Ubuntu Server Survey 2012


The Ubuntu Server Survey is finally ready to be published it makes for a fascinating read. It is the third survey of its kind and again it has been an overwhelming response with over 6,000 completed surveys throughout 2011 and a heartfelt thanks to all who took the time to complete the comprehensive survey.

The overwhelming impression is the widespread use of Ubuntu both geographically as you might expect with respondents from across the globe. but also in the broad range of workloads in which Ubuntu Server finds itself used. Every category from web and data servers to cloud shows up strongly albeit with a strong bias towards traditional workloads.

As we approach an LTS, again we see evidence of the popularity of the extended support releases. Given we have run this survey three times now over the past three years now we begin to see strong evidence of the switching from one LTS to the next, particularly as the deployment platform, so our user base is certainly staying with us as as we introduce new features and support them in the long term.

Virtualization and cloud are now key elements of Ubuntu use, and for the first time we see KVM overtake Xen as the preferred virtualization technology for Ubuntu users, significant as the platform was the first to make the switch to supporting KVM as the native technology. With that though, VMWare remains the most cited virtualization technology showing a healthy mixture of open source and other technologies at use in the Ubuntu user base.

The respondents consideration of cloud makes for interesting reading too. There is significant interest but the use of Ubuntu Server on bare metal remains the primary use case for most users today. There is strong recognition though of the emergence of this powerful technology and with the plans for ease of installation and orchestration in 12.04 LTS it will be interesting to see how this moves the dial in regards to uptake in the Ubuntu base. A deeper analysis  shows a bias towards larger companies (i.e. respondents with more servers) using cloud technologies which is to be expected and overwhelmingly there is recognition of the suitability of Ubuntu Cloud as a basis for those efforts.

Enjoy the full report, it would be very interesting to hear your comments.



  1. Andy

    “significant as the platform was the first to make the switch to supporting KVM as the native technology” – Ubunutu certainly wasn’t the first distro to move to KVM, although we see this statement made again and again

    1. Gerry's photo Gerry Carr

      I believe were were the first to make it the default supported virtualisation technology (before Red Hat acquisition of Qumranet and before Red Hat adopted the technology). It’s more of an historical footnote at this stage that anything else – wasn’t trying to upset anyone i promise 😉

  2. Sivar

    Great article. Interesting that VMware and not an OSS solution is the most popular, though VMWare is very good.

    But really… JPG image format for a bunch of barcharts with large areas of the same color? On a geek website even?
    http://code.google.com/p/imageguide/ <– helps to show which image format to use for a particular picture. In this case, JPG isn't it.

  3. Tim

    I’d love to see a push from Ubuntu into KVM server – have a standard install train called ‘Ubuntu KVM server’ or ‘Ubuntu Virtualisation Server’ which auto-installs KVM, suggests LVM, installs virt-manager, and what would really rock is some kind of vswitch (graphical brctl) management; Novell network-manager really doesn’t mesh with KVM. Bring it on.

  4. Mick

    @Tim , work is currently being done by Red Hat coders to have network-manager able to manage bridges and vlans, and that’s mainly done also for the integration with virt-manager/libvirt : http://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Features/NMEnterpriseNetworking
    I guess you can see the work done by testing the next Fedora, and fill maybe some bug reports, as this would be helpful for all Linux distributions.

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