Thursday, May 22, 2014

Canonical's cloud in a box

Mark Shuttleworth's keynote speech at OpenStack Summit in Atlanta covered new Ubuntu OpenStack cloud and Juju DevOps goals, but it also showed a unique piece of new hardware. (Mark Shuttleworth is the founder of Canonical, in case you were wondering...)

The point of Mark's speech was not to push this new hardware package, since Canonical is not really in the hardware business.

In fact, Mark had stated that he was not expecting this kind of a reaction to the dubbed "Orange Box", and that it's purpose was "just a means to an end".

While the audience found Mark's information on OpenStack and JuJu valuable, the attention was stolen by the box system, and as Mark tried to point the attention back towards those points, one attendee stated that Mark should just "Shut up and take my money." -Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols, ZDNet Contributing Editor

Mark did decide to talk them up a bit finally, stating "you can do anything with these Orange Boxes."

The interest stirred up moved Chris Kenyon, Canonical's senior VP for worldwide sales and business development to tell Steven J. Vaughn-Nichols "We've had people come up to the booth wanting to order a hundred of them."

Ok, so that's the back story, now onto the box's juicy details!

Here's a pic thanks to the article I quoted by Steven:

"The Orange Box, an OpenStack cloud in a box, is designed to be luggable; the system is a bit smaller than a roll-along suitcase. At 37.4 pounds for the unit itself and 70 pounds with the accessories in its flight case, it's a bit too heavy to put above your seat. But, noted Canonical product marketing manager Mark Baker, "It's just light enough to be shipped as checked luggage."

Inside the Orange Box, you'll find ten Intel micro-servers powered by Ivy Bridge i5-3427U CPUs. Each mini-server has four cores, Intel HD Graphics 4000, 16GBs of DDR3 RAM, a 128GB SSD root disk, and a Gigabit Ethernet port. The first computer also includes a Centrino Advanced-N 6235 Wi-Fi Adapter, and 2TB Western Digital hard drive. These are all connected in a cluster with a D-Link Gigabit switch. Put it all together and you get a 40-core, 160GB RAM, 1.2TB SSD cluster in a box.

The Orange Box, which was designed by Canonical and the UK computer OEM Tranquil PC, sells for £7,575.00, or approximately $12,750." -ZDNet

Now $12,750 dollars sounds like a lot, and if you are a home computer user, it is.
Not that a home computer user would even have a use for this piece of hardware...

If you are running a business and need a cloud, or especially if you need a cloud you can move from site to site, this is an excellent price for what you get.

The interest garnered has moved Canonical to make a website just for the Orange Box.

It's here:

The site adds this last blurb to the Orange Box information:

"The Orange Box is a complete mobile cluster and an easy, low-risk way to deploy OpenStack cloud infrastructure on your premises, for testing or proof of concept. There’s no safer way to create your first cloud than with Canonical engineers by your side. Each Orange Box contains 10 nodes, each with 4 cores, 16GB of RAM, and generous SSD storage. The box is pre-loaded with Ubuntu 14.04 LTS, MAAS, and Juju."

The website also has a PDF with more information on the box, so if you want to read into it more, or to show the boss, this is the link:

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