a few days ago Canonical unveiled, via a blog post, the general availability of MicroCloud, which presents as a low-touch, open source solution for rapid cluster deployment and cloud systems.
Canonical mentions in its blog post, that MicroCloud is “designed specifically for scalable clusters and edge deployments for all types of companies ». MicroCloud is Designed with simplicity, security and automation in mind, minimizing the time and effort both to implement and maintain it.
MicroCloud ensure fault tolerance, thanks to the combination of several existing pieces of available FOSS technology to facilitate linking from three to 50 machines Ubuntu to a private internal high availability cluster.
MicroCloud components prioritize security and ease of maintenance. All MicroCloud components are built with strict confinement for greater security, as the MicroCloud software stack uses its own LXD container to manage nodes and workloads, the platform to build OVN virtual networks, Ceph for distributed storage and OpenZFS for local storage.
In addition to this, it is mentioned that Users can choose to run their workloads using virtual machines, through system containers or using Kubernetes via Microk8. LXD-based system containers behave similarly to traditional virtual machines, but consume fewer resources and provide basic performance.
“As data becomes more distributed, infrastructure has to follow suit. Cloud computing is now distributed, spanning data centers and far- and near-edge computing devices. MicroCloud is our answer to that,” said Cedric Gegout, Vice President of Product at Canonical. “By packaging known infrastructure primitives in a portable, unattended manner, we deliver a simpler, more prescriptive cloud experience that makes zero operations a reality for many industries. “
To identify new servers on the network that can connect to the cluster, mDNS is used, which allows the entire cluster to be configured. In addition to the standard Ubuntu server or desktop, MicroCloud can run on Ubuntu Core, as well as non-Ubuntu systems that can use Snap.
MicroCloud deployment is carried out by executing the command “microcloud init”, with which the process of detecting other servers in the local network will begin and after that the user will be asked if they want to add the disks to the Ceph storage and will be offered to configure the virtual network settings.
Cluster configuration can be saved in YAML format for future deployments on similar systems. To add additional nodes after initialization is complete, use the “microcloud add” command.
Shared file storage incorporates replication and fault tolerance, This ensures the integrity of the data in the event of a possible failure of a node, since multiple copies are stored in different nodes. To deploy Ceph-based storage in a cluster, you need to allocate at least three independent disks on three different computers, apart from local disks for distributed data storage.
In addition, It is possible to move virtual environments from one place to another and save them as snapshot images and see how everything is working by exporting statistics to programs like Prometheus and Grafana.
Canonical claims that the new offering will be a "cost-effective alternative to VMware vSphere, Hyper-V, and Proxmox Virtual Environment," all quite different variations of "manage this infrastructure as a unified operating environment, and here are the tools to manage it." that” theme.
Finally If you are interested in knowing more about it, You should know that MicroCloud is designed as a snap package that includes the necessary components to manage the operation of the cluster nodes, in addition to supporting x86-64 and Arm64 nodes, including the Raspberry Pi, and clusters can combine both architectures.