Canonical updates Ubuntu Landscape management platform

Canonical has enhanced the systems management tool for Ubuntu desktop, servers and cloud instances. Landscape is available as part of Ubuntu Advantage subscription and has been updated with roles-based access control, better compliance reporting, a robust API, bare metal provisioning and enhanced integration with Ubuntu 12.04, the company said.

Canonical has enhanced the management landscape once again for Ubuntu Linux.

The Ubuntu sponsor last week released an upgrade of its Landscape systems management platform that offers a bevy of new features including enhanced reporting capabilities for compliance management, roles-based access control, a robust API, bare metal provisioning capabilties and better integration with the Ubuntu 12.04 platform.

Now available as part of the Ubuntu Advantage service, and deployed as a hosted service or on premise, Landscape reportedly allows administrators to cut Ubuntu IT management costs by as much as two thirds over a five year period, according to a study for the company conducted by Enterprise Management Associates.

Here's the full roster of new features, as described by the company:

Role-based access control (RBAC): provides privilege separation to allow each IT administrator to do their job, but no more - reducing human error while improving security and compliance.

Compliance reporting: provides the tools to help businesses quickly and easily run the right reports and find the right information for compliance purposes. Saves time and cost, allowing administrators to focus on projects and more productive tasks.
Repository management: makes it possible to create locally-managed repositories and assign managed devices to them, which in turn supports sophisticated integration testing processes for update management.

Scriptable API: Landscape provides API access to all its functionality. While its web-based UI is one of its greatest assets, Landscape’s API makes integration with other management and monitoring tools possible. It enables administrators to create highly specific workflows, tailored  to their site’s needs, without having to define and later maintain basic building blocks, such as repository management.

Bare-metal provisioning: integrating Ubuntu’s Metal-as-a-Service (MAAS) technology, Landscape makes network-based hardware provisioning possible via industry-standard protocols. Landscape can deliver bits close to their destination, be it the right server rack or the correct field office, safeguarding the network from traffic while still affording the administrator central control.

Other significant improvements

Enhanced platform integration with 12.04: a new Management Service applet has been added to Ubuntu 12.04 ‘Precise’, introducing a graphical interface fronting registration to Landscape.

Increased scalability: a Landscape server now can support up to 40,000 client devices.

Auto-Update Policies

It is now possible to assign machines with policies instructing them to automatically update, applying either all updates or only those relevant for security. Maintenance Windows allow the administrator to instruct a device to automatically update only at a certain times, safeguarding field users from interference with critical business activity.


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