Ubuntu Pro arrives in premium form on Google's Cloud

Lengthy support for enterprises that prefer things just so


Ubuntu Pro is coming to Google Cloud, replete with an all-important 10-year maintenance commitment for corporate punters who like things stable.

While Canonical's Ubuntu is hardly new to Google's Cloud, the Pro edition joins other enterprise favourites in the premium category, such as Red Hat Enterprise Linux and SUSE Linux Enterprise Server.

The lengthy support window is based at least in part on Canonical's Extended Security Maintenance (ESM) programme. ESM means eight years for Ubuntu 16.04 LTS (to 2024), 10 years for 18.04 LTS (to 2028), and support until 2030 for 20.04 LTS.

During the support period, customers paying for Ubuntu Pro on Google Cloud will get live kernel patching as well as patching of high and critical CVEs for Ubuntu's repository (which includes the likes of Node.js, MongoDB, and Apache Kafka).

Canonical's wares can be found in a variety of clouds; Ubuntu Pro (replete with 10 years of support for recent LTS editions and live kernel patching) is available on Microsoft's Azure and AWS with FIPS 140-2 and Common Criteria EAL2 certified components. The latter is not due to arrive on Google Cloud until the second half of 2021.

The duo reckon that "Ubuntu Pro will be 3-4.5 per cent of your average computing cost." Similar savings are also claimed for Azure, which says: "Ubuntu Pro pricing tracks the underlying compute cost, starting at under $0.01 for the smallest B1 ls instance type, and ramping down to less than 1 per cent of hourly compute."

As with all "average" figures, your mileage may vary significantly.

For Google Cloud, the charge is based on licence cost for RAM per GB per hour, plus for vCPU per hour and per GPU per hour (if the latter is in use.) RAM weighs in at a flat rate of $0.000127 per GB/hour while CPU and GPU are on a sliding scale depending on quantity.

The cost is in addition to the regular cost of running the VM, meaning that some calculations will be needed to avoid an alarming invoice at the end of the month. ®

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