Are Ubuntu servers and desktops easy for enterprises to manage? Before you answer, consider some recent and upcoming moves involving Bomgar, Kaseya, Likewise Software, Groundwork Open Source and Canonical itself. Here are some observations.

During most of 2009, Canonical kept polishing Landscape -- a remote management platform for Ubuntu servers, desktops, mobile devices and even cloud environments. Originally, Landscape was offered only as a SaaS (software as a service) platform. But by mid-2009, Canonical introduced Landscape Dedicated Server -- an on-premise solution.

Making Their Moves

Fast forward to the present and a range of software companies are joining the Ubuntu enterprise management party. A few recent and forthcoming examples include:
  • Groundwork Open Source's GWOS Monitor Enterprise 6.1 now offers Ubuntu support. Groundwork positions itself as a network monitoring alternative to the Big 4 options (CA, BMC, HP Openview and IBM Tivoli).
  • Kaseya in February 2010 plans to launch Kaseya 2, an on-premise and SaaS framework for VARs and IT administrators to remotely manage systems. Kaseya Executive VP Jim Alves says Linux support -- including Ubuntu support -- will arrive this year.
  • Likewise Software, which specializes in Apple, Unix, Linux and Active Directory integration, is building a closer relationship with Canonical and Ubuntu.
  • Canonical is expected to debut another Landscape upgrade sometime after Ubuntu 10.04 (Lucid Lynx) arrives in April 2010.
  • Bomgar, which makes appliance-based remote support software, already supports Ubuntu. But it's safe to expect the company to make additional moves.

Reality Check

Of course, I realize new product launches don't guarantee customer or IT administrator success. WorksWithU plans to track a range of Ubuntu enterprise deployments more closely in 2010. Hopefully, our efforts will reveal best practices for remotely, proactively managing Ubuntu in the enterprise.