Sure It's Popular with Consumers, But Ubuntu Increasingly Means Business

by Ostatic Staff - Mar. 16, 2012

Most of us who follow Linux know that it has been a huge success at the server level, and powers much of the server infrastucture of the Internet. The fact is, many Internet and enterprise users don't even realize the extent to which they depend on Linux and related platform technology every day. In addition, Linux is playing a bigger part in business technology deployments, which companies like Canonical and Red Hat are extremely focused on. Now, Canonical's Mark Shuttleworth is out with some hard-hitting data that shows just how effectively Ubuntu is competing with Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL). Here are the details.

According to a blog post from Shuttleworth, just recently, companies started adopting Ubuntu over RHEL for large-scale enterprise workloads, and the rate at which this trend is growing is pronounced. He supplies the following graphic illustrating this:

The graphic comes from Austrian market research firm W3Techs, which tracks the technology usage of the top one million web sites around the globe. Shuttleworth notes:

"The headlines for Ubuntu have all been about the desktop and consumer-focused design efforts, with the introduction of Unity and the expansion of our goals to span the phone, the tablet, the TV as well as the PC. But underpinning those goals has been a raising of the quality game: OEMs and consumers demand a very high level of quality, and so we now have large-scale automated testing, improved upload processes, faster responses to issues that crop up inevitably during the development cycle, a broader base of users and contributors in the development release, and better engagements with the vendors who pre-install Ubuntu. So 12.04 LTS is a coming of age release for Ubuntu in the data centre as much as its the first LTS to sport the interface which was designed to span the full range of personal computing needs."

Indeed, from support to under-the-hood services, version 12.04 of Ubuntu will be the most business-focused release of Ubuntu yet. Shuttleworth clearly has his eye on making Ubuntu a viable business platform.

Shuttleworth is also adamant that Canonical is aligning with OpenStack in effective ways that will cater to business users who are focused on cloud deployments:

"OpenStack’s Essex release is lined up to be a perfect fit for 12.04 LTS. That is not a coincidence, it’s a value to which both projects are committed. Upstream projects that care about their user’s and care about being adopted quickly, want an effective conduit of their goodness straight to users. By adopting the 6-month / 2-year cadence of step and LTS releases, and aligning those with Ubuntu’s release cycle, OpenStack ensures that a very large audience of system administrators, developers and enterprise decision makers can plan for their OpenStack deployment, and know they will have a robust and very widely deployed LTS platform together with a very widely supported release of OpenStack. Every dependency that Essex needs is exactly provided in 12.04 LTS, the way that all of the major public clouds based on OpenStack are using it."

We covered Canonical's alignment with OpenStack in this post. If Canonical can offer the most open, flexible ways to allow businesses to deploy public and private hybrid cloud offerings, and make version 12.04 of Ubuntu a truly robust business platform, Ubuntu could give Red Hat's platform even more of a run for its money. There is not question that Mark Shuttleworth is focused on these goals.