Canonical recently unveiled a new enterprise management system as part of a long-term approach to releasing new versions. Canonical and Ubuntu (News - Alert) Linux have been working together for some time now, and the results have been generally well-received. Canonical's newest release looks to keep the momentum going, and then some, with plenty of new features.
There are several new features in Canonical's enterprise management system, part of a series of developments going all the way back to the Landscape release in 2006, which some have compared to Red Hat's (News - Alert) Satellite system or the Subscription Management Tool from SUSE. Included in the newest version is not only a more powerful API, but also integration with Ubuntu's Metal-as-a-Service, and improved compliance reporting tools – the kind of things that prove very useful in terms of heavily regulated industries answering to things like HIPAA or PCI (News - Alert) DSS.
While there are easy comparisons to be made between Canonical's offering and those of Red Hat and SUSE, there is still some substantial difference between the systems, as evidenced by remarks from Canonical's director of products and engineering, Zaid Al Hamami: "Ubuntu fills a different role in Enterprise IT than does RHEL and SUSE. Both RHEL and SUSE emerged as UNIX replacements, and as such, for a lot, if not most of the enterprises, they are used for the same workloads that UNIX was used for; namely for running business applications and large databases.”
“Ubuntu was never about being another UNIX replacement,” said Hamami. “It was about being the best platform for developing and using open source projects.”
This is a something of an unusual approach to the enterprise market, by all reports, and it's allowing Canonical to work within a different framework, and thus produce vastly different results, from its competitors in other brands. That kind of flexibility and response to an underserved market is a smart idea indeed, and considering how well it appears to be working for Canonical overall, it's an approach that they were well-served in taking.
Being able to offer what the competition can't – or won't – is the kind of approach that makes businesses very successful, and that looks to be the case here.
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Edited by Braden Becker