Close this search box.
Introducing Sunbeam: Canonical’s OpenStack solution for small-scale cloud environments

Introducing Sunbeam: Canonical’s OpenStack solution for small-scale cloud environments


Canonical, the company behind Ubuntu, has made a significant announcement at the OpenInfra Summit in Vancouver. They have unveiled Sunbeam, a new project that extends their commercial OpenStack offering to small-scale cloud environments. Sunbeam, which is 100% open source and free-of-charge, aims to simplify the adoption of OpenStack and enable organizations to modernize their legacy IT estates. In this blog, we will explore the features and benefits of Sunbeam and how it can enable businesses to transition to OpenStack with ease. 

Breaking down barriers to OpenStack adoption 

Traditionally, commercial OpenStack deployments required paid consulting engagements. Canonical is changing this paradigm with Sunbeam. By delivering a production-grade platform that can be easily deployed by anyone as Canonical aims to remove barriers surrounding the initial adoption of OpenStack. Sunbeam enables organizations to embrace OpenStack more accessibly and cost-effectively. 

Straightforward and user-friendly 

Sunbeam prides itself on being the most straightforward OpenStack deployment experience to date. Its interface and simple installation instructions make it accessible even to users with limited OpenStack experience. The goal is to enable newcomers to quickly familiarize themselves with OpenStack and start harnessing its power. With Sunbeam, ambitious engineers can initiate the bootstrap procedure and have a fully-functional cloud up and running within minutes. Furthermore, its lightweight architecture allows it to run on machines with limited hardware resources, eliminating the need for dedicated hardware for testing purposes. 

A K8s-native architecture 

One of the features of Sunbeam is its K8s-native architecture. By running its services inside containers, Sunbeam decouples OpenStack from the underlying operating system. This architectural approach simplifies traditionally challenging operations like upgrades. Additionally, Sunbeam leverages native Kubernetes principles, such as StatefulSets and operators, allowing OpenStack to be modeled, deployed, and managed like any other cloud-native application.  

Embracing the open infrastructure movement 

The introduction of Sunbeam aligns with the growing adoption of Kubernetes and its usage in managing OpenStack deployments. Over 70% of OpenStack users also deploy Kubernetes, highlighting the synergy between the two technologies. Sunbeam opens up new possibilities for deploying and operating OpenStack, from small labs to large-scale global deployments.  

Future development and upgrades 

Sunbeam ships with the latest OpenStack version, 2023.1 (Antelope). Early adopters can look forward to an upgrade to the 2024.1 version next year through the Skip Level Upgrade Release Process (SLURP) mechanism. While Sunbeam currently includes core OpenStack services, Canonical aims to rapidly evolve it to ensure full feature parity with OpenStack Charms. OpenStack Charms are essential components of Canonical’s reference architecture for OpenStack implementation, providing convenient packaging of operational tasks such as upgrades, backups, and scale-out. If you would like to read more about charms, you can find more info on charms and Juju in our blog through the following link:

Learn more about Sunbeam 

Test Sunbeam on your workstation or a VM and break the ice with OpenStack today. 


Canonical’s introduction of Sunbeam represents a significant step towards simplifying OpenStack adoption in small-scale cloud environments. With its user-friendly interface, K8s-native architecture, and seamless integration with Ubuntu, Sunbeam offers organizations an accessible and efficient pathway to harness the power of OpenStack.   


We are hiring!
Are you our new