Canonical has broken new ground by becoming the earliest Linux provider to interweave a snapshot service via Azure's updating process for Ubuntu's use in Microsoft Azure. Achieved through cooperation with Microsoft, the development is set to provide system administrators with a more controlled and predictable mode to execute updates.
What is the Snapshot Service?
The cutting-edge snapshot service consists of a comprehensive archive hosted at snapshot.ubuntu.com. The archive, dating back to February 2023, forms a complete repository of Ubuntu. This provides system administrators the capability to update an Ubuntu virtual machine (VM) or container basis the state of the archive at any given time. The repository URL in the sources.list file will be something akin to
deb https://snapshot.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/20230401T000000Z lunar main in /etc/apt/sources.list. Here, admins can freely modify the snapshot date as per their requirement.
A Time-Sensitive Archive
As outlined by Canonical, in Ubuntu and most Linux distributions, security updates are introduced in the archives as soon as they become available. Consequently, updating from the Ubuntu archives in a staging environment and then sequentially across the production environment can result in variation of available packages over time.
What is installed on instances at the conclusion of the rollout process can potentially differ from the packages installed in the original test instance. This discrepancy can result in undermining the value of the initial testing and staggered rollout, possibly posing a threat to the impact of updates on production services.
Brendan Burns, Corporate Vice President, Cloud Native/Linux/OSS, Microsoft Azure, expressed his pleasure at the integrated solution's release, enabling Safe Deployment Practices (SDP) on Azure VMs and containerized workloads. He lauded the new functionality for empowering cloud native developers to innovate faster and enhance the resilience and security of popular Linux workloads. He also emphasized Azure's privilege in being the first cloud to integrate Ubuntu's fresh repo snapshot service with cloud scale/aware management and update services.