Chris J Powell

Do you have your JuJu?

The Cloud is all around us, touted as the next big thing it is everywhere and it is nowhere at the same time.  Depending on who you ask, you will get a different definition of what the Cloud is…and it really is dependant not on how technical the person is, but what they expect to get out of the “as-a-Service” du jour.


I came across an interesting plugin for the Ubuntu Server today…for myself I knew that Ubuntu came ready for Cloud Provisioning out of the box but I was not aware of to what extent they little Distro that could had gone in building out a very robust and targeted service delivery experience that can place a unique focus on Platform-as-a-Service at both the Operational and Development Level.

JuJu is a Cloud Service that builds a community of DevOps directly into your server instance.  I took the time to investigate what the “Charms” and other features are and was impressed with the ease of installation steps involved.  To better understand what JuJu is, head over to for more insights and directions to make it part of your next Server Install.

From the description of “Why JuJu”:

Before the cloud, deploying interconnected services across multiple servers required days, if not weeks. One had to procure the necessary hardware, find lab space for them, physically set them up, install the OS and required applications, and then configure and connect the various applications on each machine to provide the right desired services. Once the entire solution was deployed, upgrading or replacing the service applications, modifying the connections between them, scaling out to account for higher load, and/or writing custom scripts for re-deployment elsewhere all required even more time.

With the next Ubuntu LTS (Long Term Support) just weeks away from release I thought that I might just take it for a spin and see just how hard it is for a layman to configure some advanced features.  I grabbed a copy of the Ubuntu Server AMD-64 ISO from over at and installed the ISO in a Virtual Machine using Oracle VirtualBox.

20 minutes in and out, including the downloading of the ISO and I had a working virtual Sever.  Now to use the sample that the Ubuntu Site puts out there to leverage a local instance of WordPress:

You can start using juju in two ways:

  1. If you are testing Ubuntu 11.10 (Oneiric Ocelot), then simply run:
    •   sudo apt-get install juju 
  2. If you have Ubuntu 11.04 or an older supported release, you can very easily using the packages from juju’s PPA:
    •   sudo add-apt-repository ppa:juju/pkgs
        sudo apt-get update
        sudo apt-get install juju
  3. Try out the example charms
    •   juju bootstrap

      This will print an error at first because you don’t have the ability to talk to Amazon EC2. You’ll want to then edit ~/.juju/environments.yaml and add your AWS credentials (access-key: and secret-key). If you’d like to try the local provider which will run services inside Linux containers, you’ll need at least Ubuntu 11.10, and then follow this documentation to set it up.

        juju deploy --repository /usr/share/doc/juju/examples local:mysql
        juju deploy --repository /usr/share/doc/juju/examples local:wordpress
        juju add-relation wordpress mysql
        juju expose wordpress
        juju status
  4. Visit your new wordpress blog
    • You should be able to reach it from the ‘public-address’ shown in the status output. It may take a while to configure the servers. You can run watch juju status or juju debug-log to watch what is happening behind the scenes.

Voila…all finished.

The existing “Charms” that are available with JuJu cover everything from the WordPress Instance that I demoed to a Hadoop DataBase, a Nagios Network Monitoring Solution, an OpenStack Nova Controller and even some full featured TomCat 7 Servlet engines.

Configuring these “Charms” is relatively easy and increases the rapid deployment of Test Servers or even Production Environments from Days or Weeks to mere minutes.  I am quite impressed…Ubuntu Server has always been a bit of a thorn in my side as I have had issues with the configuration without a GUI and adding a GUI can be problematic at times so this process was a welcome change to and really shows the maturity and thought that Canonical has put into its flagship Enterprise Grade Solutions.


Chris J Powell

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