Canonical Voices

Posts tagged with 'services'

Robin Winslow

On 10th September 2014, Canonical are joining in with Internet Slowdown day to support the fight for net neutrality.

Along with Reddit, Tumblr, Boing Boing, Kickstarter and many more sites, we will be sporting banners on our main sites, www.ubuntu.com and www.canonical.com.

Net neutrality

From Wikipedia:

Net neutrality is the principle that Internet service providers and governments should treat all data on the Internet equally, not discriminating or charging differentially by user, content, site, platform, application, type of attached equipment, and modes of communication.

Internet Slowdown day

#InternetSlowdown day is in protest to the FCC’s plans to allow ISPs in America to offer “paid prioritization” of their traffic to certain companies.

If large companies were allowed to pay ISPs to prioritise their traffic, it would be much harder for competing companies to enter the market, effectively giving large corporations a greater monopoly.

I believe that internet service providers should conform to common carrier laws where the carrier is required to provide service to the general public without discrimination.

If you too support net neutrality, please consider signing the Battle for the net petition.

Also posted on my blog.

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David Duffey

Today we announced a collaborative support and engineering agreement with Dell.  As part of this agreement Canonical will add Dell 11G & 12G PowerEdge models to the Ubuntu Server 12.04 LTS Certification List and Dell will add Ubuntu Server to its Linux OS Support Matrix.

In May 2012, Dell launched the OpenStack Cloud Reference Architecture using Ubuntu 12.04 LTS on select PowerEdge-C series servers. Today’s announcement expands upon that offering by combining the benefits of Ubuntu Server Certification, Ubuntu Advantage enterprise support, and Dell Hardware ProSupport across the PowerEdge line.

Dell customers can now deploy with confidence when purchasing Dell PowerEdge servers with Dell Hardware ProSupport and Ubuntu Advantage.  When these customers call into Dell, their service tag numbers will be entitled with ProSupport and Ubuntu Advantage, which will create a seamless support experience via the collaborative Dell and Canonical support and engineering relationship.

In preparation for this announcement, Canonical engineers worked with Dell to enable and validate Ubuntu Server running on Dell PowerEdge Servers.  This work resulted in improved Ubuntu Server on Dell PowerEdge support for PCIe SSD (solid state drives), 4K-block drives, EFI booting, Web Services Management, consistent network device naming, and PERC (PowerEdge RAID Controllers).

Dell hardware systems management can be done out-of-band via ipmi, iDRAC, and the Lifecycle Controller.  Dell OMSA Ubuntu packages are also available but it is recommended to use the supported out-of-band systems management tools.  Dell TechCenter is a good resource for additional technical information about running Ubuntu Server on Dell PowerEdge servers.

If you are interested in purchasing Ubuntu Advantage for your Dell PowerEdge servers, please contact the Dell Solutions team at Canonical.  If your business is already using or thinking about using a supported Ubuntu Server infrastructure in your data-center then be sure to fill out the annual Ubuntu Server and Cloud Survey to provide additional feedback.

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Cezzaine Haigh

The cloud is disrupting the enterprise computing world, driven by the growth of open-source software. As a result, new opportunities are emerging; it’s time to exploit them. 

On the 30th October, Canonical will host an Ubuntu Enterprise Summit in Copenhagen. Industry analysts and enterprise users of Ubuntu and open source technologies, will join key figures from Canonical to discuss the opportunities these converging trends present.

The event is designed around three key topics

- How flexibility creates business value
- Choosing which bandwagon to board
- The way ahead, from client to cloud

With a keynotes from Ubuntu founder Mark Shuttleworth and two streams of content – one aimed at business decision-makers and the other at enterprise technologists – it offers an essential briefing on delivering effective IT in a cloud-obsessed world.

Learn more and register your place.

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Jane Silber

Ubuntu 12.04 LTS will be released to the world this Thursday and it’s going to be fantastic. We’ve known for quite a while that Ubuntu is not only beautiful, but also usable and robust for individuals and a great platform for app developers. Those traditions continue in 12.04, with the added bonus of long term support (LTS) promise. This release will be our fourth LTS release, a significant milestone by itself, but it will also be the first in which we offer special consideration of hardware refresh cycles on the desktop and fast-moving technology developments in the cloud.

