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Ubuntu Linux Claims 12,000 Cloud Deployments 165

darthcamaro writes "The cloud is more than just hype for Ubuntu. Canonical COO Matt Asay is now saying that they can count 12,000 deployments of the Ubuntu Enterprise Cloud. He also thinks the cloud is where Ubuntu can make money — because in his view, the company for the last five years wasn't set up to generate revenue. From the article: 'The conversion of non-paying to paying users is often a difficult ratio to report for any open source effort, and Ubuntu is no exception. Asay noted that Canonical plans to get more aggressive at tracking its free-to-paid ratio on Ubuntu Linux and its related services and technologies. "For the first five years of the company's life, it wasn't set up to make money," Asay said. "The company was set up to make a fantastic Linux distribution and other tools around it and get it out there and get people using it. That was the focus." That's now changing at Canonical as the emphasis is now shifting to generating revenues.'"
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Ubuntu Linux Claims 12,000 Cloud Deployments

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  • Failure Ahead? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by foobsr ( 693224 ) on Saturday April 24, 2010 @12:48PM (#31967776) Homepage Journal
    The company was set up to make a fantastic Linux distribution ... That was the focus. ... ... That's now changing at Canonical as the emphasis is now shifting to generating revenues.

    My theory is that if the focus is generating revenues, not the customer (or the product), failure is to be expected in this case.

  • by commodore64_love ( 1445365 ) on Saturday April 24, 2010 @12:51PM (#31967800) Journal

    I'm using Ubuntu right now, but a coworker told me he prefers Fedora (quote: "Any OS that fits on a single CD can't be any good."). Meanwhile my company is using Red Hat for their development.

    What makes one Linux better than another?


  • Re:Ubuntu One (Score:3, Interesting)

    by 99BottlesOfBeerInMyF ( 813746 ) on Saturday April 24, 2010 @12:56PM (#31967834)

    Canonical appears to be following the stereotypical free software business model: sell services to which the free software can connect.

    I'd argue the most common free software model is to sell hardware with free software installed on it in conjunction with services. It is actually very interesting to me that Canonical does not have a hardware offering and does not seem to be partnering with any hardware makers to customize Ubuntu for that company's devices. I don't understand why that is, but maybe it is just under the radar or they have good business reasons.

  • RHEL (Score:5, Interesting)

    by DaMattster ( 977781 ) on Saturday April 24, 2010 @01:10PM (#31967926)
    If I were looking for paid support Linux, I would go with RHEL. They have more experience in this kind of thing and have been around longer. Plus, I like RHEL for enterprise use. It has good tools for use in the enterprise - a certificate management system, a good directory server, deployment tools, etc.
  • by kgo ( 1741558 ) on Saturday April 24, 2010 @01:18PM (#31967966) Homepage

    When Fedora first came out, I felt like Red Hat went out of their way to make fedora the "hobbiest" version, and RHEL the "corporate" version. Have they got more or less divergent as time has gone on? It's kind of nice to run the same version of the software at home and in the server room, where Ubuntu is Ubuntu is Ubuntu. One less thing to deal with. Just wondering if I should give Fedora another try...

  • Re:RHEL (Score:3, Interesting)

    by 0123456 ( 636235 ) on Saturday April 24, 2010 @01:21PM (#31967982)

    We use RHEL/CentOS for a lot of servers, but while they're stable and reliable, they're also using old versions of a lot of packages which aren't compatible with the latest shiny things. So if you want to run SuperWhizzoWebService you may well have to either upgrade packages on your RHEL server to the latest versions (which is often a real pain) or just run a more 'bleeding edge' distribution.

    I'm not a fan of Ubuntu on servers, but if it has to run shiny things and doesn't need to be up 24/7/365 then it may well be a good choice.

  • by Fr33thot ( 1236686 ) on Saturday April 24, 2010 @01:23PM (#31967998)
    It seems that a number of companies focus on long term profits as opposed to short term (like Amazon for example) so it doesn't surprise me that the last five years have not been chiefly about profit. I doubt they had their eyes on the cloud as a promising revenue stream back when they started up so the chance they are taking by adding it doesn't seem that great. I'd bet that they still have a longer view of how they could reach full profitability since they seem to have favored using their Ubuntu project to grow both the platform and the user base. That still seems to have potential payoffs deep into the future. They've gotten close but still need to grow the platform quite a bit in order to earn a large enough user base to make a difference. I know many people don't think it will happen but I would bet there is room for a third player in the OS market. So I would say a company of around 200 employees is small enough still that meager profits are sustainable for some time, as long as the vision and potential hold promise. Those aren't answers, but then my investment is only in time, and hobbies don't have to pay off.
  • by Fred_A ( 10934 ) <fred@fredsh o m e.org> on Saturday April 24, 2010 @01:26PM (#31968014) Homepage

    I think any future changes in the companies are still going to reflect the culture of emphasizing a good, widely deployed Desktop Linux rather than necessarily turning a profit.

    There could also be the fact that in many people's (and PHB's) eyes, if you don't pay through the nose for it then it has to be crap.

    Hopefully a more commercial Ubuntu will help make it more visible in the corporate space as well as promote the integration of tools in that area (they're already there of course, you just have to add them yourself).

  • Re:Related Timing? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by darkpixel2k ( 623900 ) <aaron@heyaaron.com> on Saturday April 24, 2010 @01:26PM (#31968024) Homepage

    Just when I was moving to Debian.

