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Ubuntu heads to the clouds


On July 1, Canonical, the company behind Ubuntu in partnership with Eucalyptus Systems, an open-source cloud infrastructure firm, will be launching Ubuntu Enterprise Cloud Services.

According to sources at Canonical, Ubuntu Enterprise Cloud Services "is a set of new professional services to help and support users building ‘private clouds’, that is cloud infrastructures behind a corporate firewall."

This follows up on Canonical’s technical preview of UEC (Ubuntu Enterprise Cloud) in April. an open-source system that enabled organizations to build their own clouds that can work with Amazon EC2. UEC will be incorporated into the Ubuntu Server Edition technology stack.

The idea, as it always is with cloud computing is to save organizations money by optimizing server use, while lowering costs and providing end users with self-service IT. With Ubuntu Enterprise Cloud Services, Canonical will help businesses build private clouds

In a statement, Mark Shuttleworth, Canonical’s CEO said, "Enterprises are realising that building ‘private clouds’ enables them to better manage variable workloads, while reducing the waste of idle servers. Building on an open-source technology also avoids the issue of vendor lock-in. Ubuntu Enterprise Cloud enables businesses to do this–and the addition of these services helps them to do it with confidence."

Simon Wardley, who heads up Canonical’s cloud strategy, said that, "One of Canonical’s objectives is to ensure that companies not only get the best available open source products but also get the best available support from the people closest to the source of the technology." Wardley added, "Ubuntu is the only distribution which provides an open source cloud system that matches market standards. We’re building upon real solutions built with open source technologies and backed up by real services."

Ubuntu Enterprise Cloud Services will enable users to scale up from a five-machine environment all the way to a site license covering all machines, physical and virtual, in a single location. The Enterprise Cloud is built with Ubuntu 9.04 servers.

Support pricing starts at $4,750 and goes up from there based on the usual factors such as the number of servers and support level. To find out more about this new service, you should visit the Canonical Server Cloud page.

Once more Canonical is showing that, while its reputation is based on Ubuntu, the popular end-user desktop Linux distribution, the company has every intention of competiting with Red Hat and Novell for the business server market.

A version of this story first appeared in ComputerWorld.

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