Canonical is about to debut version 13.10 of Ubuntu Linux, which will pack a slew of new features for OpenStack, VMware (VMW) vSphere and other cloud platforms when it becomes officially available Oct. 17. Here's a look at what to expect in the latest and greatest release of Ubuntu, otherwise known as Saucy Salamander.

Ubuntu 13.10 will introduce some updates for desktop users, too. But we'll cover those in good time. Here, the focus is on server and cloud features new to Ubuntu 13.10, which include:

  • Full support for Havana, the newest version of the OpenStack open source cloud computing infrastructure. Havana also happens to have its official release scheduled for Oct. 17, the same day as Ubuntu 13.10.
  • A new version of Juju, Canonical's cloud orchestration tool, which (among other new features) will support management of LXC containers. That will allow Ubuntu Server users to deploy multiple Juju services on a single machine.
  • Version 0.67.4 of Ceph, the open source distributed storage system that Mark Shuttleworth and Canonical have been closely supporting.

And that's not all. The full list of new features for Ubuntu Server is available online. And more broadly, Canonical is touting this release as a key component of an Ubuntu-based "scale-out" computing environment for the enterprise. In the words of Mark Shuttleworth, the founder of Ubuntu and former CEO of Canonical (and current VP of Products):

Ubuntu 13.10 delivers the latest and best version of OpenStack, and is the fastest, most flexible platform for scale-out computing.

The message the company is sending currently is that Ubuntu's strength in the cloud lies in its ability to integrate a variety of components—from OpenStack to VMware vSphere—into a single platform that offers easy deployability and scalability. Keeping up with the latest upstream versions of important cloud packages, too, will surely help Canonical as it continues to compete for its slice of the cloud market.