On Launchpad is the prioritized list of features for Ubuntu Server 11.10. The majority of these features fit within five areas where Canonical is focusing on for the Oneiric Server:
- Ubuntu Orchestra
- Ubuntu Ensemble
- Ubuntu Server for ARM
- Making Ubuntu Server the Best Cloud Infrastructure OS
- Making Ubuntu Server the Best Cloud Guest OS
These items were mentioned on the ubuntu-devel mailing list.
Ubuntu Orchestra is self-described as "a collection of the best free software services useful in hosting enterprise data center infrastructure services, based on the Ubuntu Server." More details regarding the vision of Ubuntu Orchestra can be found in this mailing list message from March by Canonical's Dustin Kirkland. Basically it's about providing the best tools on Ubuntu for provisioning / installation, configuration management, monitoring, and orchestration in the cloud.
Meanwhile, Ubuntu Ensemble is self-described as being a high-level next-generation "service orchestration" framework and to basically take on being APT for cloud computing. From the Ubuntu Wiki, "Ensemble aims to be a service deployment and orchestration tool which enables the same kind of collaboration and ease of use which today is seen around package management to happen on a higher level, around services. With Ensemble, different authors are able to create services independently, and make those services communicate through a simple configuration protocol. Then, users can take the product of both authors and very comfortably deploy those services in an environment, in way resembling how people are able to install a network of packages with a single command via APT. If you compare Ensemble to APT, then you're bound to compare APT's packages with Ensemble Formulas. Ensemble formulas are the description of how services should behave when deployed and run. A single service definition may be run multiple times with the same formula and configuration, so we call a deployed and running service as a service unit. Each of those units will have an independent copy of the same formula guiding its behavior."
Ubuntu Server 11.10 is the first official release where an ARM server image will be spun. Low-powered ARM servers haven't taken over the world yet, but Canonical is preparing to enter the ARM server field strong as more servers are deployed on this alternative architecture. They want Ubuntu to become "the leading ARM Server Distribution." For Ubuntu Server 11.10, Canonical is targeting armel+omap, armel+omap4, and armel+mx5. There will be netboot, headless, and pre-install server images available.
As usual, Ubuntu 11.10 is set to be released in October.