Canonical releases Landscape 23.03, delivering simplified licensing through Ubuntu Pro
Landscape 23.03 manages all versions from Ubuntu 16.04 LTS (Xenial Xerus) onwards
April 4th, 2023, London, UK: Canonical announced the release of Landscape 23.03 with broader CPU architecture compatibility, and improved management and monitoring capabilities for Ubuntu. Landscape 23.03 manages all Ubuntu versions and derivatives from Ubuntu 16.04 LTS onwards, in addition to Debian Bullseye. Launching and configuring Landscape is faster and simpler than ever before. With this release, out-of-the-box support for Landscape is included in Ubuntu Pro, Canonical’s comprehensive security and compliance subscription. This means users no longer require external licence keys to be installed in Landscape Server. This improvement simplifies operations for organisations with a dynamic footprint of machines, and makes software licence accounting efforts in the back office easier.
Landscape is now available as a dedicated managed service. This is ideal for organisations looking for the convenience of Landscape SaaS, with deep integration into their Identity and Access Management (IAM) infrastructure with customised Single Sign On (SSO), localised repository mirrors, and private repositories.
Landscape manages Ubuntu Pro anywhere, even in air-gapped environments
Landscape now reads the Ubuntu Pro entitlements of every machine it manages, even in air-gapped environments. Automating the Landscape licence through Ubuntu Pro eliminates the need for independently managing and tracking this asset, and simplifies administrative tasks for organisations with software licence audit requirements.
Ubuntu Pro entered general availability in January. The subscription expands Canonical’s ten-year security coverage and optional technical support to an additional 23,000 packages beyond the main operating system. It is ideal for organisations looking to improve their security posture, not just for the Main repository of Ubuntu, but for thousands of open-source packages and toolchains. Ubuntu Pro also provides a turnkey solution for enabling NIST-certified FIPS crypto modules, CIS and DISA-STIG hardening profiles, Common Criteria EAL2 security specifications, and kernel live patching.
Landscape 23.03 delivers a streamlined air-gapped solution, and integrates with a portable contract server which can communicate with the Ubuntu Pro Client. In network-limited environments, Landscape can distribute updated service credentials to managed endpoints, configure software repositories, and serve as a conduit for activating kernel livepatch infrastructure. For organisations running Ubuntu in multi-cloud or hybrid cloud arrangements, Landscape is the single pane of glass for managing their Ubuntu estate.
Support for more software and hardware configurations
Until now, the Landscape Client software package was published for i386 (x86), amd64 (x86_64), POWER8 (ppc64el), IBM Z 64-bit (s390x), ARMv7 32-bit (armhf), and ARMv8-A (AArch64 or arm64) processors. For the first time, Landscape ships with a Landscape Client package for the RISC-V (RV64) CPU architecture. Innovators launching projects on RISC-V single board computers (SBCs) will benefit from Landscape’s broader processor compatibility.
With Landscape 23.03, Landscape Server can also be fully deployed to machines with arm64, s390x, rv64, or ppc64el processors. It is now possible to run Landscape alongside edge computing workloads on low-power hardware that meets Landscape’s minimum requirements of 4 GB of RAM and 20 GB of disk space, such as Raspberry Pi, Intel NUC, Advantech UNO, and Kontron KBox.
Additionally, Landscape 23.03 has been thoroughly tested on Ampere® Altra® Family Cloud Native Processors within Canonical’s testing labs, and on Ampere® Altra® Family based virtual machines on public clouds. This new class of processors delivers consistently high performance, making AArch64 reliable and cost-effective for Cloud Native and high-density computing on both bare metal and in cloud environments.
“Ampere has worked with Canonical in enabling Ubuntu on Ampere® Altra® Family Cloud Native Processors, which deliver more performance at scale in the most energy efficient platforms in the industry. Running Landscape management software on Ampere® Cloud Native Processors allows customers to experience greater efficiency when running in both single or multi architecture environments.” – Jeff Wittich, Chief Product Officer at Ampere
While Landscape has historically been associated with managing Ubuntu machines, enhancements to Landscape Client include compatibility with Debian Bullseye and its derivative operating systems.
Automated configuration and simplified management via Juju
Landscape can be installed on clouds and bare-metal using the cloud-init configuration tool and Juju, Canonical’s application deployment and management tool. Juju simplifies the deployment and maintenance of complex software by parameterising configurations and relationships. For example, while updating the SSL certificate for Landscape Server could require modifying several configuration files and restarting services, Juju can update the SSL certificate in a single command. Performing an in-place upgrade from legacy Landscape entails a fresh deployment using Juju, and restoring the database. Going forward, upgrading Landscape via Juju is a two-step process: one command to pause Landscape, and one command to perform the upgrade.
“We use Ubuntu to deliver great user experiences for the families using the computers we provide. Landscape helps Compudopt understand if the computers we distribute are positively impacting the community, so we can provide better services and tech support to the families we serve. The consistency we found between using cloud-init to configure Ubuntu in Subiquity and using cloud-init to configure our Juju deployment vastly simplified the installation and deployment of Landscape.” – Thijs van de Kamp, National Director of Technical Operations at Compudopt.
Customers can immediately upgrade to the new version of self-hosted Landscape. Landscape SaaS customers have already been upgraded. Customers are encouraged to use Juju to install Landscape 23.03. It is possible to complete the installation in less than 15 minutes when following the automated installation procedure at https://ubuntu.com/landscape/install.
On 17 April at 13:00 CET, Canonical is hosting Operator Day as a virtual online event alongside KubeCon EU 2023. Mitch Burton, an Engineering Lead on the Landscape Team, will talk about modernising Landscape’s hook-based Juju charms to leverage the modern operator framework in Landscape 22.03. This will be followed by a demonstration of a Juju installation of Landscape 23.03 leveraging cloud-init automations.
Canonical is the publisher of Ubuntu, the OS for most public cloud workloads as well as the emerging categories of smart gateways, self-driving cars and advanced robots. Canonical provides enterprise security, support, and services to commercial users of Ubuntu. Established in 2004, Canonical is a privately held company.
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