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20 April 2012, 11:36

Ubuntu to add OpenStack fast track to 12.04 LTS

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Cloud Archive Release Schedule
Zoom Ubuntu Cloud Archive Release Schedule
Ubuntu Server 12.04 LTS will have an optional fast track for future OpenStack releases available alongside the OpenStack Essex release that the operating system ships with. The plan, dubbed the Ubuntu Cloud Archive, was announced in a blog post by Robbie Williamson, Canonical's Director of Engineering for Ubuntu Server.

One problem for a user wanting to deploy OpenStack using a long term support release like 12.04 is that the LTS status only assures them of updates to the version of OpenStack that came with the release – Essex in the case of Ubuntu Server 12.04 LTS. This sees them supported for five years, but only for that particular release of OpenStack.

But OpenStack is evolving rapidly, with two releases due each year, adding features and performance in each iteration. These new releases will be included in Ubuntu Server 12.10, 13.04 and 13.10, but none of these are Ubuntu Server LTS releases and, with production clouds, it would be quite a bit of work to switch release every six months to keep up with an application package.

The alternative is the officially supported Ubuntu Cloud Archive – users will now be able to turn on an additional repository and receive new and updated versions of OpenStack as they are released, alongside the new releases appearing in subsequent Ubuntu releases. Each release in the Cloud Archive will be supported for at least 18 months and, when the next LTS release of Ubuntu appears, they will update the archive to the release in the LTS version and support that for three years. This plan means there should be an up to date and supported OpenStack available for Ubuntu Server 12.04 LTS for the next two years, and a supported OpenStack for the three years after that, covering the lifespan of the Ubuntu Server 12.04 LTS release to 2017.

In his announcement, Williamson gives further background on the decision and why other options were not taken up, and how the QA policy will be applied to the Ubuntu Cloud Archive releases. Canonical has not made any decisions on what it will do after the Ubuntu Server 14.04 LTS.


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