Ubuntu Linux, which started with the tagline “Linux for human beings,” was originally an easy to use Linux distribution for desktop users. Canonical picked what they considered to be the best of breed applications from the many thousands available in the Debian Linux distribution, put on a healthy dose of polish, and released their own version. They then repeated this release process every six months. Six months is slightly too frequent a release schedule for many users — especially companies that might look to standardize on Ubuntu Linux — so Canonical declared that every fourth release would be a “Long Term Support” version, with three of support.
At the same time that Canonical was pushing Ubuntu for the desktop, they also released a Server edition, with five years of support in LTS releases. Ubuntu’s ease of use made it, unsurprisingly, very popular. The synchronicity between the desktop and server releases made Ubuntu a very attractive development target, and many organizations used it as their web tier. As Ubuntu’s usage has increased, it has slowly penetrated the traditional enterprise segment. To succeed there, robust management tools are required.
In 2006, Canonical released their Landscape product to provide centralized systems management. Like Red Hat’s Satellite and SUSE’s Subscription Management Tool, Landscape aims to provide management and monitoring capabilities to a large fleet of Ubuntu systems — servers, desktops, and cloud images — from a single interface. Today Canonical is announcing a major update to Landscape with a host of new features.
The big new features include robust compliance reporting — which are especially important for industries regulated by HIPAA or PCI DSS — integration with Ubuntu’s metal-as-a-service, and a thorough API