Linux software company Canonical Ltd. today announced the release of a new version of Ubuntu Linux that includes features for cloud security, real-time industrial applications and enterprise compliance.
Ubuntu offers the most popular Linux operating system on public clouds with 100,000 virtual machines launched every day, which comes out to more than 40 billion VM hours a year. It also receives more than 800,000 daily image pulls on Docker Hub, which comes from more than 300 million unique users.
Ubuntu 22.04 LTS is a “long-term support” release designed to accumulate contributions over the past two years and focus on performance, stability and security. This release takes into account this deep integration with public clouds by adding a new capability known as confidential computing, which uses protected processor enclaves in the cloud to protect sensitive data. It greatly increases data protection and privacy in public clouds without requiring changes to application deployments.
Using this feature, Canonical has optimized support for Azure Confidential VMs that allow customers to support confidentiality in the cloud, but between different cloud customers as well. For example, two different pharmaceutical companies can pool anonymized data together in the cloud without revealing sensitive information about one another and still receive insights from it.
This also includes hardware-level encrypted guest isolation and full-disk encryption implemented on Ubuntu. Customer code and data can be encrypted in use, in transit and at rest while the keys are entirely under the control of the customers. At no time does the protection of the data fall out of the customer’s control.
Canonical also optimized the release for Arm-based chip architectures, such as those used by AWS Graviton processors. The company also worked closely with Oracle to enable Ubuntu on all of its hardware.
“With Ubuntu 22.04 LTS on Oracle Cloud Infrastructure, developers get a highly optimized operating system and kernel with excellent boot speed, security and stability,” said Bo English-Wiczling, senior director of developer relations at Oracle. “This includes the latest Arm servers, Ampere A1.”
For data-intensive workloads, the new version supports Nvidia Corp.’s virtual GPU Software 1.40 drivers that data scientists can natively install in virtual machines. This allows them to parallelize and isolate machine learning workloads and use hardware efficiently for computation.
“Organizations can now run Nvidia AI on Ubuntu to help solve some of humanity’s biggest challenges with new products and systems that simplify operations, boost safety and improve communication,” said Manuvir Das, vice president of enterprise computing at Nvidia.
Now available in beta, Ubuntu 22.04 also includes a real-time kernel designed to meet critical infrastructure needs for telecommunications, such as 5G communications, with guaranteed ultra-low latency and security. It can also serve for latency-sensitive use cases in automation and robotics as well.
The new version also makes it easier to conform to industry compliance standards such as PCI-DSS, HIPAA and FedRAMP. To support this, vulnerability information about Canonical Ubuntu LTS releases is now published as an open vulnerability stream so that they can be integrated to industry-standard scanning and audit tools.
“Our mission is to be a secure, reliable and consistent open-source platform everywhere,” said Mark Shuttleworth, chief executive of Canonical. “Ubuntu 22.04 LTS unlocks innovation for industries with demanding infrastructure security requirements, such as telecommunications and industrial automation.”
Ubuntu 22.04 LTS is generally available today on the Ubuntu downloads page and through major public clouds.