Ubuntu 12.04 LTS  is the ideal platform for organisations looking for more cost-effective alternatives to traditional desktop computing. As enterprise moves to cloud-based apps and lighter, more mobile clients, the argument for moving beyond a Windows-only environment has never been stronger. Ubuntu delivers an intuitive, responsive and above all, productive desktop experience at a fraction of the cost of its competitors.

Ubuntu Server 12.04 LTS combines the world’s best open source server and cloud technologies with five years of hardware, security and maintenance updates, and of course the option of enterprise-grade commercial support. This combination of proven technologies, time-saving deployment tools and long-term support makes it a cost-effective platform for any workload from print and web serving to big data applications and the cloud.

With support guaranteed for five years, certification on a wide range of hardware and the option of enterprise-grade commercial services, Ubuntu is a proven, cost-effective enterprise platform that can be relied on for the long term for their desktop, server, and cloud needs.

On Thursday we expect to see the reliability, collaboration, freedom and yes, precision, that Ubuntu embodies delivered again, on time, and in style. I can’t wait.

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Gerry Carr

The Ubuntu Server Survey is finally ready to be published it makes for a fascinating read. It is the third survey of its kind and again it has been an overwhelming response with over 6,000 completed surveys throughout 2011 and a heartfelt thanks to all who took the time to complete the comprehensive survey.

The overwhelming impression is the widespread use of Ubuntu both geographically as you might expect with respondents from across the globe. but also in the broad range of workloads in which Ubuntu Server finds itself used. Every category from web and data servers to cloud shows up strongly albeit with a strong bias towards traditional workloads.

As we approach an LTS, again we see evidence of the popularity of the extended support releases. Given we have run this survey three times now over the past three years now we begin to see strong evidence of the switching from one LTS to the next, particularly as the deployment platform, so our user base is certainly staying with us as as we introduce new features and support them in the long term.

Virtualization and cloud are now key elements of Ubuntu use, and for the first time we see KVM overtake Xen as the preferred virtualization technology for Ubuntu users, significant as the platform was the first to make the switch to supporting KVM as the native technology. With that though, VMWare remains the most cited virtualization technology showing a healthy mixture of open source and other technologies at use in the Ubuntu user base.

The respondents consideration of cloud makes for interesting reading too. There is significant interest but the use of Ubuntu Server on bare metal remains the primary use case for most users today. There is strong recognition though of the emergence of this powerful technology and with the plans for ease of installation and orchestration in 12.04 LTS it will be interesting to see how this moves the dial in regards to uptake in the Ubuntu base. A deeper analysis  shows a bias towards larger companies (i.e. respondents with more servers) using cloud technologies which is to be expected and overwhelmingly there is recognition of the suitability of Ubuntu Cloud as a basis for those efforts.

Enjoy the full report, it would be very interesting to hear your comments.

 

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Sonia Ouarti

So, you like the idea of deploying an Ubuntu desktop to all or some of your users. You like the way Ubuntu’s light-client model can give  your older desktop machines a new lease of life. You like the fact that Ubuntu is secure, portable, and easy to manage. Best of all, you like that it costs nothing to license, and comes with a host of enterprise-grade apps that cost nothing to license either.

Now it’s time to see how it works for you in the real world. To help you plan your migration, we’ve compiled our five golden rules for success. These are things we’ve learned from the hundreds of Ubuntu desktop migrations we’ve conducted for clients around the world – from the French National Police Force to the Supreme Court of India.

 

Download today and discover how to:

  • Plan effectively for maximum effect
  • Target the users ripe for migration
  • Identify the apps that save you money and hassle
  • Create the right management flows
  • Pilot your project to get it just right

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mark

So you’d like to spin up an internal cloud for hadoop or general development, shifting workloads from AWS to your own infrastructure or prototyping some new cloud services?

