Another key data point that is working in Ubuntu's favor is cloud computing and, more specifically, the usage of Amazon.com's EC2 cloud. O'Grady's analysis shows over 25,000 mentions of Amazon or AWS (Amazon Web Services). The next closest cloud provider mentioned in the Hacker News data set is Google, with its App Engine receiving approximately 3,000 mentions.
Canonical bets on cloud early, leaves Red Hat behind
Canonical's early focus on cloud computing along with its partnerships with open source cloud vendors like Eucalyptus helped to establish Ubuntu as the de facto Linux distribution for cloud deployments.
Data from the Cloud Market, which tracks Amazon EC2 cloud statistics, highlights the lead that Ubuntu has over other operating systems on EC2.
Take note of Red Hat's position on the chart, the lowest line at the bottom. Even when Red Hat usage is combined with Fedora, the result still pales in comparison to Ubuntu usage, the highest line in the chart.
Red Hat is well aware of its weak position in the cloud computing arena and has spent much of 2010 making cloud-related announcements in an attempt to close the gap. Judging by the statistics, though, Red Hat's announcements haven't translated into significant cloud usage yet. Interestingly enough, even Windows usage (the green line) has far outgrown RHEL/Fedora usage on EC2.
Ubuntu in 2011
In a seemingly perfect storm, Ubuntu is benefiting from strong developer usage, and the fact that developers are increasingly selecting Amazon's EC2 cloud platform bodes well for continued Ubuntu success on EC2. As that occurs, IT decision makers will need to consider or reconsider Ubuntu for usage within the enterprise.
Rest assured that Red Hat won't sit idly by during these discussions.
Watching Canonical and Red Hat engage to win cloud workloads will be interesting to track in 2011. Can the upstart keep up its growth trajectory? Or will the gorilla be able to convert its enterprise market share into cloud workload share?
This article, "2010 was the year of Ubuntu, but can it last?," was originally published at InfoWorld.com. Read more of Savio Rodrigues' Open Sources blog and follow the latest developments in open source at InfoWorld.com.