As Ubuntu’s presence in the server space grows, it is showing up in some unexpected places. Weta Digital, the New Zealand company that did the special effects for Lord of the Rings and some of the 3D rendering for Avatar, reportedly runs Ubuntu on its 35,000-core render farm and virtually all of its desktop computers. The Wikimedia Foundation, the organization behind the popular Wikipedia website, rolled out Ubuntu on 400 of its servers in 2008. We even use Ubuntu ourselves on several of the key servers that power the Ars Orbiting HQ.
One of the factors that is potentially driving Ubuntu adoption on servers is the pricing model. Canonical makes Ubuntu updates available for free, but also offers commercial support as a separate service. As companies that deploy Linux cultivate better in-house support capabilities, they want commercial Linux support options that are more granular and less expensive.
Ubuntu is simple to install, maintain and has good brand recognition, so it’s hardly surprising it’s doing well in the server space as well as the desktop.
It is surprising how much anti-Ubuntu astroturf is hitting the blogosphere though. MS and Apple must have switched their aim from Redhat to Canonical, which is probably a good sign of just how well they are doing.
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