Call Canonical’s cloud infrastructure design and consulting team.

There are a couple of scenarios that we’re focused on at the moment, where we can offer standardised engagements:

  • Telco’s building out cloud infrastructures for public cloud services. These are aiming for specific markets based on geography or network topology – they have existing customers and existing networks and a competitive advantage in handling outsourced infrastructure for companies that are well connected to them, as well as a jurisdictional advantage over the global public cloud providers.
  • Cloud infrastructure prototypes at a division or department level. These are mostly folk who want the elasticity and dynamic provisioning of AWS in a private environment, often to work on products that will go public on Rackspace or AWS in due course, or to demonstrate and evaluate the benefits of this sort of architecture internally.
  • Cloud-style legacy deployments. These are folk building out HPC-type clusters running dedicated workloads that are horizontally scaled but not elastic. Big Hadoop deployments, or Condor deployments, fall into this category.

Cloud has become something of a unifying theme in many of our enterprise and server-oriented conversations in the past six months. While not everyone is necessarily ready to shift their workloads to a dynamic substrate like Ubuntu Cloud Infrastructure (powered by OpenStack) it seems that most large-scale IT deployments are embracing cloud-style design and service architectures, even when they are deploying on the metal. So we’ve put some work into tools which can be used in both cloud and large-scale-metal environments, for provisioning and coordination.

With 12.04 LTS on the horizon, OpenStack exploding into the wider consciousness of cloud-savvy admins, and projects like Ceph and CloudFoundry growing in stature and capability, it’s proving to be a very dynamic time for IT managers and architects. Much as the early days of the web presented a great deal of hype and complexity and options, only to settle down into a few key standard practices and platforms, cloud infrastructure today presents a wealth of options and a paucity of clarity; from NoSQL choices, through IAAS choices, through PAAS choices. Over the next couple of months I’ll outline how we think the cloud stack will shape up. Our goal is to make that “clean, crisp, obvious” deployment Just Work, bringing simplicity to the cloud much as we strive to bring it on the desktop.

For the moment, though, it’s necessary to roll up sleeves and get hands a little dirty, so the team I mentioned previously has been busy bringing some distilled wisdom to customers embarking on their cloud adventures in a hurry. Most of these engagements started out as custom consulting and contract efforts, but there are now sufficient patterns that the team has identified a set of common practices and templates that help to accelerate the build-out for those typical scenarios, and packaged those up as a range of standard cloud building offerings.

 

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Victor Tuson Palau

Canonical runs the Ubuntu Certification program, providing users with a verified list of Ubuntu compatible systems. For Manufacturers and partners that would like to understand better the certification program, Canonical publishes a guide available to download from the certification website.

We have recently updated the guide to include a detailed list of the components that will be tested for Oneiric. Each test listed on the guide is required for certification only if the system supports the functionality. For example, we do not run the bluetooth tests on a laptop that does not list bluetooth on its manufacturer specifications.

The list also contains tests that are run for informational proposes. This means that the result of those tests will be shared with the users but they will not determine if the system will pass or fail certification.

As usual, please let me know if you have any questions via launchpad answers.

 

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Victor Tuson Palau

What do Chianti wines, Organic foods, and Spanish Ham have in common with Ubuntu Certified? The simple answer is that they all stand for quality.

Chianti is an Italian standard (DOCG) for Tuscany wines that requires using defined methods, satisfying set quality standards.

Organic Foods are foods free of artificial components such as synthetic pesticides and chemical fertilizers. These need to comply with standards set by national governments and international organizations.

Jamon de Huelva is a Spanish Protected Designation of Origin introduced to avoid “misleading of consumers by non-genuine products,which may be of inferior quality or of different flavour.”
Ubuntu Certified is granted to computer systems (desktop, laptop, netbook, server,..) that satisfy set quality standards for an Ubuntu release by using defined production methods.

“Ubuntu Certified” Quality Standards
Great user experience is not a one-off, it is an ongoing affair. The Ubuntu Certification program is committed to sustained quality. We test the certified machines at the start of the program and we continue to test in order to stop problems from being introduced via software updates or new releases.

