Enterprise support instead of a business remix

In the last “Ask Mark” section that occurred on 2001/11/23 our supreme dictator for life showed up for questions (log can be found here) Mr. Shuttleworth mentions “we’re going to do a business desktop remix, because lots of people want a remix without the social bits…”  And I wonder just who wants this business remix?  Are there customers who are actively looking to replace Windows w/ Ubuntu but are just looking for the “social” to be removed?  I would argue we don’t need a new remix of Ubuntu, we need 3rd party support of Ubuntu instead.

Let me explain….
work w/ businesses every day ranging from 300 client devices to 100K+ client devices and none of them are even thinking about switching to Ubuntu.  In fact there is only 1 customer I’ve talked to all year that is using Ubuntu.  That customer isn’t looking for a remix of Ubuntu, he/she is looking to better manage the devices.  The only Endpoint Management Tool that supports Ubuntu is Canonical’s own Landscape, none of the vendors (HP, IBM, Microsoft, Symantec, Kace) provide support for the product and until that happens I doubt we will see many Enterprises adopt Ubuntu as their desktop of choice.
What do I mean by an Endpoint Management Tool?  I want a product that allows me to deliver software, patches, and images to my device along w/ providing a comprehensive inventory (software and hardware) of all of my devices.  Management won’t let me buy yet another tool to manage the devices or perhaps even migrate to this new operating system so it needs to work w/ what I currently have. Also I want a company to stand behind the product and offer me support. Bonus points for it being completely administrated from a web page.
Let’s take a quick look at what Linux support is out there w/ the top Endpoint Management Vendors I run into contact w/
Vendor Name of Product Supported Linux Distributions
Symantec Altiris Client Management Suite Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 (6 before EOY), SUSE Linux 11
Dell (KACE) Kace Systems Management Appliance Red Hat Enterprise Linux 3, 4, and 5
IBM (Tivoli, Big Fix) Configuration Manager (?) Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4, 5, and 6, SUSE Linux 9, 10, 11
Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM) SCCM 2012 will support Red Hat, SUSE, and Solaris
Canonical Landscape Ubuntu
HP HP IT Management Software (NOTE: Had hard time finding exact information
about HP’s product as they have a lot of names
Note:  This is not a complete list of solutions/vendors/etc.  What is listed is based on information from the website from what I could, it might be wrong
So what does that table demonstrate?  We need vendor support before we need a “remix.”  We need one of the other vendors beside Canonical to start supporting Ubuntu in order to grow into the enterprise desktop arena.

6 thoughts on “Enterprise support instead of a business remix

  1. “Enable social desktop features” should be a simple option offered during installation of the *standard* Ubuntu desktop image. It’s impractical and confusing to create a new remix of the standard image merely to provide a social-desktop-free default installation. (See the comments at http://randall.executiv.es/uds-p-17 for more discussion.)

  2. You are not wrong about endpoint management, but it is misleading to suggest that a business desktop is a non-social desktop. What it doesn’t need to do is shove music stuff and game purchasing in your face. Lenses to search business data in CRM and ERP systems would be great. Gwibber is fine, and banshee/rhythmbox/software centre are fine to have kicking about but they are not the primary purpose of the operating system. Personally I would like Ubuntu Desktop and Ubuntu server to have a more integrated relationship for authentication and services. So when you install Ubuntu desktop it should boot up and say “where is my Ubuntu server please?” and then everything just works in terms of accounts, home directory sync, shared drive mappings, printing etc.

    • Alan,
      The note on disabling social doesn’t come from it comes from Mark’s post. I agree that gwibber, etc needs to be a part of a business and in fact run a Jabber server internally to enhance chat and communication. Some form of social is needed… And I also agree the music and game stuff shouldn’t be up front and in your face as well.

      While having my Ubuntu desktop on installation say “where is my ubuntu server for home/authentication/etc. there needs to be better support for mixed environments (Windows and Linux outside of Ubuntu).

  3. alan: that kind of thing would be great, at least for virgin or phoenix roll outs. I had to build my own damn system to get Ubuntu to do those things for Community Labs.

    Wow I _really_ hate this blogs comment system. It wants all my facebook data before I can comment. nasty.

    • Hrm don’t know why you needed Facebook to login before you committed, I am logged in as my wordpress account and thought it was setup for Google authentication as well. Wonder why that isn’t working

  4. Pingback: Another look at Ubuntu and the Enterprise « A Conservative Techie

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