Ubuntu 18.04 LTS – the newest version of the most widely used Linux for workstations, cloud and IoT, is now available.
“Multi-cloud operations are the new normal,” said Mark Shuttleworth, CEO of Canonical and founder of Ubuntu. “Boot-time and performance-optimised 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.”
Kubeflow, the Google approach to TensorFlow on Kubernetes, and a range of CI/CD tools are integrated in Canonical Kubernetes and aligned with Google GKE for on-premise and on-cloud AI development.
“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.
Private cloud alternative to VMware
Canonical OpenStack delivers private cloud with significant savings over VMware and provides a modern, developer-friendly API. With built-in support for NFV and NVIDIA Tesla GPUs as well as other GPUs, the Canonical OpenStack offering has become a reference cloud for digital transformation workloads. Today, Ubuntu is at the heart of the world’s largest OpenStack clouds, both public and private, in key sectors such as finance, media, retail and telecommunications.
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. A range of partners deliver their solutions on CDK, such as Rancher 2.0.
Platform for 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 are perfectly transportable to Google Cloud.
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.
Containers for legacy workloads with LXD 3.0
LXD 3.0 enables ‘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 represents the most immediate benefit for data centre operators interested in containers.
LXD provides ‘machine containers’, which behave like virtual machines 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.
Acceleration of snaps, deployed across desktop to the cloud
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 flavours including KDE, MATE and Budgie.
Ultra fast Ubuntu on your Windows desktop
New Hyper-V optimised images developed in collaboration with Microsoft 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, programme 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.”
Minimal desktop install
The popular new minimal desktop install provides only the core desktop and browser for those looking to save disk space and customise machines with their specific apps or requirements. In corporate environments, the minimal desktop serves as a base for custom desktop images, reducing the security cross-section of the platform.
Michael Desens, vice president, Offering Management, IBM Z and LinuxONE, IBM, commented: “Canonical and IBM have been working closely together to offer cloud solutions with Ubuntu on IBM LinuxONE and IBM Z. 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 containerised applications, manage them more easily with Kubernetes, and better protect them from external and internal attacks.”
“Snaps enables us to access more Linux users and opens the market for us to accommodate more distributions. This was our biggest driver to build a Skype snap as it reduces the complexity and time of maintaining several packages across multiple distributions. In addition to that, we want our users to consistently experience the latest and greatest version of Skype and the automatic update feature allows us to seamlessly deliver this to them. It’s such a promising format and an asset for developers to help create unification,” said Jonáš Tajrych, senior software engineer at Skype, Microsoft.
Masahisa Kawashima, VP, head of Software Innovation Centre, NTTsaid: “AI and IoT systems cannot be effectively implemented without an open computing platform that supports software agility and device diversity. We expect that the new version of Ubuntu will play this role and accelerate AI and IoT innovations.”
Duncan Poole, director of Platform Alliances at NVIDIA added:”Organisations are increasingly looking to accelerate their deep learning and AI implementations. In addition to using Ubuntu on our DGX systems, we have been working with Canonical to offer Kubernetes on NVIDIA GPUs as a scalable and portable solution for multi-cloud deep learning training and inference workloads.”
“Canonical is a pioneer in enabling the adoption of infrastructure for optimized cloud workloads. The latest release of Ubuntu with OpenStack and Kubernetes is another significant step in strengthening the ecosystem which will enable compute for trillions of Arm-based devices at the edge and greater performance-per-watt in the datacentre,”commented Drew Henry, senior vice president and general manager, Infrastructure Business Unit, Arm.
Stefanie Chiras, vice president, Offering Management, IBM Cognitive Systemsadded:“IBM and Canonical continue to collaborate to rapidly deliver innovation to clients transforming their business to cloud and data rich workloads. The release of Ubuntu 18.04 LTS supporting IBM Power Systems based on POWER9 brings choice and new capabilities to the Linux market.”
“Dell EMC sees great value in Canonical’s Ubuntu 18.04 LTS release. Dell EMC and Canonical have a long-standing, forward-looking relationship that spans our client, IoT, and enterprise businesses. Our joint customers have come to expect seamless interoperability with our products, which we now extend with certification of our latest 14th Generation PowerEdge server platform on Ubuntu 18.04,” added Ravi Pendekanti, senior vice president, product management and marketing, Dell EMC Server and Infrastructure Systems.
Larry Wikelius, vice president Software Ecosystem and Solutions Group at Cavium commented:“Canonical’s release of Ubuntu 18.04 delivers the key operating system, tools and application support that Cavium’s ThunderX2 end users require across Cloud and HPC deployments. Canonical has aggressively optimised Ubuntu to take advantage of ThunderX2’s high computational performance delivering outstanding memory bandwidth and memory capacity with multiple workload optimised SKUs for both scale up and scale out applications in single and dual socket configurations. Today’s announcement is another exciting milestone in our partnership with the Canonical team and highlights the innovation we continue to deliver to the server market.”