Friday, May 14, 2010

Landscape 1.5: Ubuntu Server Monitoring & Management Tool

Canonical has released its new server monitoring and management tool Landscape with its Ubuntu 10.04 LTS (Long Term Support) edition. The application is meant to make Ubuntu sever monitoring, management and package provisioning easy.

Ease of use is the main advantage of Ubuntu based distributions. However not much solutions were available to manage and monitor a group of Ubuntu servers simultaneously. Finally Canonical developed its own solution and that is “Landscape”. And with the release of their new distribution Ubuntu server 10.04 LTS Lucid Lynx, they have updated the older version to Landscape 1.5. The new version Landscape 1.5 is available as an on-site server and an online service from Canonical. Landscape is a simple and easy to use web based application that provides powerful automated system management capabilities such as management, monitoring and provisioning of packages across multiple machines, thereby lowering your per-systems cost of management and administration.

  • Ubuntu Server & Desktop monitoring using Landscape 1.5
Landscape is not second to the other monitoring applications; it allows you to monitor all important aspects of the managed servers and desktops. Much needed server monitoring tasks such as monitoring running processes, installed software are all covered by the Landscape. It also aids in user management, inventory management and support enhancement tools that can help you to increase your Ubuntu server’s productivity. At its basic level, landscape enables updating and provisioning of updates and packages across multiple Ubuntu servers and desktops.
You can group and tag servers to groups for better usability. You can tag a server (for example database server) and later monitor and manage them as a group. That is you can install or apply an update to a particular group of Ubuntu servers.

Ubuntu 10.04 LTS Landscape’s alerting system is also worth mentioning. It is all programmed to monitor some critical parameters including security updates, package updates, servers that are to be rebooted, dead or un-available servers etc. These alerts can also be configured to be sent to an email account.
Another powerful feature of Ubuntu 10.04 Landscape is its ability to run scripts on managed servers. It is also possible to run these scripts on individual Ubuntu servers or on a group of Ubuntu servers. Scripting in turns enables automating many management and administration tasks including remote backups. Apart from these services Landscape also allows you to create support tickets and also to integrate your cloud environment like Eucalyptus to the management interface.
  • So how do you get Landscape 1.5 for your Ubuntu servers and desktops?

Canonical is providing Landscape as a paid service. However Landscape is included in Canonical’s server support contracts as a service. As part of your annual server subscription you are allowed unlimited access to this powerful tool. For those who does not require support contract Landscape is available by subscription. For pricing details you may refer to the Ubuntu Landscape website: as Hosted Service or as Stand Alone service. It is roughly 150$ per node per year. You can also get a free 60 days trial of the Landscape application from here.

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