Canonical and Intel Collaborate for Confidential Computing

Intel Has a Well-Established Relationship With Canonical & We Work Closely to Enable Our Security Capabilities Within Ubuntu, Says Mark Skarpness, VP Intel

Open source security, support and services company Canonical — the publisher of Ubuntu — offers a portfolio covering critical systems, from the smallest devices to the largest clouds, from the kernel to containers, from databases to AI. 

In a move that marks a significant commitment to advancing confidential computing, the security specialists have collaborated with Intel, enabling customers to always have access to an Intel-optimised Ubuntu build. The two companies have partnered to tackle the continually expanding gap between cutting-edge silicon innovation and the software ecosystem's ability to keep pace. 

Collaboration for enhanced security

As Ubuntu-based Intel TDX is available on many of the major public cloud providers — including Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud — the partnership promotes both accessibility of access for consumers, as well as confidence in the development of multi-cloud hybrid confidential computing strategy.

“Intel has a well-established and collaborative relationship with Canonical, and we work closely to enable our security capabilities within the Ubuntu operating environment,” says Mark Skarpness, Vice President and General Manager of System Software Engineering, Intel. 

Skarpness has been at Intel for over three decades, and is currently responsible for operating systems and core drivers, virtualisation, orchestration, cloud native, web platform, and related system software for Intel platforms. He holds a bachelor’s degree in computer engineering from Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology in Indiana and a master’s degree in electrical engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

“Through our collaboration, Canonical now offers an Intel-optimised version of their enterprise distributions that incorporates all the latest Intel TDX architectural elements and innovations in 5th Gen Xeon Scalable processors. This will provide customers with the confidence that their most sensitive data is more secure, while also helping maintain privacy and promote compliance.”  

The collaboration between the two tech companies supports the industry movement Confidential Computing to address the security challenges posed by data security run-time.

“We are excited to extend our long-standing partnership with Intel into Intel TDX,” shares Cindy Goldberg, VP of Silicon Alliance, Canonical.

Goldberg joined Canonical in 2021, having previously led an innovation and tech scouting team to accelerate strategic hybrid cloud technologies by fostering collaboration and investment with startups at IBM.

“This will enable 5th Gen Intel Xeon Scalable processors’ users to start building their confidential computing infrastructure with Ubuntu today, and benefit from its strong hardware-rooted confidentiality and integrity security guarantees.”

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