This looks cool.

Sources: Canonical & Tranquil PC (via The Register) / Specs

Canonical is getting into the hardware business – albeit in a very limited way – to help customers who aren't ready to build out their own clusters start experimenting with private clouds based on Ubuntu and OpenStack.

Announced at the OpenStack Summit in Atlanta, Georgia on Tuesday, the Orange Box is a turnkey mobile cluster with ten nodes, all enclosed in a single ruggedized case about the size of a breadbox and weighing a total of 32kg (70.5lbs).

Each node is based on an Intel Next Unit of Computing (NUC) D53427RKE microserver, with a Core i5-3427U processor clocked at 1.8GHz with Intel HD Graphics 4000, 16GB of DDR3 RAM, and 120GB of SSD storage for a total of 1.2TB (which canonical calls "generous").

The first node (Node 0, to you) also contains a 2TB spinning-rust hard drive and Intel Centrino Advanced-N 6235 Wi-Fi adapter for connecting the box wirelessly via 802.11agn.

Internally, the nodes are all linked via a Gigabit Ethernet fabric that runs over a D-Link DGS-1100-16 managed switch with 802.1q VLAN support. Six GbE ports are also exposed on the real panel, which can be used to connect to LANs or even to cluster multiple Orange Boxes.

The box is designed to run quiet, with each node passively cooled via aluminum heat sinks and just a single fan to cool the 100-240V power supply.

The box comes pre-installed with 64-bit Ubuntu 14.04 LTS on each node, plus Canonical's metal-as-a-service (MaaS) and Juju management and configuration automation tools. From there, customers can deploy multiple workloads, including OpenStack but also Cloud Foundry, Hadoop, and other services available as Juju Charms.

Canonical has contracted Manchester, UK–based Tranquil PC to build the boxes, which is selling the baseline configuration for £7,575.00 ($12,750) with a monitor, keyboard, and mouse included. Individual cluster nodes can also be upgraded with extra storage, raising the price.




Each Orange Box chassis contains:

  • 10x Intel NUCs
    • Specifically, the Ivy Bridge D53427RKE model, chosen for its support of Intel AMT
  • All 10x Intel NUCs contain
    • Core i5-3427U CPU
    • Intel HD Graphics 4000 GPU
    • 16GB of DDR3 RAM
    • 120GB SSD root disk
    • Intel Gigabit ethernet
  • D-Link DGS-1100-16 managed gigabit switch with 802.1q VLAN support
    • All 10 nodes are internally connected to this gigabit switch
  • 100-240V AC/DC power supply
    • Adapter supplied for US, UK, and EU plug types
    • 19V DC power supplied to each NUC
    • 5V DC power supplied to internal network switch

That's basically an Amazon EC2 m3.xlarge ;-)

The first node, node0, additionally contains:
  • An Intel Centrino Advanced-N 6235 WiFi adapter
  • A 2TB Western Digital HDD, preloaded with a full Ubuntu archive mirror
  • USB and HDMI ports are wired and accessible from the rear of the box