MicroCloud is an automated, lightweight private cloud solution built on LXD, Ceph, and OVN. MicroCloud brings the power of public clouds to your own infrastructure.

What is MicroCloud?

Deploying and managing private clouds has traditionally been complex, time-consuming, and resource-intensive. Setting up all the required components like virtualization, storage, and networking from scratch. It requires deep technical expertise across multiple domains.

Even for experienced infrastructure engineers, building and operating private clouds can be frustrating. The setup process is manual and tedious. Ongoing maintenance is challenging with so many moving parts. Upgrades and security patching turn into headaches.

The result is private cloud environments that are:

  • Difficult to deploy – Require weeks or months of complex configuration and integration work.
  • Hard to operate – Day-to-day management consumes significant time and effort.
  • Rigid and static – Can’t adjust quickly to changing needs.
  • Vulnerable – Lagging behind on security updates and bug fixes.

Clearly, there had to be a better way. Enter MicroCloud.

MicroCloud is a new way to deploy private clouds with ease and simplicity. This lightweight, automated cloud solution brings the power and flexibility of public clouds to your own infrastructure, wherever you need it.

MicroCloud Features

MicroCloud completely reimagines private clouds with an innovative approach:

  • Lightweight – Runs efficiently even on minimal hardware.
  • Automated – Deploys in minutes with no manual configuration required.
  • Secure – Leverages snap packages for built-in isolation and simplified updates.
  • Easy to operate – Designed from the ground up for low maintenance.
  • Scalable – Start small with just 3 nodes and expand seamlessly to 50 nodes.
Traditional Private Cloud MicroCloud
Deployment Time Weeks or months Minutes
Ease of Operations Challenging Low touch
Maintenance Overhead High Minimal
Scaling Difficult Seamless
Availability Single points of failure Built-in HA
Security Manual patching Automated
Hardware Requirements High-end servers Commodity systems

With MicroCloud, you get the sophistication of enterprise-grade clouds in an intuitively simple package. The days of private cloud headaches are over!

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1. LXD for Virtualization

LXD provides powerful hypervisor-level virtualization using both virtual machines and Linux containers. It includes:

LXD for Virtualization
Image Source: Ubuntu
  • Image-based workflows – Preconfigured images for fast deployment.
  • VM support – Run traditional virtual machines side-by-side with containers.
  • Scalability – Manage tens of thousands of instances from a single host.
  • REST API – Automate provisioning and management programmatically.

With LXD, MicroCloud delivers excellent density and performance for large and small workloads.

2. Ceph for Storage

For storage, MicroCloud utilizes Ceph, the leading open-source software-defined storage platform. Ceph offers:

Ceph for Storage
Image Source: Ubuntu
  • Unified storage – Block, file, and object storage in one cluster.
  • Limitless scalability – Scale to exabytes without architectural limits.
  • No single point of failure – Data is replicated avoiding downtime.
  • Commodity hardware – Use affordable, off-the-shelf gear.

Ceph provides MicroCloud with robust, resilient storage that grows seamlessly on demand.

3. OVN for Networking

Connecting everything together is OVN, an advanced open-source virtual networking solution. OVN enables:

OVN for Networking
Image Source: Ubuntu
  • Overlays – Create virtual Layer 2 networks for segmentation and isolation.
  • Security groups – Build complex security policies for workloads.
  • Load balancing – Distribute traffic across application tiers.
  • Automation – Programmatically manage networking configurations.

With OVN, MicroCloud gains flexible software-defined networking suitable for multi-tenant environments.

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1. Deployment Automation

MicroCloud uses Ansible under the hood to automate deployment and lifecycle management. The microcloud command handles all the complexity for you.

To deploy MicroCloud, you simply:

  1. Install 3 or more Ubuntu servers.
  2. Run microcloud init on one server.
  3. Answer a few prompts about your environment.

That’s it! The rest happens automatically with no manual configuration required. You’ll go from zero to a fully functional private cloud in about 10 minutes.

2. Built-in High Availability

MicroCloud is highly available by design. A minimum of 3 nodes are required to provide redundancy across the control plane.

The Ceph storage backend replicates data across nodes protecting against failures. If a node goes down, workloads will automatically restart on the remaining nodes without disruption.

3. Snap Package Management

All MicroCloud components are packaged as snaps – secure, isolated, self-contained packages. Snaps make deploying and managing MicroCloud simpler with the following:

  • Automatic updates – MicroCloud stays up-to-date with one command.
  • Dependency management – No need to install prerequisite libraries.
  • Rollback – Instantly revert to previous versions if needed.
  • Strict confinement – Components are isolated from each other and the OS.

Snaps take the pain out of administering MicroCloud.

4. Multi-Tenancy

MicroCloud includes everything you need for secure multi-tenant environments:

  • Remote authentication – Integrate LDAP, Active Directory, SAML and more.
  • RBAC – Granular role-based access control for users and groups.
  • Projects – Logically isolate teams into separate security domains.
  • Quotas – Limit resource usage by project.

You get full control over users, workload isolation and resource consumption.

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1. Edge Computing

MicroCloud is perfect for distributed edge environments:

  • Scale-out – Easily repeatable deployments across locations.
  • Lights-out – No on-site staff is required for operations.
  • Resilient – Built-in redundancy keeps edge applications running.
  • Low latency – Localized computing near end users.

2. Small Private Clouds

For small/medium businesses, MicroCloud offers private cloud benefits like:

  • Self-service – On-demand resources for developers.
  • Isolation – Keep sensitive data in-house.
  • Data locality – Keep data within country borders.
  • Predictability – Avoid variable public cloud costs.

3. Dev/Test Environments

For developers, MicroCloud can provide:

  • Self-service sandbox environments – Streamline onboarding.
  • Complex infrastructure modelling – Test deployments locally.
  • Disposable workspaces – Experiment without consequences.
  • Multi-node clusters – Develop distributed applications.

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In summary, MicroCloud completely transforms the private cloud landscape with its innovative blend of automation, efficiency, and scalability. By combining proven open-source technologies like LXD, Ceph, and OVN into a tightly integrated platform, MicroCloud offers an unparalleled private cloud user experience. It makes deploying and operating a private cloud easier than ever before while delivering robust enterprise-grade capabilities. Now businesses of any size can leverage private cloud technology to unlock the flexibility they need for the future.

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What Linux distributions does MicroCloud support?

It runs on Ubuntu Server or Ubuntu Core OS optimized for edge computing.

Can I run virtual machines as well as containers in MicroCloud?

Yes, LXD supports running full VMs alongside container workloads

How is MicroCloud secured and kept up-to-date?

Components are packaged as snaps enabling automated updates and isolation.

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