Manufacturers such as Dell and Lenovo engage Canonical OEM Services to enable Ubuntu for their systems. Through this work, we have developed an in-depth knowledge of the most complex areas for hardware compatibility. Certification testing pays special attention to these areas.

“Ubuntu Certified” Production Methods
Certification is only issued if the quality standards are met on:

  • An unmodified image available from Ubuntu.com. Only modifications accepted as exceptions are those than can be done through a user interface option or tool. This exclude command line changes.
  • A Manufacturer Pre-installed Ubuntu image, as part of a Canonical engagement. This ensures any modifications done by the manufacturer are compatible with future Ubuntu updates.

Canonical works with manufacturers participating in the program to maintain labs with representative hardware located around the world. This allow us to find possible regressions earlier on.

We hope that you continue to enjoy your “Ubuntu Certified” system. If you have any questions don’t hesitate to contact us via Launchpad Answers.

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Victor Tuson Palau

Canonical offers a commercial certification programme where manufacturers (OEM & ODM) can apply for their systems to be validated and endorsed to work with Ubuntu.  We had two levels of endorsement for systems: “Ubuntu Certified” and “Ubuntu Ready”. Successful applications to the certification programme results in a certificate for the system being listed at Ubuntu.com/Certification

“Ubuntu Certified” is an endorsement by Canonical over the lifetime of an Ubuntu release, this includes ongoing validation of Security and Stable Release Updates for the certified system.”Ubuntu Ready” is an endorsement by Canonical at a specific point in time of an Ubuntu release and provides no re-assurance over future release updates.

Are you confused yet? We recognise that the differences between these endorsement levels is quite granular and perhaps not obvious to consumers. In order to simply things, we are planning to close down the “Ubuntu Ready” programme in time for Ubuntu 11.10 release in October.

The take away of the changes is that from 11.10 there will only be one Canonical-endorsed certification programme:“Ubuntu Certified“.

If you are familiar with the Ubuntu Ready programme, you might be asking yourself:

What will happen with the existing “Ubuntu Ready” Certificates?

We will no longer be offering new “Ubuntu Ready” services to OEMs or ODMS. Cutomers with existing “Ubuntu Ready” tokens will still be able to redeem them for 11.04. The existing Ubuntu Ready certificates will be maintained on the public website until the applicable releases reach end of life.

“Ubuntu Ready” came with a set of  testing tools that allowed manufacturers to check if their systems worked with Ubuntu. Are these tools being removed too?
We will continue to offer testing tools to partners and the community. The objective is to have a single test tool for partners and the Ubuntu community that will be available within the standard Ubuntu image (from Ubuntu 11.10).

“Ubuntu Ready” did not require a manufacturer to provide Canonical with System samples. Does “Ubuntu Certified” have hardware requirements?

Ubuntu Certified will continue to require hardware to be submitted to Canonical by manufacturers for testing. Ubuntu fortnightly Stable Release Updates (SRUs) means that certified systems are required to be tested every two weeks to ensure no regressions are introduced. Ubuntu Certification testing can be used by partners as a way to assess if certification will be successful before engaging in a contract with Canonical.

Can a system be certified with a customised Ubuntu image?

An OEM or ODM shipping a pre-install custom ISO with their systems can apply for Ubuntu Certified if it is an approved Canonical image. These systems are clearly labelled as only certified if Ubuntu is supplied by the manufacturer at purchase time.

Any other questions?

I am sure we have left something out that might be in the back of your  mind, so please tell us!

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Neil Levine

We made a small flurry of announcements last week, all of which were related to cloud computing. I think it is worthwhile to put some context around Ubuntu and the cloud and explain a little more about where we are with this critical strategic strand for our beloved OS.

