How do you make money from Linux in the cloud? One potential route could be to open a store.
As part of its upcoming Karmic Koala release, Ubuntu Linux is set to integrate a number of new cloud technologies. One of the efforts will include a cloud software appliance store to help expedite setup and deployment of private clouds.
At the core of Ubuntu’s Karmic Koala cloud technologies is something called the Ubuntu Enterprise Cloud (UEC) which made its initial Ubuntu debut in the Jaunty Jackalope release in April. Full enterprise support services followed several months later. In the Karmic release, UEC is being more tightly integrated into the server as well as being enabled with a UEC store for applications. The move advances Ubuntu’s cloud strategy and could potentially bring in partners and cash to the Linux vendor.
“We’ve added an appliance store and what that does is as a first cut, is after you’ve installed UEC on your servers, you think about what do you want to put on your cloud?” Steve George, director of support and services at Ubuntu’s commercial sponsor Canonical told InternetNews.com. “So what we want to do here is to provide images of Ubuntu into an easily accessible location so you can download and inject those appliances into your cloud immediately and potentially take third party software or other free software and develop appliances that can be used in a UEC cloud.”
George added that right now the official name of the effort is the UEC store and the long term direction will evolve over the next number of Ubuntu releases.
The basic idea is to enable Ubuntu cloud users to be able to get their application cloud up and running as quickly and as easily as possible. The store idea is also a way for Ubuntu to ensure that the quality and security of cloud applications follows Ubuntu’s security and maintenance policies.
While the UEC store has the potential to be a revenue generating engine for Canonical, that’s not the focus for the Karmic release.
“At the moment this is not really a Canonical go to market strategy, it’s an Ubuntu technology and this is our first approach to it,” George said. “One the things we like to do is to take a new technology like UEC and make sure we’ve got it ready before we take it to partners.”
Partners, competition and private cloud computing
George commented that Canonical has in fact already had some conversations with potential partners about the UEC store, and he expect to have more conversations in the coming months.
In its quest for cloud partners, Canonical will come up against rival Linux distribution, Red Hat. In July, Red Hat announced its own partner cloud certification effort with Amazon as one of the key participants.
Red Hat’s certification effort is primarily about helping enterprises deploy their application with cloud provider partners. Ubuntu at this stage is focusing on a different direction.
“The core thing for us with UEC is the vision that corporate IT managers want cloud computing for is its agility and elasticity, but at the moment many of them can’t use a public infrastructure like Amazon,” George said. “So UEC is completely focused on the idea of private cloud computing.”
The Ubuntu Karmic Koala server release is currently scheduled for October 29th.