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on 12 October 2016

Carleton University Creates Campus Research Cloud with Ubuntu OpenStack running on IBM Power Systems

  • Carleton Research Cloud offers rapid, self-service POWER compute resources  for faster processing of scientific inquiries
  • Canonical’s OpenStack is available on all IBM server platforms
  • Juju and MAAS provide bare metal deployment and operations

OTTAWA, CANADA, and LONDON, U.K, Oct 12, Canonical today announced it has completed work with Carleton University in Ottawa to create a campus Research Cloud on IBM Power servers. The cloud will provide centralized computational resources to researchers on campus as well as supporting innovative and cutting-edge projects. Researchers can now use the cloud to develop new applications or to access commercial software.

Carleton University was looking to deploy a cloud environment on a hybrid platform which includes IBM POWER and x86 based servers.  They determined that in order to better serve their students and faculty, they needed one pure OpenStack environment that could provide self-service support with unified cloud management.

They also wanted a solution that included support for the robust POWER Architecture, so researchers could opt for the faster processing power available from the symmetric multi-processing and wider memory bandwidth available from POWER. Multi-platform support was important since commercial software packages used by researchers run on various platforms.  So, an OpenStack environment that could manage a heterogeneous environment across POWER and x86 platforms was their ideal goal.

Carleton University was pleased to discover that Canonical now offered OpenStack, in addition to Ubuntu, MAAS, and Juju for the POWER platform.  Canonical, working with IBM, provided Canonical Cloud Tools: Ubuntu, Ubuntu 14.04 LTS with OpenStack Liberty, MAAS and Juju to create a single Ubuntu OpenStack deployment on IBM Power Systems and x86 servers in a hybrid cloud.  Using Juju to deploy all OpenStack services across POWER8 and x86 based servers, the university then used Canonical’s MAAS to deploy to bare metal, spinning up the new cloud in matter of minutes.

“We really could not have gotten these results without Canonical, “ said Sylvain Pitre Ph.D, Manager, Research Computing Services, Carleton University. “Using Juju and MAAS to deploy OpenStack on bare metal IBM POWER and x86 based servers, we are now able to service the entire research population and ensure they have seamless access to POWER for the high performing compute capacity they need for rapid analysis of their most complex challenges.”

IBM and Canonical have a long standing relationship and earlier this year announced the availability of Ubuntu and Ubuntu OpenStack on POWER based servers.  Both firms invested engineering resources to ensure the OpenStack experience on POWER was on par with other architectures.

“The POWER8 processor, and its superior performance for compute intensive workloads, has been made possible through years of engineering innovation at IBM.  Those investments are now delivering real value for our customers, like Carleton University, who are able to learn and innovate more quickly on a platform that delivers results fast ” said Stefanie Chiras, IBM Vice President, Offering Management for IBM Power Systems. “We are very excited to be working with Canonical and to have Ubuntu OpenStack as the first OpenStack available on Power.”

“Carleton University has created an innovative and automated solution with its new research campus cloud,” said Anand Krishnan, EVP, Canonical Cloud. “ Canonical’s tools; MAAS and Juju enable model driven operations to become a reality, reducing complexity and risk to customers. Our special relationship with IBM creates a powerful ecosystem of infrastructure, software and tools which provide customers an automated and cost effective approach to cloud building.”

Independent analysis in June by the OpenStack user survey again showed that over 55% of the world’s largest production OpenStack deployments run Ubuntu OpenStack, more than all other vendor solutions combined. Ubuntu is the preferred operating system for the cloud with over 2 million Ubuntu instances launched in the cloud in 2015.

For more information about this project or to talk with one of our team please contact us.

About Carleton University

Located in Canada’s capital Ottawa, Carleton University is a dynamic research and teaching institution with a tradition of leading change. Its internationally recognized faculty, staff and researchers provide more than 28,000 full- and part-time students from every province and more than 100 countries around the world with academic opportunities in more than 65 programs of study.

Carleton’s creative, interdisciplinary and international approach to research has led to many significant discoveries and creative works in science and technology, business, governance, public policy and the arts. As an innovative institution, Carleton is uniquely committed to developing solutions to real-world problems by pushing the boundaries of knowledge and understanding daily.

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