Ubuntu 18.04 LTS, the latest version of this OS for cloud operations, is available today. The Ubuntu 18.04 LTS version released by Canonical comes with optimizations for multi-cloud, security and artificial intelligence (AI).
“Multi-cloud operations are the new normal,” said Mark Shuttleworth, CEO of Canonical and founder of Ubuntu. “Boot-time and performance-optimized images of Ubuntu 18.04 LTS on every major public cloud make it the fastest and most efficient OS for cloud computing, especially for storage and compute-intensive tasks like machine learning.”
“Having an OS that is tuned for advanced workloads such as AI and ML is critical to a high-velocity team,” said David Aronchick, Product Manager, Cloud AI at Google. “With the release of Ubuntu 18.04 LTS and Canonical’s collaborations to the Kubeflow project, Canonical has provided both a familiar and highly performant operating system that works everywhere. Whether on-premise or in the cloud, software engineers and data scientists can use tools they are already familiar with, such as Ubuntu, Kubernetes, and Kubeflow, and greatly accelerate their ability to deliver value for their customers.”
Hardware acceleration with NVIDIA GPUs is integrated in Ubuntu 18.04 LTS cloud images and Canonical’s OpenStack and Kubernetes distributions for on-premise bare metal operations, supporting Kubeflow and other machine learning / AI workflows.
Canonical’s Distribution of Kubernetes (CDK) runs on public clouds, VMware, OpenStack, and bare metal and delivers the latest upstream version, currently Kubernetes 1.10. After the initial three-step guided deployment, the distribution supports upgrades to future versions of Kubernetes, expansion of the Kubernetes cluster on demand, and integration with optional components for storage, networking, and monitoring.
“AI and IoT systems cannot be effectively implemented without an open computing platform that supports software agility and device diversity,” said Masahisa Kawashima, VP, Head of Software Innovation Center, NTT. “We expect that the new version of Ubuntu will play this role and accelerate AI and IoT innovations.”
AI and Machine Learning
CDK supports GPU acceleration of workloads using the NVIDIA device plugin for Kubernetes. Complex workloads like Kubeflow that leverage NVIDIA GPUs ‘just work’ on CDK, “reflecting joint efforts with Google to accelerate machine learning in the enterprise and providing a portable way to develop and deploy ML applications at scale.” Applications built and tested with Kubeflow and CDK would be perfectly transportable to Google Cloud Platform.
Developers on Ubuntu can create applications on their workstations, test them on private bare-metal Kubernetes with CDK, and run them across vast data sets on Google’s GKE. The resulting models and inference engines can be delivered to Ubuntu devices at the edge of the network, creating a “perfect” pipeline for machine learning from workstation, to rack, to cloud and device.
Legacy Workloads, LXD 3.0
LXD 3.0 would enable ‘lift-and-shift’ of legacy workloads into containers for performance and density, an “essential” part of the enterprise container strategy. While new applications will be built with containers and Kubernetes in mind, the long tail of legacy applications would represent the most immediate benefit for data center operators interested in containers.
LXD provides ‘machine containers’, which behave like virtual machines (VMs) in that they contain a full and mutable Linux guest operating system such as Ubuntu, RHEL or CentOS. That provides a traditional administration environment for legacy applications, which run at “bare metal speeds with no hypervisor latency.” Customers using unsupported or end-of-life Linux environments that have not received fixes for critical issues like Meltdown and Spectre can lift and shift those workloads into LXD on Ubuntu 18.04 LTS with all the latest kernel security fixes.
“Canonical and IBM have been working closely together to offer cloud solutions with Ubuntu on IBM LinuxONE and IBM Z,” said Michael Desens, Vice President, Offering Management, IBM Z and LinuxONE, IBM. “With today’s announcement of Ubuntu 18.04 LTS running on IBM LinuxONE and IBM Z with pervasive encryption, customers and service providers will be able to scale-up their containerized applications, manage them more easily with Kubernetes, and better protect them from external and internal attacks.”
With more than 3,000 snaps published and millions installed, including official releases from Spotify, Skype, Slack and Firefox, snaps have become a popular way to get apps on Linux. Snaps are fully integrated in Ubuntu GNOME 18.04 LTS and KDE Neon. Publishers deliver updates directly and security is maintained with enhanced kernel isolation and system service mediation.
“Snaps provide a platform for us to deliver our CLI reliably,” said Jeff Dickey, CLI Engineer, Heroku. “The automatic updates ensure our users are always using the latest version which saves us a big support headache. We’re very happy to see snaps supported on more and more Linux distributions and becoming the standard for delivering software across Linux.”
Snaps work on desktops, devices, cloud virtual machines and bare-metal servers, providing a consistent delivery mechanism for applications and frameworks. Having an identical platform from workstation to edge and cloud accelerates global deployments and operations. Ubuntu 18.04 LTS features a default GNOME desktop in a family of desktop flavors including KDE, MATE, and Budgie.
New Hyper-V optimized images developed in collaboration with Microsoft would enhance the virtual machine experience of Ubuntu in Windows.
“In our upcoming OS release this spring, Hyper-V’s Quick Create VM Gallery will now include an image for the latest Ubuntu 18.04 LTS, officially stamped straight from Canonical,” said Craig Wilhite, Program Manager, Microsoft. “This Ubuntu VM image will come pre-configured to offer clipboard functionality, drive redirection, dynamic resizing of VM console window, and much more as we look to provide a great Hyper-V client VM experience for Linux on Windows.”