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April 7, 2020updated 20 Jul 2022 6:03am

Canonical Joins Cloud Wars: Rolls Out Fully Managed Apache Kafka, Elastic, MongoDB, MySQL, More

Company "open to any conversation on any open source app that organisations need managed"

By CBR Staff Writer

Canonical, the company best known for open source operating system Ubuntu (one of the most widely used OSs in the cloud) has made an unexpectedly aggressive gambit for a broader slice of the managed services pie — it is now offering to manage a wide range of applications including Apache Kafka, MongoDB, MySQL and ElasticSearch.

The news, announced early this month, catapults Canonical deeper into the “cloud wars”; although it is not offering IaaS in its own data centres, it is offering the SaaS on infrastructure of choice and able to support fully managed applications across AWS, Azure and GCP, the company confirmed to Computer Business Review.

Canonical managed apps

New offering lets customers deploy pretty much wherever they see fit. Credit: Canonical

Canonical Managed Apps: ElasticSearch, MySQL, PostGre, More

At launch, Canonical will cover 10 widely used cloud-native database and LMA (logging, monitoring and alerting) apps underpinned by multicloud Kubernetes but also on virtual machines across bare-metal, public and private cloud. At the launch it is offering to manage MySQL, InfluxDB, PostgreSQL, MongoDB, ElasticSearch, telco orchestration application, Open Source Mano, and the event streaming platform, Kafka. 

Fully managed Apache Cassandra is also around the corner, by popular demand, Canonical Managed Apps product manager Nilay Patel, told us.

Canonical managed app service will span demand-based scaling, high availability for fault tolerance, security patching and updates, Canonical confirmed.

SLAs are available now for uptime, 24/7 break/fix response, etc. and organisations can monitor their app’s health through an integrated LMA stack and dashboard that includes Grafana (a time-series database visualisation tool), Prometheus (ditto) and Graylog (open source log management); also available as a standalone managed service.

“As organisations increasingly move to a cloud-native approach,  they can be slowed down by spending too much time on the underlying management of their cloud and its applications,” said Stephan Fabel, Director of Product at Canonical. “Our Managed Apps give them the freedom to focus on business priorities, with the confidence that their apps are reliably maintained, secure and can scale to production needs.”

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Managed services that have MSPAlliance CloudVerify certification, “equivalent to SOC 2 Type2, ISO 27001 / ISO 27002” Canonical said, and GDPR compliance. 

Subscription by default includes Ubuntu Advantage for Infrastructure, covering open infrastructure including Ubuntu, Kubernetes, OpenStack, Ceph and more.

What’s it Cost?

The company was coy on costs: Nilay Patel told us the fully managed services would be offered with “modern, per-node pricing so organisations benefit from predictable OpEx without limits on underlying node compute or memory.” Canonical does not yet seem to have a clear pricing page for the services. (If we’re wrong, do correct us).

“Having been a remote work company for over a decade, we are well positioned to provide 24/7 monitoring of applications by app engineers”, the firm’s Patel told us.

“Our experience in both managing and deploying Kubernetes and OpenStack deployments in hundreds of organisations, as well as our track record supporting large-scale, mission-critical clouds such as in banking and telecoms, is indicative of our ability to provide the largest, most complex organisations’ support.”

Want Canonical to run something else for you? The company says it is open to “any conversation on any open source app that organisations need managed”.

Patel told us: “In our announcement last week, we gave an action for customers to tell us what they want managed and the response has been overwhelming. As a result of that, we are already in the final stages of providing managed Cassandra.”

See also: Mark Shuttleworth on Taking Canonical Public, Legacy IT and Ubuntu, and his Botanical Garden

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