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Top Ten Reasons Why Ubuntu Is Best for Enterprise Use




Top Ten Reasons Why Ubuntu Is Best for Enterprise Use
Top Ten Reasons Why Ubuntu Is Best for Enterprise Use



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http://www.cio.com/article/155753 

Mark Shuttleworth
founder of the Ubuntu Project
CIO
November 16, 2007  

Ubuntu is the darling of the Linux desktop space. Voted No. 16 in PC 
World's Top 100 Products for 2007 and now coming as an option for Dell 
users straight out of the box, this Linux distribution is increasingly 
deployed on corporate networks. With a free server edition, a 
professional support organization and a growing band of enthusiasts in 
and around the IT divisions of enterprises, there are many reasons to 
consider Ubuntu when looking for a Linux solution. Here are the top 10 
reasons why Ubuntu is best for enterprise use.


1. Users Love It

Ubuntu has made ease of use a priority. Deploying Linux desktops across 
the enterprise was often seen as challenging for users who would balk at 
using command shells. Ubuntu brings a fresh but familiar GUI environment 
to the Linux desktop experience. Standard applications, easy Web and 
wireless access, reasonable resource requirements=E2=80=94the user experience 
with Ubuntu is reassuringly straightforward and predictable for typical 
tasks.


2. The Platform Has Excellent Support

For those who want commercial support, Canonical offers 24/7 and 8 a.m. 
to 5 p.m. support contracts for servers and desktops with strong SLAs. 
There is also a global ecosystem of solution providers who work with 
Ubuntu, and a very large community of developers and enthusiasts who 
will often help to resolve issues online, free of charge.


3. Cost Savings

Many CIOs have already deployed Linux as a cost-effective replacement 
for UNIX. But Ubuntu goes further, eliminating per-seat license costs 
entirely, on both the desktop and the server, and allowing enterprise 
deployments of identical code on developer workstations and production 
servers with no license counting required. Companies can purchase 
support contracts for the classes of machines where they actually want 
access to SLA-based support, rather than being forced to pay a per-seat 
cost for every machine regardless of its support requirement.


4. A Superlative Security Record

Security is a top priority for Ubuntu, which has been rated No. 1 for 
security update quality and responsiveness in recent studies. Security 
updates are freely available to all users of Ubuntu, with no 
subscription required. Ubuntu is also conservative with updates; every 
change made to the operating system or to the base applications is peer 
reviewed for security. And of course, being an open source platform, 
Ubuntu inherits the positive security characteristics of Linux in 
general.


5. Frictionless Deployment

Whether on the desktop, the server or through a thin client, Ubuntu is 
extremely easy to deploy. Single-disk deployment of a functioning system 
in half an hour means there is no delay or difficulty in getting users 
up and running. Also, since there are no license fees, there is no 
reason to have different environments for testing, development and 
production, and companies find they can move new infrastructure into 
place much more efficiently.


6. A Huge Selection of Applications and Tools

There are more than 20,000 packages immediately available to Ubuntu 
users. These include the largest selection of open-source tools and a 
growing list of proprietary solutions. With Ubuntu, you can pick and 
choose the packages that make sense for your organization and build a 
specific system for your company. Ubuntu is not a one-size-fits-all 
proposition; companies routinely develop their own in-house system 
images, which include additional tools and configurations that are 
appropriate for integration into their networks. Of course, the default 
Ubuntu installation is a commonsense starting point that meets the needs 
of most system administrators and office workers.


7. Thin Client Joy

Thin-client deployments have dramatically lower TCO than traditional 
workstation-style software deployments. Ubuntu is a leader in 
thin-client technology, supporting more thin-client architectures than 
any other enterprise version of Linux. With the Web browser fast 
becoming the de facto standard interface to internal corporate 
applications, thin-client deployments offer significant advantages to 
companies building out new offices. Think of a call center environment 
with multiple stations talking to the same Web-based booking 
application. With Ubuntu, a central server can run the desktop 
environment for up to 30 users, making upgrades and maintenance a matter 
of maintaining a single server or cluster.


8. Unleash Your IT Talent

Open source and free software is built on participation, community and 
collaboration. With Ubuntu, your IT team has extraordinary visibility 
into the design and engineering behind the operating system and has the 
opportunity to reshape that infrastructure to suit your needs better. 
Increasingly, corporations who use free software like Ubuntu encourage 
their IT staff to work directly with the developers of the tools they 
use. It's the most empowering opportunity you can present to your teams 
and will produce returns in better software, more motivated staff and 
improved skill levels within the organization.


9. Access A Whole New Skills Pool

Companies like Google make heavy use of free software and recruit talent 
from the free software community, too. Many top IT graduates today list 
the ability to work with free software as a significant factor in their 
choice of employer. Companies that have good insight into the free 
software world and use Linux in appropriate ways are able to attract 
those graduates and offer them a more productive work environment.


10. Predictable Releases

Ubuntu makes a new release every six months, which includes full support 
for the latest hardware and free software applications. Those releases 
are maintained with free security updates for 18 months. Every two to 
three years, Ubuntu makes a Long Term Support release which is supported 
for three years on desktops and five years on servers. Upgrades from 
release to release are fully supported and can often be automated. 
Organizations have the freedom to choose the optimal mix of cutting-edge 
and long-term releases for their needs.

With such compelling reasons, how can you go wrong with Ubuntu?

-=-

Mark Shuttleworth is founder of the Ubuntu Project, an enterprise Linux 
distribution that is freely available worldwide and has both 
cutting-edge desktop and enterprise server editions. He founded Thawte, 
a company specializing in digital certificates and cryptography, which 
he sold to VeriSign in 1999, and founded HBD Venture Capital and The 
Shuttleworth Foundation. He also flew in space as a cosmonaut member of 
the crew of Soyuz mission TM34 to the International Space Station.

=C2=A9 2007 CXO Media Inc.


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