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King Abdullah University of Science and Technology Taps

THUWAL, Saudi Arabia, June 8, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) – Canonical, the publisher of Ubuntu announced Today it is working with King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), a graduate university in Thuwal, Saudi Arabia, on a major upgrade to its cloud computing infrastructure. The project makes it easier and cheaper for KAUST to manage its cloud environment while ensuring the high levels of computing performance required by researchers.

Even by the standards of most universities, KAUST's computing requirements are intense. The institution is exclusively dedicated to scientific and technological research, and all students carry out doctoral or master's studies. Your network must be able to support a wide variety of workloads without downtime.

Since 2015, the university had been operating a homegrown OpenStack private cloud in which researchers provisioned computing resources on demand. But as usage increased, the system became more difficult for the IT team to manage. Worse, it was prone to interruptions, which slowed down projects and, once completed, made it difficult for peer reviewers to access project data.

"If we were going to scale, we knew we needed a strategy that was more manageable, more reliable, and made it easier to implement updates and new services," said Arindam Chakraborty, senior systems specialist at KAUST. "We started exploring infrastructure as code and realized that the best option would be to switch to a trusted third-party platform with dedicated support."

KAUST chose Canonical to design and implement a new, on-premise OpenStack cloud. Based on Canonical's Charmed OpenStack the new cluster is twice the size of the old system, going from 10 to 20 nodes. And with support from Ubuntu Advantage for Infrastructure Canonical quickly prevents or resolves any OpenStack issues KAUST encounters, before they affect the investigation.

Another benefit is that the new implementation has not caused any operational disruption or the need to learn a new system. This is because the university's legacy OpenStack platform already used Canonical's open source software, and Ubuntu was by far the most widely used operating system on campus.

"Canonical offered the best annual / server cost in the market for the level of support we were looking for, and we are very pleased with the results," said Chakraborty. “The change has meant higher performance and better uptime for our students and staff. And with Canonical's handling implementation and operational issues, our IT team is free to work on other things. Problems are solved more quickly and, from a labor perspective, we are saving money. ”

Along with the OpenStack migration, KAUST has also transitioned to DevOps and containers with Canonical's Charmed Kubernetes a turnkey, Kubernetes-compliant Platform optimized for multi-cloud environments.

The adoption of Kubernetes has transformed the way KAUST researchers access computing resources. Instead of self-provisioning virtual machines, users can simply consume services through the cloud without having to worry about where or how they are running. Canonical support also covers Kubernetes.

"We are delighted to be working with King Abdullah University of Science and Technology," said Nicholas Dimotakis, Canonical's vice president of field engineering. "The university's experience shows that organizations do not have to struggle with their cloud deployments and that, by selecting the right technology partner, they can operate their infrastructure much more economically while improving computing performance."

About King Abdullah University of Science and Technology
Established in 2009, King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) is a graduate research university dedicated to finding solutions to some of the challenges world's most pressing scientific and technological fields in the areas of food, water, energy and the environment. With 19 research areas related to these topics and state-of-the-art laboratories, KAUST has created a collaborative and interdisciplinary problem-solving environment, which has resulted in more than 11,000 articles published to date.

With more than 100 different nationalities living, working and studying on campus, KAUST has brought together the best minds and ideas from around the world to advance science and technology through distinctive and collaborative research. KAUST is a catalyst for innovation, economic development and social prosperity in Saudi Arabia and the world. For additional information, visit:

About Canonical
Canonical is the company behind Ubuntu, the leading operating system for containers, cloud and hyperscale computing. Most public cloud workloads use Ubuntu, as do most newer smart gateways, switches, autonomous cars, and advanced robots. Canonical provides security, support and business services to business users of Ubuntu. Canonical, founded in 2004, is a private company.

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