First of all, the announcements. We announced the release of Ubuntu Enterprise Cloud on Dell servers. This is a hugely significant advance in the realm of internal cloud provision. It’s essentially formalising a lot of the bespoke work that Dell has done in huge data centres (based on a variety of OSes) and making similar technology available for smaller deployments. We attended the Dell sales summit in Las Vegas and we were very encouraged to meet with many of the Dell salespeople whose job it will be to deliver this to their customers. This is a big company, backing a leading technology and encouraging businesses to start their investigations of cloud computing in a very real way.

More or less simultaneously, we announced our formal support for the OpenStack project and the inclusion of their Bexar release in our next version of Ubuntu, 11.04. This will be in addition to Eucalyptus, it is worth stating. Eucalyptus is the technology at the core of UEC – and will be in Ubuntu 11.04 – as it has been since 9.04. Including two stacks has caused some raised eyebrows but it is not an unusual position for Ubuntu. While we look to pick one technology for integration into the platform in order to deliver the best user experience possible, we also want to make sure that users have access to the best and most up to date free and open-source software. The increasing speed of innovation that cloud computing is driving has meant that Ubuntu, with its 6 month release cadence, is able to deliver the tools and programs that developers and admins want before any other operating system.

Users will ultimately decide what deployment scenarios each stack best suits. Eucalyptus certainly has the advantage of maturity right now, especially for internal cloud deployments. OpenStack, meanwhile, continue to focus on rapid feature development and, given its heritage, has appeal to service providers looking to stand up their own public clouds. Wherever the technology is deployed, be it in the enterprise or for public clouds, we want Ubuntu to be the underlying infrastructure for all the scenarios and will continue to direct our platform team to deliver the most tightly integrated solution possible.

Finally we saw our partner Autonomic Resources announce UEC is now available for purchase by Federal US government buyers. This is the first step on a long road the federal deployment, as anyone familiar with the governmental buying cycles will realise. But it is a good example of the built-to-purpose cloud environments that we will see more of – with the common denominator of Ubuntu at the core of it.

Which actually raises an interesting question – why is it that Ubuntu is at the heart of cloud computing? Perhaps we ought to look at more evidence before the theory. In addition to being the OS at the heart of new cloud infrastructures, we are seeing enormous usage of Ubuntu as the guest OS on the big public clouds, such as AWS and Rackspace, for instance. It is probably the most popular OS on those environments and others – contact your vendor to confirm :-)

So why is this OS that most incumbent vendors would dismiss as fringe, seeing such popularity in this new(ish) wave of computing? Well there are a host of technical reasons to do with modularity, footprint, image maintenance etc. But they are better expressed by others.

I think the reason for Ubuntu’s prominence is because it is innovation made easy. Getting on and doing things on Ubuntu is a friction-free experience. We meet more and more tech entrepreneurs who tell us how they have built more than one business on Ubuntu on the cloud. Removing licence costs and restrictions allows people to get to the market quickly.

But beyond speed, it is also about reducing risk. With open-source now firmly established in the IT industry, and with the term open used so promiscuously, it is easy to forget that the economic benefits of truly free, open-source software. The combination of cloud computing, where scale matters, and open source is a natural one and this is why Ubuntu is the answer for those who need the reassurance that they can both scale quickly but also avoid vendor lock-in in the long-term.

More specifically, and this brings us back to the announcements, there are now clear scenarios where users can reach a point where even the economics of a licence-free software on a public cloud start to break down. At a certain stage it is simply cheaper to make the hardware investment to run your own cloud infrastructure. Or there might be regulatory, cultural or a host of other reasons for wanting cloud-like efficiencies built on internal servers.

The work we have done with OpenStack and with Eucalyptus means Ubuntu is an ideal infrastructure on which to build a cloud. This will typically be for the internal provision of a cloud environment but equally could be the basis or a new public cloud. It is entirely open as to the type of guest OS and in all cases continues to support the dominant API of Amazon EC2, ensuring portability for those writing applications.

And as we have seen, Ubuntu is the ultimate OS to deploy in a cloud and with which to build a cloud. No-one provides more up-to-date images on the most popular public cloud platforms. Our work to ensure compatibility to the most popular standards means that those guests will run just as well on a UEC cloud however that is deployed – either internally or for cloud provision externally.

