I believe we’re about to see Ubuntu reach another tipping point, this time on the server. While thousands — perhaps, millions? — of users discover Ubuntu desktops, the Linux operating system is beginning to gain traction on servers as well.
The latest example: System76 Inc., a small but well-respected Ubuntu PC supplier, has announced a line of systems certified for Ubuntu 7.10 Server Edition. You can find more info about the rack-mount servers at http://system76.com/servers.
This isn’t an isolated event. It’s safe to expect some big name companies to evangelize Ubuntu servers sometime this year — especially as Ubuntu 8.04 (code named Hardy Heron) approaches its April 2008 release.
There have also been multiple widespread reports that Dell will begin to promote Ubuntu-certified servers sometime this year. Much of that Dell/Ubuntu server buzz began in late November 2007. I expect to visit Dell within the next few weeks, and will seek an update on that speculation.
Canonical began its heavy server emphasis back in mid-2007 during the Ubuntu Live event in Portland, Oregon. Check out item 49 on this list of 50 Ubuntu trends from that event.
Competing against established rivals like Red Hat and Novell SuSE Linux in corporate data centers could prove difficult for Ubuntu. But perhaps that’s not the point. Many integrators are seeking Linux-oriented servers and hosted Linux services for small business.
In those scenarios, Ubuntu Linux could potentially offer a compelling alternative to Windows Server, All About Ubuntu believes.