Canonical, best known for its distribution of Ubuntu Linux, recently launched several (paid) services with a focus on the OpenStack platform. Ubuntu Advantage Storage was announced by Canonical founder Mark Shuttleworth at the OpenStack Summit in Vancouver, Canada. Canonical describes the new service as “software-defined storage support service.”
Ubuntu Advantage Storage provides a cost-effective way for organizations to grow their storage infrastructure. The goal of the new service is to allow organizations to deploy their storage services on hardware clusters and route calls to specialist providers. Canonical will serve as the default level one support service. Canonical has partnered with open-source SDS storage services Ceph, Swift, NexentaEdge, and SwiftStack.
The thing that sets Ubuntu Advantage Storage apart from any of its competitors is that Canonical is only going to charge users according to the actual storage capacity they use instead of pricing per-node or according to total disk capacity – which virtually all of their competitors do. Canonical chose this pricing method because the company believes “you shouldn’t have to pay for replicas, and you shouldn’t have to pay for empty space.”
Canonical will offer different pricing plans based on whether customers wants support for the clouds they set up themselves, or ask Canonical to stand up for them from the get-go. The company intends to share revenue with the open source projects – like Ceph and Swift – that form the foundation of this project. Why? It seems Canonical is getting that question a lot since the launch of Ubuntu Advantage Storage and has already provided a go-to answer:
“Canonical wants to see open source technologies such as Ceph and Swift gain higher adoption, and believes increasing demand for storage will lead everyone to profit in the long run from lower software costs and the user of commodity hardware.”
It’s rumored that Canonical is planning on including other storage technologies in the Ubuntu Advantage Storage portfolio as the company is telling everyone to stay tuned for future announcements of other storage services and support features.