So technology moves markets. Economics does too, only more so. Ubuntu has come at the right point in our short IT history to ride both waves. The scale is there, the standards are emerging and the ability to provide an answer to the choice between running a cloud or running on a cloud is more fully realised on Ubuntu than on any other OS – open source or not.

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Gerry Carr

Canonical over the last four years or so has brought businesses a growing range of services and software tools to help them make better use of the Ubuntu platform. Many of these services, such as Landscape systems management and technical support, have proven valuable for companies that want to more easily manage and maintain Ubuntu in their business.

Rather than having to decide which tools or services are useful, we decided to make things simple by bringing together all the necessary tools and services into a single offering, Ubuntu Advantage.

Ubuntu Advantage has four service components:

* systems management

* enterprise technical support

* legal assurance

* access to knowledge base

At Canonical, we believe these are they key service areas that help enterprises make successful use of Ubuntu in their business. As new technology features and capabilities are incorporated into the Ubuntu platform, the Ubuntu Advantage service offering will also grow to support those new platform capabilities.

The systems management service category offers Canonical’s Landscape systems management and monitoring tool. Within any enterprise it is crucial for IT departments to have the necessary systems management tool to avoid having to spend copious amounts of time managing and maintaining systems with patches and security upgrades. Although, these tasks are vital for enterprise systems to remain safe, they can also be tedious and unnecessarily time consuming without the right tools. The package management and automation features of Landscape help to remove much of this manual work.

Ubuntu Advantage includes enterprise-level technical support for the desktop and server to give businesses direct backing from the source of Ubuntu, Canonical. This is a valuable service because businesses can deploy Ubuntu with a greater sense of security; should they run into any problems, they have the support from the organisation which released it.

Our aim is to provide comprehensive support, but we also want to give customers flexibility with the type of service they receive as we recognise that different machines will run different workloads and need different levels of support. On the server there are three options ranging from support for basic server workloads to the most complex setups:

* Essential Server – to cover common workloads such as file and print serving

* Standard Server – for more advanced business needs like server virtualisation and integration into existing Windows networks

* Advanced Server – to cover complex configurations such as high-availability and clustering

On the desktop there were two main usage types we want to cover, general business use and developer use:

* Standard Desktop – covers general end users using standard business applications such as email, office suites and web browsing

* Advanced Desktop – covers developers that have more complex desktop configurations, such as desktop virtualisation, and use advanced developer tools

A major aim of Ubuntu Advantage is to ease the adoption of Ubuntu by providing quick and easy access to a definitive answers. The online Knowledge Base gives customers a central repository from which they can quickly reference at any time definitive guides on how to resolve common issues or information about best practices deployments. Canonical’s support engineers create the content in the knowledge base keeping it accurate and up-to-date on the latest releases.

It’s also crucial that staff using Ubuntu feel comfortable with it, because the more confident they feel the more they can take advantage of Ubuntu’s many features and the fewer problems they will come across. So we also included training credits in Ubuntu Advantage. These can be redeemed to train end users on how to make the most of Ubuntu Desktop for their daily job, or they can be redeemed for system administrator training to help them more easily deploy and manage Ubuntu systems.

We know it is important for many organisations to have legal assurance to enable the adoption of an open source platform, which is why we have also included our legal assurance programme, Ubuntu Assurance, with all Ubuntu Advantage service options.

Ubuntu Advantage provides simplicity and an easier way for businesses to purchase the necessary tools and services to manage, support and use their Ubuntu platform more effectively and efficiently. Ultimately, it saves them precious time and money that can be spent elsewhere in their businesses. Initial reception has been very positive and we look forward to getting more feedback on the new services as users become familiar with them and hopefully see the value in them.

The Ubuntu Advantage website is live at: visit http://bit.ly/cOasJ3

Fern Ho, Ubuntu Advantage Product Manager

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admin

On Wednesday Dell announced a comprehensive overview of its enterprise strategy. Significant in its announcement, was the addition of Ubuntu Enterprise Cloud (UEC) as an infrastructure solution, joining the proprietary offerings from VMWare and Microsoft. This is the first major offering of a true open source Cloud solution backed by a major corporate vendor.

