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Finserv hybrid cloud strategy – it starts with Linux

Kris Sharma

on 7 February 2022

This article was last updated 1 year ago.

The future of financial services technology infrastructure is hybrid multi-cloud.

Hybrid multi-cloud architecture provides financial institutions flexibility, portability, interoperability, and the control needed to consistently deploy and manage enterprise applications and workloads. By adopting hybrid cloud, finservs realise the benefits of effective cloud cost  management, security, compliance, efficiency and agility. The hybrid cloud strategy starts with choosing the right enterprise Linux.

The right operating system (OS) gives financial institutions the ability to deploy and run applications anywhere — physical, virtual, private, and public clouds — and delivers a consistent foundation to support a financial institution’s current and future requirements for enterprise hybrid cloud deployments.

Ubuntu is one of the leading enterprise Linux distributions both in the public clouds and in the private clouds. It is also one of the most secure end user operating systems according to UK Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ)

Ubuntu Pro is a premium OS image designed by Canonical to provide the most comprehensive feature set for production environments running in the public clouds including AWS, Azure and Google cloud. Using Ubuntu Pro in the cloud provides the same performance, scalability, management, and reliability that you expect on any other deployment footprint. Ubuntu Pro includes optimised kernel, hardening, and security coverage for the entire collection of software packages shipped with Ubuntu.

At every stage of a Finserv’s cloud journey, building applications on Ubuntu Pro is a strategic decision that delivers a flexible and stable environment for cloud and digital transformation requirements.

Why Ubuntu Pro for Finservs?

Broadest open source security coverage: Ubuntu Pro includes security coverage for a broad collection of open source software packages shipped with Ubuntu, tracking high and critical Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVEs). 

Ubuntu includes a huge set of upstream open source, in total over 26,000 packages, known as Ubuntu “Universe”, and includes workloads, such as NGINX, MongoDB, Redis, Kafka, along with language ecosystems including Python, Javascript/Node.js, Java, and Ruby. With Ubuntu Pro’s built-in CVE tracking and patching, CIOs and security officers can be confident they can roll these packages out to production. This makes Ubuntu ideal for financial institutions that are embracing open source technologies for building digital applications.

10-year lifetime:  Canonical backs Ubuntu Pro for 10 years, ensuring security updates are available throughout, with a guaranteed upgrade path.

FIPS & CC-EAL2 certified: Ubuntu Pro has officially certified components to enable operating environments under compliance regimes, such as FedRAMP, HIPAA, PCI, and ISO.

CIS and DISA-STIG compliance: Ubuntu Pro makes CIS and DISA-STIG implementation guides available for enterprises looking to leverage industry benchmarks for hardening. Ubuntu provides a secure platform for finserv organisations to build, operate and innovate with open source technologies.

Kernel Livepatch: Ubuntu kernel updates are regularly issued. With our Livepatch service, kernel patches are delivered immediately, without the need to reboot your VMs.

Priced for the cloud: Ubuntu Pro pricing tracks the underlying compute cost. Ubuntu Pro price varies between 3-4.5% of an average hourly compute cost, depending on the instance type.

Ubuntu Pro for AWS

Ubuntu Pro images for Amazon Web Services (AWS) are available via AWS Marketplace, covering Ubuntu 14.04 LTS, 16.04 LTS, and 18.04 LTS. These new premium images allow enterprises to purchase extended maintenance, broader security coverage, and critical compliance features by simply selecting and running an image on Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) — with no contract required.

Ubuntu Pro images include all the optimisations in the standard Ubuntu Amazon Machine Images (AMIs), which Canonical publishes across AWS Regions, with key security and compliance subscriptions automatically enabled. Customers can purchase Ubuntu Pro directly through AWS for a streamlined procurement process, enabling quicker access to these commercial features offered by Canonical. 

Financial institutions wishing to take advantage of Canonical-backed technical support can add a subscription to the Ubuntu Advantage Advanced or Standard support packages through AWS Marketplace, adding an extra layer of confidence and assurance when running Ubuntu on AWS.The Ubuntu Pro images can be found here in the AWS Marketplace.

Ubuntu Pro FIPS

Ubuntu Pro FIPS is the first and only FIPS 140-2 certified image for AWS. It is built on the enhanced stability and security features of Ubuntu Pro. FIPS 140-2 Level 1 modules are pre-enabled out of the box with Ubuntu Pro FIPS. No extra configuration steps required. Ubuntu Pro FIPS has been evaluated to assurance level EAL2, with Common Criteria certification.

Getting the best of Ubuntu Pro for Azure

Ubuntu Pro for Azure is a premium image delivering the most comprehensive open source security and Azure compliance. Ubuntu Pro is suitable for small to large-scale Linux enterprise operations offering pay-as-you-go billing on your existing Azure invoice.

Watch the webinar to find out how Ubuntu Pro images are optimised, built, regularly patched, and how you can customise them to simplify your infrastructure operations.

Ubuntu Pro for confidential computing on Azure

Confidential computing is an additional layer of security in public cloud environments to keep data private even when a flaw is found in the other defence mechanisms. 
An Ubuntu image tailored for confidential computing is available on Microsoft Azure (currently in the preview phase) to allow testing the migration to the platform. For production workloads, we are making available Ubuntu Pro images tailored for confidential computing. To try Ubuntu with confidential computing on Azure today, see this quick start guide from Microsoft.

Ubuntu Pro for Google Cloud

Google Cloud has long partnered with Canonical to offer innovative developer solutions, from desktop to Kubernetes and AI/ML. Working in close partnership with Google Cloud, Canonical have created a more secure, hardened, and cost-effective Ubuntu image — Ubuntu Pro on Google Cloud to accelerate their cloud adoption.

Getting started with Ubuntu Pro on Google Cloud

Getting started with Ubuntu Pro on Google Cloud is simple. You can now purchase these premium images directly from Google Cloud by selecting Ubuntu Pro as the operating system straight from the Google Cloud Console.

To learn more about Ubuntu Pro on Google Cloud, please visit the documentation page and read the announcement from Google.

Upgrading Ubuntu LTS workloads on Google Cloud to Ubuntu Pro in seconds

Google and Canonical have been working together to give you the most seamless experience while getting industry-leading protection. Today, you can upgrade your Ubuntu LTS to Ubuntu Pro with one command.

We are always here to discuss your cloud computing needs and to help you successfully execute your hybrid cloud strategy.

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