Working in conjunction with Google, Canonical is launching a public beta of Ubuntu for Google Cloud Platform. These are part of the Certified Public Cloud (CPC) programme which means that the cloud versions of Ubuntu will be updated just about as quickly as the regular ground-tethered versions. Images for Utopic Unicorn, TrustyTahr, and Precise Pangolin releases are now available on Google Compute Engine.
The Ubuntu 14.04 LTS, 12.04 LTS releases benefit from the regular five years of maintenance and security updates, while 14.10 has a shorter shelf-life. Taking Ubuntu to the cloud serves as an alternative to the likes of Azure for anyone looking to venture into cloud platforms without breaking the bank.
As these are beta releases, Google points out that they "are not covered by any SLA or deprecation policy and may be subject to backward-incompatible changes". That said, the lure of readymade "optimised, up to date, fully secure and consistent Ubuntu images" is likely to be enticing to many.
Product manager of Certified Public Cloud, Federico Lucifredi, says:
Security has been placed at the highest priority, and Google and Canonical have worked together to ensure that locally-deployed images provide near-instant access to updates and patches as they are released. Head on over to the Google Compute Engine page for details of how to grab the images.