption of Ubuntu and delivers a range of improvements specifically relevant to the corporate environment”, she added.