While most major server vendors take a "wait and see" approach to Ubuntu, a major Canadian Web host says the server operating system is ready for prime time. Indeed, Cirrus Tech is now offering Ubuntu on its server hosting plans. Here's a closer look at Cirrus Tech's announcement, and the state of Ubuntu on the server.

Cirrus Tech's Ubuntu server move comes less than two weeks after I noted Canonical's Ubuntu server push is progressing slowly. Still, a few more small victories resembling Cirrus Tech could help Ubuntu to gradually gain mind share -- and market share -- on servers.

In addition to Ubuntu, Cirrus Tech says it offers Fedora Core, CentOS and Debian as Linux server options. Cirrus introduced Ubuntu server support because customers have been requesting it "for some time now," according to a prepared statement from Mani Aminian, a sales manager at Cirrus. Aminian adds that Cirrus has experienced no problems running Ubuntu on the company's servers.

Meanwhile, most major server vendors continue to take a "wait and see" approach to Ubuntu servers. While Sun offers Ubuntu servers, rival hardware makers like Dell, Hewlett-Packard and IBM remain on the sidelines.

Sensing Opportunity

Smaller server vendors, however, are making progress with Ubuntu. System76, for instance, offers a range of Ubuntu-certified servers. And I've received dozens of inquiries from white box PC makers who are testing Ubuntu as a small business server.

Application providers are gradually climbing aboard as well. Untangle, an open source security specialist, now writes its applications to support Ubuntu servers, according to MSPmentor.

Still, Ubuntu's momentum on the server remains a work in progress.