Dell will offer a series of ‘blueprint’ configurations that have been optimised for different use cases  and scale. These will include PowerEdge-C hardware, UEC software and full technical support – you will be able to buy these straight from Dell or you can use the ‘blueprints’ as a base to create your own bespoke solution. The Dell team have great strength and experience here and will provide detailed guidance on all the ‘blueprint’ solutions, as well as enterprise class deployments.

Ubuntu Enterprise Cloud leads the Linux field with integration of cloud capabilities directly into the OS. UEC is based on Eucalyptus which builds on the de facto cloud API standards of Amazon EC2 and S3. The relationship between Canonical and Eucalyptus Systems ensures that you have one escalation path to resolve any issues with the OS or the cloud service. Offering the same APIs as the dominant public cloud offering, Amazon EC2, you can build your applications to run on either platform. The Dell solution will be based on Ubuntu 10.04 LTS – which is released on April 29th.

Behind the scenes we’ve worked with Dell’s DCS team for over six months to test and validate the integration of the cloud stack on their new PowerEdge-C series. Within the industry, the DCS team has an excellent reputation for full design, integration, installation anddeployment. It has been both challenging and exciting working to meet and exceed their expectations, a result of excellent cooperation between the Dell core team, our Cloud & Server team and Eucalyptus.

Mark Murphy, Global Alliances Director

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Gerry Carr

We are pleased to announce the launch of the brand new Ubuntu single sign on service.  The goal of this service is to provide a single, central login service for all Ubuntu-related sites, thus making it more convenient for Ubuntu users and community members to access information, communicate, and contribute.  This service will replace the existing Launchpad login service that is currently in use for many Ubuntu-related sites, although existing Launchpad accounts will continue to work in the new service.

Over the next few months we will be moving all of the Ubuntu and Canonical related sites that currently use the Launchpad service to Ubuntu single sign on, starting with sites we manage directly and then working with community site owners to move the community-managed sites.

Because of the number of existing Ubuntu users who have created accounts in Launchpad for the purpose of logging into other sites, we have set the Ubuntu and Launchpad services to share account data during the transition.  Launchpad is in the process of enabling users to log in with an Ubuntu account and, once completed, this sharing will be removed.  This does mean that you will be able to log into both services with the same credentials for a while.  We realise this is something internet users have been encouraged to not do but it is a necessary side-effect of the transition.  Doing this ensures you won’t lose access to services you’ve purchased from us in the past or your account histories in the sites you’ve previously visited, as long as you use your existing Launchpad credentials on Ubuntu single sign on.

Ubuntu single sign on is built on OpenID so, once all the sites we know about have moved over, we will also be opening up the OpenID service to enable you to log in to any site which accepts standard OpenIDs.

Some questions we think you may have for us:

Why replace the Launchpad login service?

The Launchpad login service has served us well for several years but Launchpad is not a familiar brand for many Ubuntu users.  As Ubuntu grows, we’ll see more and more users who don’t understand the connection between Launchpad and Ubuntu and the new Ubuntu login service is intended to overcome this problem.  It will also enable us to develop features which are more oriented to Ubuntu users.

How does the new service differ from the old one?

For now, not much apart from the appearance of the site.  We have many plans for great new features, however, and hope to roll these out once the service is established.  If you have ideas for other features you’d like to see in Ubuntu single sign on, we’d love to hear about them.

Is the new service Open Source?

No, it’s not.  It is, however, built and hosted on open source technologies (python, django, apache and postgres amongst others).

I have a problem with the new service.  Where can I get help?

We have an email support channel.  You can submit your support requests using our support form.  If you have found a bug, please take a few minutes to tell us about it on Launchpad.

We’re sure you have more questions.  Please submit them and we’ll do our best to respond to them all.

Stuart Metcalfe, Infrastructure Systems Development, Canonical

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