Hewlett-Packard and Ubuntu serversDuring a phone briefing with media that continues right now, Canonical CEO Mark Shuttleworth said Ubuntu Server Edition 9.04 has been tested to run on 45 different server configurations from IBM, Sun Microsystems, Hewlett-Packard, Dell, Lenovo and smaller providers. Shuttleworth also hinted that Canonical's server relationship with HP is growing stronger. Here are the details.

According to Shuttleworth, Ubuntu 9.04 Server edition is the first Canonical release to be fully tested on so many server configurations prior to an Ubuntu upgrade launch.

Shuttleworth also hinted that a closer working relationship with HP's server team is expected to be announced within weeks. According to sources I've spoken with, the relationship will not involve HP preloading Ubuntu Server Edition -- at least not initially. Instead, the HP relationship will initially involve compatibility testing and full certifcation of ProLiant servers to run Ubuntu Server Edition 9.04. Shuttlworth confirmed that forthcoming news with his own statements during the media briefing.

And longer term, the sources say, Canonical continues to negotiate server pre-load agreements with HP and other server providers -- though there's no guarantee such deals will come to fruition.

Also, Ubuntu Server 9.04 specifically targets Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) , he added. "It's the fastest, easiest way to deploy Ubuntu on the server," said Shuttleworth.

Shuttleworth also said Google is using Ubuntu Server as the glue to hold together the company's IT infrastructure. "It's the thing you'd use Windows for if you didn't know better," he quipped.

More News Coming

During an open Q&A, Shuttleworth said that customers should expect a major netbook OEM announcement within the next couple of weeks or months. Also, when answering a question about the Canonical-Dell relationship, Shuttleworth said the engagement continues to expand.

He noted that Dell's Ubuntu efforts involve three programs: Netbooks, Linux enthusiasts aimed at high-end developers, and high-volume Vostro programs in India and China.

On the downside, though, Shuttleworth politely declined to answer a question about Canonical's channel strategy for Ubuntu, stating that the question is best directed off-line to Canonical's channel program managers. That answer suggests that the Canonical partner program remains a work in progress.

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