Ubuntu Linux vendor Canonical is expanding its cloud horizons this week, thanks to a new cloud partnership with Dell.
Dell will be making the Ubuntu Enterprise Cloud (UEC) technology available on Dell PowerEdge C2100 and PowerEdge C6100 servers. The UEC deal marks a major milestone for Ubuntu as it moves from Dell (NASDAQ: DELL) desktops to servers.
"It is the first offer that involves Ubuntu Server Edition at Dell," Nicolas Barcet, Ubuntu Server product manager, told InternetNews.com. "So it's a major step extending the strong relationship we have had on Ubuntu Desktop and Netbook editions.
UEC has been part of the Ubuntu Linux distro since the Jaunty Jackalope release in April 2009. Subsequent Ubuntu releases have further improved on the technology that is based on the open source Eucalyptus project. In April 2010, Ubuntu told InternetNews.com that it had 12,000 active deployments of UEC, with 200 more being added each day.
The deal with Dell also involves some money, although it's not clear exactly how much.
"Dell receives a share of the UEC Assist contracts it sells; details are not public," Barcet said. "Dell does the entire sell, which includes the reselling of UEC Assists contracts."
As to why Dell has chosen now to make UEC available, Barcet noted that Dell and Canonical have been working on providing a simple and stable deployment methodology. That methodology is reflected in both reference architecture documents and a set of pre configuration files.
Looking beyond Dell, Barcet said UEC is not yet certified and integrated with hardware from other major system vendors, such as IBM or HP.
UEC offers Ubuntu users the promise of enabling their infrastructure to run as a private or even public cloud deployment. While the price utility of cloud computing economics has made it an attractive approach for some, some challenges that are still left to be overcome.
"Novelty of Infrastructure as a Service is the strongest barrier," Barcet said. "We believe that seeing trusted partners join forces to provide an end-to-end solution will help establish the solution."