Azure Provides Enhanced Security Awareness with Ubuntu Pro
Published Jul 28 2023 07:34 AM 3,822 Views

Azure is working towards enhancing the security awareness for customers that are using the Ubuntu 18.04 LTS image. Since the Ubuntu 18.04 image reached end of standard support in May 2023, customers need to take action to continue receiving security updates, otherwise their instances will be at risk of security vulnerabilities. Azure will assess both native and Arc VMs, to indicate any action required from the customer.  


Organizations that are still using Ubuntu 18.04 LTS will either need to update to Ubuntu Pro version or migrate to a newer Ubuntu LTS version to avoid any security or performance issues. As part of the established LTS cycle, Canonical concluded the release of new security or critical updates after May 2023. Without further security updates, organizations risk exposing their systems and data to potential security threats. Additionally, without software updates, organizations may experience performance issues or compatibility issues as newer hardware or software is released. It is important for organizations to plan for this migration to avoid any disruption to their business operations. 


Azure Guest Patching Service (AzGPS) allows customers to simplify their Guest OS management on their VMs and VM Scale Sets by deploying the latest security and critical updates using Safe Deployment Principles. Update Management Center (preview) is designed to manage and govern updates across Azure and Arc VMs. Powered by AzGPS, it provides a unified service for monitoring Windows and Linux update compliance across your Azure, on-premises, and other cloud platform deployments, all from a single dashboard. With the recent integration, Azure helps identify Ubuntu instances that have not received all available security updates and guides customers through the upgrade process to Ubuntu Pro from the Portal (example below).





Organizations have some options for dealing with the Ubuntu 18.04 LTS end-of-life. Customers can upgrade to Ubuntu Pro or migrate their workloads to a newer version of LTS. 


Ubuntu Pro: Upgrading to Ubuntu Pro will allow continued support on 18.04 LTS from Canonical until 2028 through Expanded Security Maintenance (ESM). Customers can upgrade to Ubuntu Pro from the Azure Marketplace. 

Newer LTS Version: Ubuntu offers the 20.04 LTS and 22.04 LTS as an upgrade over 18.04 LTS. Additional details on migration options are available through Ubuntu. 


Customers can continue to leverage the Auto Guest Patching or Auto OS Image Upgrade capability after moving to a supported model from Canonical. You can follow the steps in the documentation to enable the auto patching on your assets to ensure they continue to remain secure. 

Organizations that use Ubuntu 18.04 LTS need to take necessary steps to remain secure. They can either update to Ubuntu Pro or migrate to a newer version of LTS to avoid any future disruption to their patching mechanisms. Azure’s latest collaboration with Canonical provides enhanced security awareness and simplifies the migration to Ubuntu Pro for customers.   


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‎Aug 04 2023 09:14 AM
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