From the Canyon Edge -- :-Dustin

Monday, November 15, 2010

Landscape for the Ubuntu Evangelist-turned-Remote-Sysadmin

Like many of you here at Planet Ubuntu, I'm on a continuous quest to convert friends and family to Ubuntu. I'm proud to say that Ubuntu users now includes my parents, my wife, her parents, both of my sisters, her sister, their husbands, and several friends.

On the overwhelming whole, they're all quite satisfied with Ubuntu. They like that it's virus-free, never crashes, does not pathologically slow down over time, and that it generally just works.

That said, whenever I visit any of the above parties, I generally spend a good 30 minutes to an hour giving their Ubuntu system a good tune-up. Usually that just entails installing all updates, etc. But sometimes there's a bit more work to be done. This is time I would rather spend with my family, and them with me.

I previously have not had a use case for Canonical's Landscape service. I don't use it for my systems at home, as I have a static IP and an SSH connection to my suite of servers, desktops, and virtual machines, with which I can generally do all that I need.

But that's not the case for my relatives. I recently realized how much Landscape would help me remotely manage my extended family's Ubuntu systems.

I am, for all practical purposes, their system administrator, and Landscape gives me a really convenient way of managing each of their systems remotely, wherever they are, from wherever I am -- which is typically not one in the same.

So just an idea from left field, here... Landscape is generally targeted at enterprise users trying to manage data centers full of Ubuntu Servers. But I'm finding it really convenient to manage a few dozen machines scattered about the country while I travel around the globe. Nice job, Landscape team.
Note that unlike Ubuntu, Landscape is an optional, value-add, paid-for service on top of Ubuntu.