Commercial Linux distributor Canonical has won the buzzword bingo for the week by putting Ubuntu, cloud, and appliance in the same sentence in announcing a partnership with IBM. It's meant to bring the latter company's DB2 databases to the latest Ubuntu 10.04 Server Edition Linux.
The deal has two parts. First, Canonical has taken IBM's DB2 Express-C database, which is a lightweight relational database with PureXML integrated XML features like the real DB2 databases, and hardened it for Ubuntu 10.04 Server Edition and wrapped it all up in a loving Amazon Machine Image (AMI) format so it can be deployed on Amazon's Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) utility.
According to Neil Levine, vice president of commercial services at Canonical, the Linux distributor thinks that getting a basic database certified for Ubuntu on EC2 is a key to getting IT shops to eventually deploy Ubuntu Enterprise Cloud, a clone of Amazon EC2 based on Ubuntu and the open source Eucalyptus cloud framework that sports KVM hypervisors and supports Amazon's APIs for EC2.
The DB2 Express-C image can be deployed on the Amazon public could or on a private cloud based on UEC, despite the fact that Amazon runs its cloud on a home-tweaked Xen hypervisor.
"The developers are the ones really starting out on Amazon today, and they are figuring out what works and what does not," says Levine. The DB2 Express-C appliance running on Ubuntu helps them get an image up and running on EC2 in a couple of clicks, and for the low, low price of zero that developers love. (DB2 Express-C is not open source, but it is freely distributed by IBM. Ubuntu 10.04 Server Edition is freely distributed.)