According to an official OpenStack User Survey Ubuntu is the most used Operating System for production deployment of OpenStack. OpenStack is an Open Source project to build a framework for the creation of cloud platforms, predominately Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) platforms. The survey found that Ubuntu accounts for 55% of the host Operating Systems used for OpenStack deployments, CentOS accounts for 24% and Red Hat for 10%. These results are not completely surprising as Canonical invests heavily in Ubuntu’s OpenStack development, it was one of the founding members of The OpenStack Foundation and is a Platinum Sponsor of the foundation.
Commenting on the survey, Mark Shuttleworth, the founder of Ubuntu and Canonical said, “We were founding members and are platinum sponsors of the OpenStack Foundation. But what’s more important to us, is that most OpenStack development happens on Ubuntu. We take the needs of OpenStack developers very seriously – for 14.04 LTS, our upcoming bi-annual enterprise release, a significant part of our product requirements were driven by the goal of supporting large-scale enterprise deployments of OpenStack with high availability as a baseline. Our partners like HP, who run one of the largest OpenStack public cloud offerings, invest heavily in OpenStack’s CI and test capabilities, ensuring that OpenStack on Ubuntu is of high quality for anybody who chooses the same base platform.”
Cloud is major area of development for Ubuntu and it seems to be paying off for them. Red Hat and CentOS are seen as Ubuntu’s biggest competition in the enterprise Linux market, so to have a larger user base than both combined in OpenStack deployments is great news for Canonical.
Mark described in his blog Canonical have positioned themselves as the best choice for OpenStack deployments. OpenStack and Ubuntu have the same release cycle (6 months), they maintain a stable release archive of OpenStack releases for Ubuntu LTS (Long Term Support) and provide a clear upgrade path as new versions of OpenStack and Ubuntu are released. This means that operators have less headaches when they want to deploy OpenStack and can focus on building they’re cloud services.
As seen in the survey these efforts seem to be paying off for Ubuntu and as adoption of OpenStack continues to grow, so will the adoption of Ubuntu. Its often easy to forget that Ubuntu relies on its parent company Canonical to make money to continue its development. Canonical does this by selling support to enterprise customers. So any increase in the number of enterprise customers is good news for the average Ubuntu user as it means more resources for Canonical to continue to develop and improve Ubuntu.