Canonical, the commercial sponsor of Ubuntu Linux, and analyst firm RedMonk have released findings of a survey sent to thousands of Ubuntu users that show usage patterns for the Ubuntu server product.
In an interview with eWEEK about the results of the Ubuntu user survey, Steve George, director of support and services for Canonical, said the survey, completed by nearly 7,000 respondents, shows that Ubuntu is being used in most common workloads, such as Web, file, database and mail server, and is considered "mission-critical" by most respondents.
Indeed, the survey indicates not only that users are primarily using Ubuntu for such common workloads, but also that the security, backup and firewall areas are important workloads being run on Ubuntu, George said.
The survey, which George said is Canonical's most "in-depth" survey to date, also shows a correlation between these workloads and those that users consider mission-critical. Moreover, to underpin these mission-critical uses, respondents considered simple upgrades, package management, hardware support, proven security and the life cycle of the product as vital to their choice of platform, Canonical officials said. The survey went on to ask about preferred technologies and asked users to share what applications they used on Ubuntu and Linux in their businesses.
Looking to the future, the report asked about what virtualization technologies users were employing and sought opinions about the readiness of cloud computing for the enterprise and about Ubuntu as a platform for cloud computing, George said. Users also strongly indicated their intent to add Ubuntu servers to their data centers in the immediate and long term. In addition, Ubuntu 8.04 LTS (Long Term Support) was a clear favorite in terms of platform use.
"We don't keep a record of who downloads and uses our software, but we do a few surveys each year" to get a sense of what users are doing and what they are looking for, George said. "There is a wealth of organizations using it for enterprise workloads. I think we have been pleasantly surprised by the fact that Ubuntu is making good progress as a server platform."
George said all the information from the survey as well as input and suggestions from users for tweaks, improvements, bug fixes and new features will be taken into consideration and even discussed at the Ubuntu Development Summit.
Ubuntu on the server is primarily used in Europe and North America, with more than 55 percent of respondents saying they were in Europe and 28 percent in North America.