IBM's SoftLayer cloud division is now offering certified images of Canonical's Ubuntu Linux server platform, providing customers with access to optimised images for running on SoftLayer's bare metal and virtual servers.
Canonical's Ubuntu is the most widely deployed Linux distribution for running web servers, and the most commonly used platform for organisations building and operating clouds based on the OpenStack framework.
The company has now signed up SoftLayer to the Ubuntu Certified Public Cloud partner programme, enabling the cloud provider to offer certified Ubuntu cloud images, tuned and tested for its environment to ensure optimal performance on SoftLayer's virtual machine instances or the bare metal servers it provides for more demanding workloads.
The move was detailed on Canonical's Ubuntu Insights blog, where the firm said that this is just the latest in a series of collaborative efforts with IBM involving Linux support.
"This latest announcement nicely complements our recent work and broad partnership with IBM across platforms such as LinuxOne, Power and Z Systems," said Canonical director of business development Alexander Gallagher.
"Canonical builds, continually maintains, tests and updates certified Ubuntu images, making the latest versions available through SoftLayer within minutes of their official release by Canonical. This means that you will always have the latest, most up-to-date, and most secure version of Certified Ubuntu images."
Canonical's latest release of Ubuntu was 16.04 in April, which was significant because this is a long-term support release for which Canonical offers five years of updates and technical support to enterprise customers with a support agreement.
IBM acquired SoftLayer for its global cloud presence in 2013, and embarked on an ambitious expansion programme that saw the firm open its first UK data centre near London the following year.
One company that has already been running Ubuntu on the SoftLayer cloud is London-based startup Server Density.
"We moved to SoftLayer three years ago looking for bare metal servers with a great provisioning API and the option of adding virtualisation for specific workloads," said the firm's head of operations, Pedro Pessoa, in a statement.
"Now, with official Ubuntu images on SoftLayer, we look forward to an even more consistent experience across both machine types, optimised performance, frequent updates, timely security patches, and the option of purchasing enterprise-grade support."
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