TurnKey announced the 2009.10 release batch featuring:
- 25 new additions to the TurnKey Linux virtual appliance library
- added native virtual appliance packaging (OVF support included)
- Amazon EC2 support, with EBS persistence
- Core improvements: Ajax web shell, upgraded to Ubuntu 8.04.3
The project recently celebrated its one year birthday. Since its last major release in March the project picked up steam with weekly downloads increasing over 500% (they just flew past 60,000 downloads).
This release is a big one.
25 New Appliances
The last release worked out the basics in terms of virtual appliance engineering and usability, so the main focus of the current release was expanding the virtual appliance library with more of the best open source server applications.
The project has expanded it's virtual appliance library to include:
- Complex "killer app" integrations: Windows domain controller, torrent server, file server, and revision control.
- Commercially-backed enterprise software: Zimbra, OpenBravo, tWiki, MovableType and MindTouch Deki.
- Popular content management applications: Moodle, DokuWiki, MoinMoin, and Gallery.
- Popular issue tracking applications: BugZilla, Mantis, OTRS, Trac, RedMine and Project Pier.
- And many more.
Native Virtual Appliance Support
In addition to the installable Live CD ISO format, all appliances are now packaged in a standard virtual appliance format that can run directly on a virtual machine with no installation necessary.
The virtual appliance package includes:
- A light version of VMWare tools
- Hard disk images in VMDK format
- OVF support
The package format is known to work on VMWare and VirtualBox.
Amazon EC2 Support
It's now possible to launch TurnKey Linux appliances directly into Amazon's EC2 cloud. Amazon supports hourly billing which at $0.1/hour opens up a variety of interesting use cases.
For example, we've been using our own EC2SDK appliance to convert the virtual appliance library into EC2's AMI format. Thats a resource intensive process which would stress our current server infrastructure. EC2 is perfect for this because renting a beefy server from Amazon for a few hours is dirt cheap.
We've also been offloading much of our virtual appliance testing and development to the cloud and have launched a virtual army of virtual appliances. Total cost so far: $22.
If you run a virtual machine 24x7 things can get a bit more expensive. Ideally you could just turn off the virtual machine when you don't need it but unfortunately it's not that simple because when you terminate an instance you loose all the data on the instance.
To get around this we've developed support for Amazon EBS, which allows you to set up persistent storage volumes (with snapshotting support) which survive instance creation and termination. We've developed software that helps with the tricky part of getting the virtual appliance to save all its data to the EBS volume. It's not yet as easy to use as we would like but it works.
Pricing: $5/month per image and 15% on Amazon's EC2's fees.
Amazon takes care of the billing and charging a small fee helps us put more resources into sustaining development and make sure TurnKey Linux is here to stay.