Is Ubuntu the largest OS on EC2?

According to the statistics page on the Cloud Market, which claims to be "the most complete catalog of Amazon EC2 images", images using Ubuntu as the base platform have the largest share in their catalog.

Cloud Market pie chart by total

When one looks at their graph by owner, it can also be seen that:

Cloud Market time chart by owner

  • Combining Alestic (which are Ubuntu images) and Canonical's officials images, Ubuntu is by far the largest respresented set
  • Canonical's images have the fastest growth rate

Again, all stats like this need to be take with a pinch of salt, specially since we have very little details on how these statistics are collected, but once more, this tends to show that Ubuntu is taking a strong lead as a great OS for cloud purposes.

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Usefull explanation

My colleague Scott Moser sent the following comment which I think is worth republishing here:

From what I understand, they crawl the list of available images.  Each image registered with ec2 is registered under an AWS id which is available via the image data.  They maintain a (manual) list of IDs => "Meaningful Name".

The fact that Canonical is so large in the owner/time is because we are creating a large amount of images.  We create testing/daily images daily for development release and twice weekly for karmic and hardy, along with that is kernel and ramdisk images, which appear to be counted in their list.  I would be surprised if the canonical account is not, by far, the most active account in terms of registering (and deregistering) images.

In the 3 amazon regions, I count (today) 627 "things" registered by the canonical account.  Of those:
 - 183 are kernels
 - 205 are ramdisks
 - 239 are machine images
 - 22 are milestone release images using [1]
 - 24 are released images using [1]

So, while '627' seems to mean something, it much more shows activity of our daily build scripts than anything else.  I would guess that rbuilder and jumbox and other providers are similar.

For the "platform", its even a bit fuzzier.  I wasn't aware that Amazon published that data in a method that was easy to read, but even if they do, its not without room for error.

I'm not aware of any source of instance-ran data, which is far more meaningful.  Ie:
 - What percent of the instance-time is spent running Canonical images?
 - What percent is spent running AMIs rebundled from a Canonical image?

As far as I know, only Amazon has that information, and they're not letting it out. 

So basically… the graph above

So basically… the graph above says that Canonical is very active in creating and refining EC2 images. That's not particularly shocking… but not as active as rBuilder. Hmm that's a little surprising. I'm going to have to watch rpath more closely.

If you are going to wish for Amazon instance-ran data you might want to expand it out a little more than just Canonical. Jumpbox is also Ubuntu LTS based. Is Jumpbox out-performing Canonical in finding a way to monetize Ubuntu based EC2 images with its appliance based approach? Is JumpBox doing well enough to contributeback financially to the Ubuntu community? Can't say until we see the numbers. While we are wishing, it be really interesting to see how rBuilder is doing in terms of instance-ran time. Their packaging system is gear towards appliance imaging and refreshing unlike more traditional linux distribution packaging.

  • jef

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