With the release of Ubuntu 9.10, the Eucalyptus cloud computing platform has been integrated with the installation of Ubuntu. This means the systems are much more tightly coupled together, bringing the cloud installation and configuration much closer to system administrators.
In this tip, I will walk you through the installation and configuration of Ubuntu to support a basic cloud computing platform.
Cloud controller installation
After downloading Ubuntu 9.10 Server edition and burning it to CD, boot the system up with the CD to start the installation.
The install process looks very similar to previous installations; however, there is the additional option of "Install Ubuntu Enterprise Cloud" as shown in Figure 1. By selecting this option the installer will allow you to install the system as a cluster controller or node. During the first system install choose cluster for the cluster control as shown in Figure 2.
As the install continues, you will be prompted to name the Eucalyptus cluster (Figure 3) and then providing a range of addresses the cloud controller may assign to virtual machines within the cluster cloud. The IP addresses are provided in range form as shown in the Figure Cloud Controller IPs.
Once the installation is complete, the cloud controller has been installed and is ready for configuration after installing the nodes.
Ubuntu Linux node installation
Node installation under the Ubuntu 9.10 install is as straight forward as the cloud controller. During installation the option "Install Ubuntu Enterprise Cloud" should be selected just like the cloud controller installation. However, in the Cloud Installation Mode screen (Figure 4), select "Node" as the install method.
Cloud provisioning from Ubuntu
Once the cluster controller and nodes are installed the cloud is managed via the cluster controller's IP address. The system can be managed via the Web interface by connecting on port 8443. For example, assuming the cluster controller's IP address is 192.168.183.128, the URL http://192.168.183.128:8443 can be used to manage the cluster. The Web login will be shown at this point as shown in Figure 5. The user name admin with the password admin can be used for the initial login.
Once you are logged in, Eucalyptus will prompt you for the administrator's new password as well as email address and cluster host IP address (Figure 6).
Integration goes beyond the installation. The Eucalyptus Web interface supports the concept of a store, and extras. The store and extras provide similar function. They are repositories and links to the Internet for operating systems supported within the cloud. The store currently contains three images: Ubuntu 9.10 64-bit, Ubuntu 9.10 32-bit, and a Media Wiki Demo appliance. The extras area contains both operating system images as well as Eucalytus tools. The current images linked to are CentOS 5.3, Debian 5, Fedora 10, Fedora 11, and Ubuntu 9.04.
A closer look at Ubuntu enterprise cloud
The Web-based management console is made up of seven tabs: Credentials, Images, Store, Users, Configuration, Services, and Extras. The major advantage of the console over the command line is that it gives a large view of the whole environment in one location.
The Credentials pane contains two fundamental configuration parameters: the admin account information, and the credentials information. The admin account information is the basic authentication and authorization information needed to access the Web interface; whereas the credential information is the authentication (keys) needed to access cloud infrastructure such as private cloud resources managed by the enterprise or public ones such as Amazon's cloud computing services.
Eucalyptus also supports additional users, which are provisioned under the Users tab.
Virtual machines within Eucalyptus are made up of images, and these "base" images are made up of three discrete pieces: a kernel, a ram disk, and an OS image. These images are stored under the images tab. This images tab integrates tightly with the Store tab which provides administrators a set of four Images available for download and quick provisioning. Figure 7 shows the image under the Images tab after an install was selected in the store tab.
The Configuration tab is the major tab and is used to provision the settings for the cloud, including its IP, DNS, storage, and cluster information. This is really for changing the parameters, as the Ubuntu integrated install process provisions most of these out of the box.
The Services tab is a bit misleading.It is not to start and stop services, but rather a 'help" tab. It provides links to documentation, training, and community Web sites.
Finally, the Extras tab contains other Linux versions as well as older Ubuntu images that will also function with the platform. The Extra tabs also contains client tools.
The Ubuntu integrated install of Eucalyptus and the Web-based enterprise console is a welcome addition to cloud computing. It makes a consistent and quick deployment of the technology much more attainable by many enterprise shops.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Ronald McCarty is a freelance writer and consultant specializing in systems, network, and information security. He received his bachelor's degree in Computer and Information Systems at the University of Maryland's international campus at Schwaebisch Gmuend, Germany and his master's degree in Management with a specialization in information technology at Capella University. Ron's company, Your Net Guard offers IT consulting and integration services in the Dallas/Forth Worth area. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.