Linux Containers and the cloud….oh my!

A feature for Natty that the Ubuntu Server team has been adding and improving is LXC container support. Linux containers is a light weight virtualization technology described by some as “chroots on steroids”.

In the past running LXC containers need a lot of hacks in the image due to various issues with upstart. But that has changed to the awesomeness of the lxcguest package. The lxcguest package will make running Ubuntu on LXC containers a trivial task. So running scripts to modify the images is now a thing of the past. Thanks Serge.

Also a new version of libvirt was uploaded to Natty recently. This version contains numerous fixes for LXC, previously in maverick if you ran container, the container would disappear once you connect to the console. Thankfully this is also fixed in more recent versions of libvirt, thanks to the upstream maintainers for libvirt. Also to  Serge again for back porting the fix to Natty.

So you are probably where this is all leading to. Well now with the trunk version Open Stack you can run LXC enabled images as an EC2 or OpenStack API instance. This is a good thing for a couple of reasons, one reason is that it allows system administrators who doesn’t have the hardware to easily start deploying clouds in their data centers. However, for the high end system administrators LXC is a low overhead  and fast deployment lots of instances in their Private Cloud. For developers of the openstack community it gives Nova developers who did not want to deploy either KVM or Xen a way to test their changes to the Nova code more easily.

Next we will look at how to deploy Nova with LXC.

March 29, 2011. Uncategorized.

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