Friday, October 29, 2010

Ubuntu Cloud Community needs You

"I'm interested in Ubuntu and the cloud, how do I get involved" is a question I got a few times already. I thought it would be a good idea to answer this as a blog post. I believe one of the very first things you'd want to do, is to make sure you're on the main communication channels, talking to the community, asking questions, seeing other questions being answered, trying to answer some yourself, sharing opinions and generally "connecting" with the rest of the community. That is a great first step. So I'll highlight the main communication venues for the Ubuntu cloud community, as well as way to get kick-started.

Places to be
  • Ubuntu Cloud Forums, while pretty young, there has been some pretty good stir in the forums. While IRC and mailing lists may be more focused on "asking questions", the Forums are a great way to get in touch with other community members. To share your experience building your private clouds, the hardware used, software configuration, tuning and optimization, challenges faced ...etc. Come join in, if you would like to ask questions, or if you would like to share opinions, tips or tricks, get on the forums and make some splash :)
  • The Ubuntu-Cloud mailing list is a great technical resource where most of the experts and developers are subscribed. For very technical discussions, questions, feature suggestions, RFEs, development discussions the mailing list is a great resource.
  • The EC2Ubuntu mailing list is a great resource that focuses on running Ubuntu in the Amazon EC2 public cloud. This list is active with a wealth of info on the topic
  • IRC chat has long always been a primary real-time communication tool used by free software enthusiasts. The Ubuntu cloud IRC room is (surprise, surprise) #ubuntu-cloud on Freenode. Jump in, and engage
Once connected, things you can do include playing with the latest technology such as creating yourself a private UEC cloud, verifying latest features work as advertised, report and fix bugs, suggest features, design and implement new projects to advance the state of Ubuntu on the cloud. While the community is very welcoming, I definitely understand we need to create better new-comer friendly engagement paths, more hand-holding if you will. A better mentoring program from senior members as well as low hanging fruit are things the Ubuntu cloud and server communities need to identify and improve to make it easier to attract and engage fresh talent


The Casual Vegan said...

When Ubuntu on the cloud is as easy as the free hour demo Canonical gave out, you'll have something. I'd love to sell my boss on Ubuntu cloud. But, we can't get a managed Ubuntu cloud server from either of the hosts we trust.

Click a button, enter a CC#, ssh to my Ubuntu cloud. Any other steps mean the product isn't ready for the market. When you've got the process down send me a link to the sign up page.

Many providers only support Ubuntu unmanaged or do it yourself.

We don't have time to sit in IRC, read mailing lists, or troll forums, we are busy making servers do work.

Ahmed Kamal said...

Hi Casual Vegan,

Indeed you can enter your CC# and click a few buttons on a web page to launch as many Ubuntu servers in the cloud as you want. If you'd like to check it out, see my previous post

You say you want managed Ubuntu, if that means you want a supported instance, you want someone to call on the phone when something goes wrong, then Ubuntu-Advantage is for you! Canonical offers paid support so that you don't have to post to forums or ask on IRC as you mention

The Casual Vegan said...


I've always found your guides helpful and interesting, but you must realize the huge difference between your Amazon walk through and this:

Managed hosting isn't the same as O/S vendor support. Managed hosting is hands on server support from the person who is physically sitting in the building with your server.

Depending on provider, it costs about $30-$60 a month per server and comes bundled with the server you rent.