[Oneiric-Topic] Ubuntu Orchestra

Dustin Kirkland kirkland at ubuntu.com
Wed Mar 30 16:51:44 UTC 2011

A series of similarly themed blueprints from UDS-Natty in Orlando were
subsequently combined into a single blueprint [1] in the Natty cycle.

As of 11.04, we have several of the key building blocks now packaged
in the Ubuntu archive (cobbler, mcollective, etc).  And we have a
branch at lp:orchestra that provides the basic meta packaging for
pieces we want to implement using the best of free software:
 * Provisioning / Installation Services
 * Configuration Management
 * Monitoring
 * Orchestration

There are several limitations to stock ISO-based installs (eg, another
thread here raises the issue of the limited ISO capacity).  A complete
network installation service is essential to the future of Ubuntu
Server efforts.  I envision a situation where the first step in
deploying a set of Ubuntu Servers is to install the Ubuntu Orchestra
Provisioning server (apt-get install
ubuntu-orchestra-provisioning-server, or perhaps run a temporary
deploy server from a LiveUSB).  Subsequent installations in the
hundreds or thousands are rapidly and flexibly bootstrapped directly
from the provisioning server.

Our OpenStack integration efforts for 11.10 will require some
installation modifications similar to what we did in 9.10 for
Eucalyptus and UEC.  Rather than hacking through the guts of the
debian-installer again for this work, I suggest that we build
OpenStack's installation on top of a modern network installation
service, as serious cloud deployments necessarily require the
installation of more than one system.  (Note that OpenStack already
has a prototype of such a service with the Crowbar project.)

A web/network-based installation service would allow the Ubuntu Server
to modernize its interface and handle far more installation modes and
workloads than an 80x25 teletype terminal can deliver.  It would give
the Server Team the ability to integrate new software stacks such as
OpenStack easily within a single Ubuntu development cycle, something
that's simply not possible when integral debian-installer changes are
required (the tasksel menu is the only hook really at our disposal
right now).  The combination of dynamically generated preseed
configurations coupled with config-management based post installation
handling would provide a modern, DevOps-style interface to Ubuntu
Server installations, and is key to our future.

[1] https://blueprints.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+spec/cloud-server-n-install-service


Dustin Kirkland
Ubuntu Core Developer

More information about the ubuntu-server mailing list