Even thought it hasn't reached that level of security found in Red Hat Enterprise Linux or SuSE Linux Enterprise Server, Ubuntu Server 8.10 is an outstanding enterprise-ready server Linux-based operating system for SMB organizations.
- CPU at least 300MHz (x86)
- Memory at least 128MB
- Hard Drive at least 500MB
- Video Card VGA @ 640x480
- License: GPL
- Cost: Free
- Additional information
Who's it for?
The best clients for Ubuntu Server 8.10 are small to mid-size enterprises that need reliable and available data centers up and running fast. Larger enterprises might want to look towards the Red Hat or Novell offerings as they bring a much higher level of security to the table.
What problem does it solve?
Ubuntu Server 8.10 serves as a perfect mid-level server for businesses that are not looking for the ability to scale to large enterprise requirements. Ubuntu Server 8.10 gives server administrators a sensible solution that is easy to install, requires little-to-no babysitting, is secure, and is scalable, at least to a degree.
When considering Ubuntu 8.10 as a server one can not overlook the cost. What Ubuntu server 8.10 does is empower an IT department who is short on budget, but long on needs.
- Kernels: 2.6.27 tickless/no preemption/deadline I/O/PAE/100Hz, JeOS 2.6.27 stripped for virtualization
- Web: Apache 2.2 with event/prefork/worker/dev, Tomcat 6
- Database: MySQL 5 and PostgreSQL 8.3
- E-mail: Dovecot 1.1, Postfix 2.5, Exim 4.69, SpamAssasin 3.2, ClamAV 0.94, amavisd-new 2.6
- Languages: PHP 5.2, Perl 5.10, Python 2.5, Gcc 4.3, Ruby 4.2
- Networking: LTSP 5.1, Samba 3.2, OpenLDAP 2.4, OpenVPN 2.1, FreeRadius 1.1
- Monitoring: Munin 1.2, Nagios 3
- Backup: Bacula 2.4, BackupPC 3.1
- Package Management: Aptitude 0.4, APT 0.7, Dpkg 1.14
- Security: AppArmor 2.3, iptables 1.4, ufw 0.23
- Clustering: Ocfs 2, Gfs 2, RH-Cluster 2, DRDB 8
- Virtualization: KVM 72, Libvirt 0.4, Virt-Manager 0.5
- Storage: Lvm 2, aoetools 26, openiscsi 2.0
One of the issues plaguing Ubuntu on the enterprise level is high availability. The reason this is often considered a problem is, out of the box, Ubuntu Server doesn't include some of the tools necessary for redundancy or high availability. However, this really doesn't have to be an issue.
Installing the heartbeat package is as simple as issuing sudo apt-get install heartbeat. All dependencies will be installed and heartbeat will be ready to configure. Of course heartbeat is a cluster-aware package so more than one server will need to be up and running for this to work.
So the myth that Ubuntu server can not do high availability is just that — a myth. To state that "out of the box Ubuntu Server 8.10 can not handle high availability" would be closer to the truth. It requires some further installation and configuration.
Bottom line for business
There are many alternatives for a server operating system, but few of them are as reliable at such low initial cost. If your business is looking for a solid server OS, but doesn't need to scale to large numbers, Ubuntu Server 8.10 will serve you just fine.
Have you deployed Ubuntu Server 8.10? If so, how would you rate your experience? Rate this operating system below and compare your results to what other TechRepublic members think.
Jack Wallen is an award-winning writer for TechRepublic and Linux.com. He’s an avid promoter of open source and the voice of The Android Expert. For more news about Jack Wallen, visit his website getjackd.net.