Zmanda CEO Chander KantWhen Ubuntu 9.04 (Jaunty Jackalope) launches in April, Zmanda -- the open source backup company -- will stand next to Canonical in full support of the Linux distribution. I got early details from Zmanda CEO Chander Kant (pictured) today during an extensive conversation in New York City.

Kant was in Manhattan to discuss Zmanda's support of Sun Microsystems' new open cloud computing platform -- which is expected to compete with Amazon's Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) and Simple Storage Service (S3).

During our discussion, we covered a range of topics including Zmanda's:
  • Channel and cloud strategy (updates coming soon on
  • Managed service provider strategy (details on
  • Upcoming Ubuntu 9.04 support

Kant's Journey to Ubuntu

Kant affirmed Zmanda's ongoing commitment to numerous Linux distributions. In fact, he was heading off to a Novell meeting following our discussion. (Stay tuned for potential news about Zmanda virtual appliances running on SUSE Linux.)

But when we sat down together, I noticed Kant's laptop running Ubuntu. So in terms of his personal productivity, Kant is all Ubuntu all the time.

Kant fully switched to Ubuntu because of Linux's continued improvements plus the movement of Windows applications into the cloud. An example: He had relied on Windows to run TurboTax -- but when the tax preparation software gained a SaaS (software as a service) option, he was free to unplug from Windows.

Zmanda and Ubuntu

Zmanda already offers a software agent for Ubuntu, but the company will take that support "to the next level" by offering a console for Ubuntu 9.04, according to Kant. "As we watched the Ubuntu Server [Edition] market, we saw a spike in demand last year," said Kant. Translation: Kant new it was time for Zmanda to dedicate more time to Ubuntu.

Still, it's important to keep Ubuntu's momentum in perspective. Ubuntu is among the top four or five agent downloads for Zmanda, Kant says. But in terms of paying customers, the vast majority if Zmanda's installed base runs such platforms as Red Hat Enterprise Linux, Windows, Oracle and MySQL, Kant adds.

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