Hands-on with Canonical’s Orange Box and a peek into cloud nirvana
First off, Canonical emphasized to Ars multiple times that it is not getting into the hardware business. If you really want to buy one of these things, you can have Tranquil PC build one for you (for £7,575, or about $12,700), but Canonical won’t sell you an Orange Box for your lab—there are too many partner relationships it could jeopardize by wading into the hardware game. But what Canonical does want to do is let you fiddle with an Orange Box. It makes for an amazing demo platform—a cloud-in-a-box that Canonical can use to show off the fancy services and tools it offers.
Inside the custom orange chassis are ten stripped Intel Ivy Bridge D53427RKE NUCs. Each comes with 16GB of RAM and a 120GB SSD, and they’re all connected to a gigabit Ethernet switch. One of the NUCs is the control node; its USB and HDMI ports are wired to the Orange Box’s rear panel, and that particular node also runs Canonical’s MAAS software. Its single unified internal 320W power supply runs on a single 110v outlet—even when all ten nodes are going flat-out, it doesn't require a second power plug.