13 Reasons to Deploy With Ubuntu Server (Part 3)

LXC/Containers and Vagrant

It seems that a bunch of the things I’ve been talking about so far are ops focused. Juju straddles both dev and ops, it’s why we call it “DevOps Distilled”. I’d like to point out some of the nice things that are useful for developers as well.

The first is our LXC support. You can think of Linux containers as “super chroots”, that let you segment whatever you want on a machine without the overhead of virtualization. We can use it to segment your deployed services with Juju, or you can use them to play with things in a nice little sandbox. And yes, we’ve got our eyes on Docker too.

Speaking of sandboxes, we also now provide official Vagrant images so you can quickly fire up server instances on any OS to do your development on. And just like the rest of our cloud images, frequently updated and fully supported.

Landscape

Organizations need to manage large fleets of Ubuntu systems, and that’s where Landscape comes in. As the usage of Ubuntu server to deploy services scales out seamlessly through Juju, your infrastructure needs day-to-day tending to.

Landscape lets you manage thousands of Ubuntu servers with the same ease you would manage one - you can fix a security issue affecting hundreds of machines with a single click, and what’s more you can prove you did to your compliance or governance team without having to spend time creating the paper trail yourself - that is a really big deal if you work in an IT department and don’t enjoy spending your time creating reports.

Landscape is designed from the ground-up to manage Ubuntu systems, and that reflects on the tight integration between Ubuntu core components and Landscape. In Ubuntu, we use apt to update systems from the shell - Landscape talks to apt, not a different custom backend, so if you know how apt behaves, you already know how Landscape does it - this is a design style that makes the learning curve for Landscape much nicer than other tools’ - and makes it inherently shell-compatible, for we understand very well that an administrator’s debug tool of choice is SSH.

Landscape’s management goodness is exposed through its server’s API - providing you with a robust toolset of management actions that are maintained for you across all current Ubuntu releases, from cutting edge Raring to reliable and dependable Precise - any architectural differences are taken care of for you, so you don’t have to.

Landscape is built for enterprises customers, and it has both SAAS and Dedicated Server editions. A free 30-day trial is available for those who want to try first hand.

Ubuntu and its community

Sounds kind of cheesy, but Ubuntu itself is a feature.

  • There are no “enterprise” and “free” versions of Ubuntu. It’s all just Ubuntu, and it’s all free to the end user. That’s right. We don’t artificially split the OS. If Ubuntu works out of the box for you and you’re skilled enough to use it, you’re good to go. You get the exact same OS, with the exactly same support that paying customers get. This does motivate us to provide excellent support options (see below).

Run into a problem? Well you can call us and get support, all without having to reinstall from the “free version” to the “paid version”. No shuffling licenses either or caring about which of your systems are supported or covered, and no waiting for security fixes to trickle down to your free version. Just pay for what you use.

  • cloud-init - You can control instance initialization with cloud-init. It’s like preseeding/kickstarting a server, but in the cloud.

  • The community - the massive resources of the Ubuntu community is available to you. And it’s not just about support, it’s about things like a wide range of PPA archives of contributed packages and ecosystem of packages for things that run on Ubuntu, but might not be part of the distro itself.

  • Built on Debian. `Nuff said. So you get nice things like tasksel tasks, allowing you to simply install Mail, Web Server, or LAMP stacks with one checkbox and the breadth of software of the Debian archive.

  • A predictable and solid release cycle, with 5 years of support for our LTS releases.

Ubuntu Advantage

As I mentioned above, since Ubuntu is free-to-use we are extremely motivated to provide service that offers a good value. Our service offerings are split into two areas, server and cloud:

Here are our prices for traditional servers, starting as low as $320 per box. And here are our cloud prices. You can also add on Landscape and what we call Premium Service Engineers. PSEs are our best-of-the-best. If you need an expert to solve your toughest problems, you can add on a PSE.

Shop around and check out our competitor’s too, you’ll find that our prices very competitive.

You’re in fine company

Along with Netflix, Wikipedia, Inktank, AT&T, HP, Dreamhost, Rackspace, Instagram, Dropbox, SmugMug, Samsung, NTT, Deutsche Telekom, 10gen, and Amazon. They, and many others, chose Ubuntu Server because of some or all of the things I mentioned above.

So that’s the jist folks. As you can tell we’re pretty excited about the things we’re bringing to the cloud and your server room. We’re one year away from our next Long Term Support (LTS) release and committed to bring all of these technologies to bear. Some of them have been in the cooker for a bit (MAAS and Juju) and are still under heavy feature development, so if you were an early adopter and been burned by a bug or lack of a feature, now is the time to start looking at it again and giving us feedback. As the Fall approaches we’ll be shifting to getting ready for 14.04 LTS and keep on pushing the envelope of the cloud.

Check out the previous sections if you missed them:

Comments