Ubuntu: More Apps, Lower Support Costs?
As Ubuntu 10.04 (Lucid Lynx) nears its April 2010 launch, Canonical is taking steps to make Ubuntu Linux more attractive to business customers. The efforts include new support pricing plus closer relationships with application developers. Here’s some analysis from The VAR Guy.
On the applications front, Canonical is raising its voice in the ISV (independent software vendor) community. The effort strives to make Ubuntu a more easily managed enterprise system. Two cases in point:
- Groundwork Open Source today unveiled a new network monitoring release that supports Ubuntu Server Edition. Groundwork already offers support for Red Hat and Novell environments.
- Likewise Software and Canonical are working closely to make sure Ubuntu can be managed from Microsoft’s Active Directory, notes ComputerWorld’s Cyber Cynic.
More Applications Coming?
Meanwhile, the Ubuntu community has launched a survey to determine which additional applications users would like to see easily installed on Ubuntu.
Perhaps the biggest move of all involves Canonical’s pricing for enterprise support. Canonical now charges US$1,200 per Ubuntu server for 24×7 annual support. The previous price had been $2,000. “As our volumes increase we’ve been able to drop the [support] price,” says Steve George, VP of sales and product management for corporate services at Canonical.
Channel to Success?
So, where do channel partners — folks like VARs and MSPs — fit into this story? Admittedly Canonical’s channel partner strategy remains a work in progress. But tools like Groundwork Open Source and Canonical’s own Landscape should allow VARs and MSPs to remotely manage and troubleshoot Ubuntu systems. And Likewise opens the door to integration projects involving Ubuntu and Windows systems.
But our story doesn’t end here. The VAR Guy has a hunch more Ubuntu ISVs will surface around the time Ubuntu 10.04 (Lucid Lynx) arrives.