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Canonical announced on Tuesday that Ubuntu Pro is available in a subscription-included model on Amazon Web Services. With Ubuntu Pro on AWS, users can launch Ubuntu Pro on-demand instances and purchase Ubuntu Pro compute savings plans directly from the Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud console. The new product is available in all AWS regions, including AWS GovCloud (U.S.) regions.

AWS and Canonical also announced an in-place upgrade for existing customers of Ubuntu LTS to Ubuntu Pro using AWS License Manager.

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How to get Ubuntu Pro on AWS

If you want to get Ubuntu Pro on AWS, go to the Amazon EC2 console, select Launch An Instance and find the latest Ubuntu Pro 22.04 AMI in the Quick Start section.

Other Amazon EC2 subscription-included versions of Ubuntu Pro, such as Ubuntu Pro 16.04, 18.04 and 20.04, are now available in the AWS Marketplace and billed through Amazon EC2.

Benefits of Ubuntu Pro on AWS

With 10 years of enhanced common vulnerability and exposure patching, access to advanced compliance tools, and cryptographic packages necessary for those working with U.S. federal government agencies, enterprises and developers can benefit from Ubuntu Pro on AWS.

“Overall, the benefits that come from Ubuntu Pro highlight security, provenance and control,” said Carlos Bravo, cloud alliances director at Canonical. “It’s a one-stop shop for getting all OSS under the security coverage. Companies no longer need to wait for the community to release a fix or get another contract with the package vendor.

“This is a huge improvement for developers and for companies. It changes the pricing from a per-hour to a per-second basis and includes all the features of Ubuntu Pro without the hassle of deploying from the AWS marketplace.”

When users run Ubuntu machines on AWS, they get expanded security maintenance and kernel livepatch, and they can harden scripts out of the box. All of the new features of Ubuntu Pro on AWS are enabled by default.

Ubuntu Pro on public cloud and Ubuntu Pro (Infra-Only), which are the same version but different subscriptions, have the necessary certifications and controls to comply with DISA-STIG guidelines on Linux. Security Technical Implementation Guides are developed by the Defense Information System Agency for the U.S. Department of Defense.

“Customers across various industries run a wide range of mission-critical enterprise applications using Ubuntu on AWS,” Fred Wurden, vice president of commercial software services at AWS, said in a press release about the launch. “With Ubuntu Pro’s extended five-year security maintenance commitment, customers can rest easy that patches will be available so they can focus on delivering value to their customers.”

“We’re excited to offer our customers an easy and efficient way to manage their computing resources on the cloud,” Alex Gallagher, general manager and vice president at Canonical, said in the press release. “Our customers have long-described the need for a consistent approach to supporting and securing open-source software without jeopardizing the agility or freedom to utilize open-source resources.”

Should you upgrade to Ubuntu Pro?

If your company is already using Ubuntu on Amazon and you’re wondering whether to upgrade, Ubuntu Pro has several upgrades that enhance DevSecOps, testing, deployment and maintenance. And compared to the popular Ubuntu LTS, Ubuntu Pro is a significant upgrade.

Features of Ubuntu Pro

  • The new version extends security patches from five to 10 years of enhanced common vulnerability and exposure patching.
  • It has over 2,300 packages in the Ubuntu Main repository.
  • It has over 23,000 packages in the Ubuntu Universe repository.
  • Ubuntu Pro adds optional phone and ticket support.
  • It includes kernel livepatch and real-time kernel.
  • It offers systems management at scale with Landscape.
  • Ubuntu Pro is priced on a cloud-centric model based on the vCPU of the EC2 instance, allowing customers to use it at a fraction of their EC2 costs.

“From a security standpoint, Pro is a huge improvement over regular Ubuntu,” Bravo said. “It comes with kernel livepatch and automated hardening scripts against industry profiles, but most importantly, ESM apps gives DevSecOps one place to source open-source software (controlled province) under SLAd security coverage. So, it improves the security and governance of open source consumption.”

ESM apps stand for Expanded Security Maintenance apps, which is a term Canonical uses to designate the resources that have 10 years of security updates included.

“Automation and security are two strong pillars in DevSecOps,” Bravo added.

Bravo assured the automation is better because Ubuntu Pro is now an embedded EC2 option; it is easier to include the Amazon machine images into many other AWS services or customer pipelines.

Considering Ubuntu’s strengths and OSS security weaknesses

In 2021, the HackerEarth Developer Survey revealed that professional developers chose Ubuntu as the top Linux operating system, and there are strong reasons behind the choice. The OS is known for being stable, super fast and user friendly; also, users can benefit from the strong support the vibrant community of Ubuntu users provide.

Ubuntu is known for providing security, compliance and solutions that help reverse these open-source challenges, and this has been the main driver behind its mainstream implementation.

This is important because the use of open source prevails in every major industry in the world, serving as a foundational codebase for business-critical digital operations.

However, its risks and security threats are at an all-time high, according to the 2023 Synopsys Open Source Security and Risk Analysis report. This report examined 1,700 codebases across 17 industries; it found that 96% of scanned codebases contained open source and 84% of these had at least one vulnerability, with almost half (48%) containing high-risks threats.

SEE: Top 10 open-source security and operational risks of 2023 (TechRepublic)

Additionally, the study revealed that 89% of open-source codebases evaluated were more than four years outdated, and 91% contained components that weren’t the current version or had not received development activity in the last two years.

“Having Ubuntu Pro available from the earliest possible moment not only satisfies the needs of the developers but also the operations and security teams,” Gallagher said. “This freedom to harness the full potential of open-source software … without compromise enhances operations and reduces the time to value for our customers.

“Ubuntu Pro simplifies the management process, making it easier for businesses and developers to focus on building great applications and growing their business.”

What’s next for Canonical and AWS?

“We will build on these wins to provide customers with Ubuntu Pro in areas beyond just computing,” Bravo said.

In addition, Bravo assured that Canonical is looking forward to strengthening its partnership with AWS.

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This is your go-to resource for the latest news and tips on the following topics and more, XaaS, AWS, Microsoft Azure, DevOps, virtualization, the hybrid cloud, and cloud security. Delivered Mondays and Wednesdays