There are some small but significant differences in how large and small businesses use Ubuntu. Larger companies-those with 500 or more servers-use Ubuntu more for clustering, batch processing, systems management and data mining than do smaller companies, but they have more of a requirement for these types of workloads, Canonical said.
There is a small spike of use for larger enterprises using Ubuntu for development and testing. Given that there are free updates and maintenance, a clear upgrade path to a long-term supported platform, and a support model for when the server is needed in production, this makes sense for this type of user.
"Clearly, we have businesses of all sizes using Ubuntu to run what they consider to be mission-critical applications," George said. "But do they consider Ubuntu to be mission-critical ready, or merely a convenient, and often free, way of running the tools?"
Regarding the two areas users said they are expecting more from Ubuntu in the future-virtualization and cloud computing-George emphasized Ubuntu's existing capabilities in both areas, with KVM in virtualization and running a version of Ubuntu on Amazon's Elastic Compute Cloud.
In terms of virtualization, the Ubuntu report based on the survey said:
"The two most popular open-source technologies KVM and Xen are increasingly prominent across all business sizes, which tells an interesting tale in terms of enterprise usage. The quick rise of KVM is important as it indicates that Ubuntu made the right choice to select it as our maintained technology. Ubuntu was the first distribution to make KVM the default fully maintained and supported technology with 8.04 LTS."
Regarding cloud computing and Ubuntu, the report said:
"Many users think the cloud is ready, they believe Ubuntu would be a good platform for it, but not that many have decided to deploy it yet. That's not surprising given the maturity levels of the technologies available in the market currently. We believe in Ubuntu as a platform for innovation, and we will be looking at ways of delivering cloud into businesses simply and securely on Ubuntu Server Edition along with explaining how it can provide real value to companies as an infrastructure model."