It’s actually pretty darn easy to run a virtual operating system on a server or on the cloud. The real trick is managing them. That’s why I’m excited that Canonical, Ubuntu’s Linux commercial backer, recently released Canonical Landscape 1.3, an Ubuntu network systems management and monitoring service that will let you control your Ubuntu servers no matter whether they’re on your desktop or a few thousand miles away on the Amazon EC2 (Amazon Compute Cloud).
You can get Landscape as either part of the Ubuntu commercial support package or as a standalone service. With it, you can manage multiple instances of Ubuntu on servers, desktops, or the cloud from a single Web interface. If you’re new to EC2, you can also use it to pick out a pre-configured Ubuntu server image and get it up and running in less time then it took me to write this blog posting.
In an e-mail interview, Ken Drachnik, Canonical’s Landscape business manager said “Landscape simplifies system management tasks for users who run Ubuntu on physical or virtual servers in-house or some or all of their Ubuntu servers on the Amazon EC2 cloud. It enables users to manage all instances from the same application.”