Private cloud “in a box” from Dell

Friday, February 4th, 2011

It just got a lot easier, and faster, to get a cloud in the house. Simply buy a starting cloud from Dell, and add to it as you need it to grow. You’ll get a reference architecture of Ubuntu Enterprise Cloud on Dell’s cloud-focused, dense PowerEdge C servers, fully supported, with professional services if you need to stretch it in your own unique direction and want a little help.

It’s taken a hard year of what El Reg rather accurately and poignantly described as futzing around, to make all of the pieces fit together smoothly so it can Just Work, Ubuntu style. Think of that as a year of futzing you don’t have to do yourself :-)

Eucalyptus, which powers this EC2-compatible private cloud solution, is flexible in how its configured. We wanted to make sure that flexibility was expressed in the solution, and that there’s a clean path forward as the UEC platform evolves, or Eucalyptus adds new capabilities. We know this is an area of rapid change and wanted to make sure early adopters can keep up with that over time. We put a lot of work into making Ubuntu upgrades smooth, and aimed for the same simplicity here. As Marten Mickos of Eucalyptus blogged, “One of the main ideas behind private clouds is to make computing more agile, and these Dell-UEC boxes take this agility benefit to the next level.”

I’d like to thank the team at Dell, Eucalyptus and Canonical that did all the futzing on your behalf. It’s a job very well done. Enjoy!

The good folks at Dell have added DVD playback capability to the image that they preinstall for folks who buy Dell computers with Ubuntu.

Multimedia and DVD are often cited as the biggest things missing from the typical consumer’s expectations of a “fully working system”. Ideally, we could deliver a great multimedia experience in a free software stack but the US patent landscape makes that impossible, so for the moment this requires proprietary software.  My hope is that the content industry will realise that DRM and playback restrictions are harmful to their own interests, and that EMI’s decision to sell MP3′s leads to a broader movement away from restrictive technologies.

So, thanks and congrats to Dell for taking care of this for their customers, there’s one more reason to give someone close to you a virus-resistant, spyware-resistant Ubuntu-based Dell for 2008 :-)