The little distribution that could, Ubuntu Linux Server Edition supported by Canonical Ltd., announced that it was on its way to achieving certification on Hewlett-Packard’s ProLiant x86 servers. According to Canonical’s blog post on the topic:
The certification means HP will list Ubuntu as a supported operating system and verify the work undertaken by Canonical to ensure full certified compatibility. Furthermore both companies are fully co-operating at the engineering level to provide full underlying confidence for HP customers using the certified servers.
HP won’t be shipping servers with Ubuntu preloaded. But, as Canonical marketing manager Gerry Carr explained to me, the certification will provide HP customers with assurance that if they sideload Ubuntu, it will work with specific information regarding performance. This news follows Canonical’s announcement of user survey results that revealed an uptick in adoption of the server-based operating system in a variety of mission-critical Web and database applications. The surveyed Ubuntu users shared that they mostly use the OS on assembled servers and tower and desktop PCs.
However, Carr explained that “It appears to be that HP ProLiant is the second most popular [server] brand behind Dell PowerEdge servers. I expect that is consistent across the unknown Ubuntu users out there.”
For an example of who is using Ubuntu, Canonical shared the story of a Chicago-based finance house that runs entirely on Ubuntu server and runs their open and proprietary stack on primarily HP machines, with some Dell in the mix.
In his blog post regarding the announcement, Joe Panettieri of WorksWithU, an Ubuntu dedicated news website, explained the history of Canonical’s Ubuntu Server edition initiative. He shared that a recent site reader survey revealed growing momentum for Ubuntu in the enterprise market. However, the big players (Windows Server, Red Hat Enterprise Linux and Novell SUSE Linux) continue to lead the way in both mind and market share.
Al Gillen, VP in charge of system software research with IDC, echoed this perspective in a statement to Ed Scannell of Information Week:
“In terms of noise level, Ubuntu has been hot lately. But the ecosystem simply isn’t as mature for Ubuntu as it is for Red Hat and SUSE Linux. They do not have the level of application support and data base support, and some other things that you need to be enterprise ready.”
Ubuntu achieved certification on Sun’s x64 servers in early 2008, around the time Canonical released Ubuntu 8.04 LTS.
Carr shared that Canonical is working to see Ubuntu certified on all the major manufacturer servers in the next few years. The timing of certification on HP’s servers is unclear, but is underway and Carr expects to see it “sometime soon.”