    Same here. The final straw for me is plymouth....on servers. You can't get away from the graphical boot apparently. All the core packages depend on it. And guess what doesn't work on my server? Plymouth. So I can't graphically boot, and I can't remove it.

    packages.debian.org doesn't even list 'plymouth'.

    Hello, Debian.

  • Uh (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 24, 2010 @03:40PM (#31968780)

    How about putting money on ideas in brainstorm and bugs in launchpad? I got a scanner with _completely GPL drivers_ that doesn't Just Work with Ubuntu, so it's worthless to me. Paying $50 to have someone package the thing sanely sure beats buying a new scanner, why can't Canonical do that? Not being able to pay for Free Software angers me. I mean seriously, I have a job.

  • by greg1104 ( 461138 ) <gsmith@gregsmith.com> on Saturday April 24, 2010 @03:41PM (#31968790) Homepage

    What makes one Linux better than another?

    "Better" is not a concept you can apply to Linux distributions, anymore than you can apply it to (wait for it...) cars. Is a giant Ford truck better than a Prius? Well that really depends on how large the stuff you have to move in the near future is, doesn't it?

    The better Linux distribution for you is the one that matches your business or personal priorities more closely. Since those are your priorities, no one else can answer that question for you.

  • What you said (Score:3, Interesting)

    by zogger ( 617870 ) on Saturday April 24, 2010 @04:42PM (#31969242) Homepage Journal

    If Canonical wants to make some desktop money, they should sell desktops with their software pre-installed and guaranteed to work, as in no hoop jumping for wifi support, whatever video is there, sound really works, etc.. They can still offer the freebie download version to all comers, but desktop purchasers get priority in the forums and support, etc. Just make it reasonably price competitive and it could work, no offering a $300 machine for $800 in other words just because it says official Ubuntu on it, because it won't sell then. Maybe $350 in that case would be reasonable (examples only), and stick the long term release candidates *only* on there, none of those six month beta quality things.

    Ya, Dell and some others offer preinstalled..but that isn't Canonical offering it. It needs to be *their* machines with their software that they know will work. They target that hardware first with the developer action, all the time.

    Sort of like the Apple idea, but using FOSS, sell the whole stack, and you know it will work with no hassles. Another aspect would be "legal in the USA" DVD and other media playback, if you buy the hardware, part of the money goes to pay the fees required for that. Purists have a thousand other options, so I wouldn't worry about that part if 1% or less on the machine is "non free". People mostly want their media to work, and that's it.

    If local mom and pop whitebox shops can do business and make profits building systems from parts at low volume purchasing levels, one would think Ubuntu could get better deals from the Asian wholesalers buying thousands of untis at a time and just make sure what they get "just works". How about one netbook, one laptop, one desktop, one server? Four basic machines, that should cover a ton of normal usages. Ya, it might not fill every niche, but for a lot of people it might work and they could make some hard cash.

  • Re:Dim and dimmer (Score:4, Interesting)

    by mhall119 ( 1035984 ) on Saturday April 24, 2010 @06:46PM (#31969918) Homepage Journal

    It's unfortunate that you had to go with the old "screw the techie" prediction, because the first part of your post was quite right and doesn't deserve to be grouped under the -1 Troll mod. Given Shuttleworth's own statements and actions, here's what I see the business plan being:

    0) It's nearly impossible to compete with Microsoft on non-OS products, because of their monopoly status.

    1) Take a product that has the potential to make an OS a commodity, nullifying Microsoft's major competitive advantage in ever other market.

    2) Turn that product into an actual competitor by matching or exceeding Windows in quality and features

    3) Get people using the product, and more importantly get vendors selling it

    4) Produce products that compete in a different market, and take advantage of having a free, commodity OS

    5) Profit on those other products now that MS can't use their Windows marketshare as the sole competitive advantage

  • by Undead Waffle ( 1447615 ) on Saturday April 24, 2010 @09:25PM (#31970800)

    What makes one Linux better than another?

    It always helps to try out different versions of linux. There are always little things that are different, or little things that work in one and not in another.

    For example, I run Ubuntu on my desktop and normally run Kubuntu on my laptop. Since Ubuntu is more Gnome-centered the KDE version would have little bugs here and there (updating to 9.04 killed wireless networking - had to switch to WICD with a wired connection, I had a bunch of "available updates" appearing in the updater, only to tell me I can't actually update them when I tried, etc.)

    I recently (this week) decided to try Fedora 12 and see if their KDE version is any better. The first thing I notice is that it uses nouveau by default for the graphics driver and they have decided to make it a pain in the ass to install the official nVidia driver. Also, dragging my finger along the right side of the touch pad to scroll doesn't work (it's a Thinkpad so that's the only thing I use the touch pad for. The eraser head is much better for moving the pointer.) I also noticed there is less stuff in the repository.

    I'm still using Fedora on my laptop because I like to keep up on the different options (hence Gnome on the desktop even though I prefer KDE). Every OS has its quirks and the different versions of linux are no different.

    For a server you have a whole different set of concerns and have to worry about reliability and how well the distro is tested for the types of applications you're using it for.

    So "better" depends partly on application and partly on personal preference in most cases.

  • Listen, it's not the most "hobby" OS: it's the OS used by people as a hobby (i.e. hobbyists).

If I have seen farther than others, it is because I was standing on the shoulders of giants. -- Isaac Newton