[sf-lug] [Ubuntu-US-CA] REVIEW: Quick Assessment of Canonical's Landscape Management tool for Ubuntu Infrastructures

Steve George steve.george at canonical.com
Sun Oct 14 12:07:04 PDT 2007


On Fri, 2007-10-12 at 09:59 -0700, Kristian Erik Hermansen wrote:
> On 10/12/07, Steve George <steve.george at canonical.com> wrote:
> > Just to clarify Landscape is available Free (no charge) during the beta
> > period.  You can register for a trial here:
> > http://www.canonical.com/contact/forms/landscape
> >
> > What we ask is that users provide feedback. We want to make Landscape an
> > outstanding service for systems administrators, so we need them to tell
> > us what's great, what needs further work and what they'd like to see in
> > the future.
> >
> > As you noted it's also available for customers who've purchased a
> > support contract from Canonical.
> Will the landscape-server package ever be released to the public so
> that institutions such as education will not need to subscribe to use
> it?  For instance, my friend David Terrell at the University of
> Massachusetts Amherst would like to make use of Landscape for the
> IBM-sponsored Linux lab there.  However, the budget for such things is
> very small.  I think that there would be a great benefit in allowing
> educational institutions access to this tool at no charge.  The
> benefits are that if universities adopt Ubuntu, Canonical stands to
> gain a larger consumer base.  Presumably this is good for your
> company.  Additionally, I think that students are genuinely excited
> and will provide the best feedback on your Landscape product.

There aren't any plans to release Landscape as Free Software at the
moment. Landscape aims to be a commercial service that provides optional
and supporting services to users deploying and managing Ubuntu.

At a commercial level we're focused on trying to provide optional and
valuable services.  That's one of the ways that we intend to pay for
Ubuntu. You should note the optional word as that's very important. We
will never lock-in Ubuntu users.  

I don't that this is antithetical to our goal of spreading Free Software
and Linux as widely as possible.  On the Free Software side we've
licensed the client and we've made as many of the server components Free
Software as possible.  If there are other components that we can mature
and abstract we'll make those available as well.

> And just to make it clear, I already heard a grumbling that "this is
> starting to look like Red Hat network".  It is my hope that you will
> consider always keeping Landscape available at no charge to academic
> institutions.  And if the cost on your end would be too high, how
> about releasing an open source version of landscape-server so that
> Universities could run it on their end without utilizing Canonical
> resources (polling, updating, etc).  When I attended UMass, we really
> sparked a high adoption rate for Linux on campus.  In fact, many
> people will tell you about the infamous Steve Ballmer event when he
> came to town and we dressed up as penguins for his arrival.  There is
> a video on google somewhere of this (but we missed Ballmer).  The
> members are very active both inside and outside of school, and there
> is a wealth of talent here.

I don't think that RHN and Landscape are comparable as one is required
while the other is optional.  A fundamental difference is that as part
of the 'Ubuntu Promise' Canonical has committed to Ubuntu always being
freely available without constraint.

We feel very close to the academic world and put resources into things
like Edubuntu to try and encourage both Linux and Free Software use as
much as possible.  We can't afford to provide Landscape for free but I'd
definitely like to encourage academic use.  

Part of the reason for the trial is to learn from the user-base both at
a commercial and technical level.  So if academic institutions/users are
interested in Landscape I encourage you to try it out and as we proceed
through the trials help us to guide it's development

> Please follow-up and let us know what your plans are for Landscape.
> Many of us are very excited about the offering :-)

I hope this has helped provide some insight and I hope everyone will
continue to be very excited about Landscape!



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