Ubuntu developer Canonical has made available a virtual appliance built around a version of IBM's DB2 relational database.
The release will enable customers to quickly build database services within private or public clouds based on Ubuntu, according to the firm.
This enables customers to quickly provision a database to support a project or application, using an internal private cloud or a public cloud such as Amazon's EC2, making it a fully open-source alternative to Microsoft's SQL Azure service.
The move is "filling out Ubuntu's cloud story", according to Gerry Carr, platform marketing manager at Canonical, and builds on the Ubuntu Enterprise Cloud (UEC) infrastructure support introduced in the previous 9.10 release of the platform.
Carr explained that UEC is built around the Eucalyptus open-source implementation of Amazon's EC2 platform, which enables customers to build their own internal cloud compatible with Amazon Web Services that can be managed using the same tools.
"With DB2 Express-C available as an appliance, you can provision a database internally running on UEC or on public infrastructure, or potentially a hybrid of both," said Carr.
DB2 Express-C sets no restrictions on database size or number of users, but has some limitations when compared to the full DB2; it only supports up to two processor cores and up to 2GB of memory, for example.
This makes it suitable for small to medium sized businesses with heavy data requirements, according to Canonical, and for developers and service providers looking to offer solutions for such customers.
The DB2 Express-C virtual appliance is available to install via the Ubuntu Software Store tool built into recent versions of the platform, Carr said.
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