Canonical has released a virtual appliance for running instances of IBM DB2 database software, the company announced on Wednesday. The software appliance will contain a copy of IBM's DB2 Express-C, which will run on the company's Linux-based server distribution, Ubuntu 10.04 Long Term Support Server Edition.

"A virtual cloud appliance consisting of Ubuntu and DB2 Express-C will enable customers to quickly and easily set up DB2 in both public and private cloud situations," said Neil Levine, Canonical vice president of commercial services, in a statement.

Public cloud service providers such as Amazon and Rackspace use the server edition of Ubuntu Linux as part of their offerings. Canonical is also marketing its Ubuntu Enterprise Cloud, which incorporates a version of the open source Eucalyptus cloud software, as a product that organisations can use to build their own private clouds.

IBM offers DB2 Express-C as a free basic version of DB2 that is geared to smaller enterprise deployments. IBM has also certified that DB2, version 9.7 can run on Ubuntu 10.04.

Canonical is not alone in offering a cloud-ready version of DB2. Amazon also offers four versions of DB2 as part of its Amazon Web Services platform. It also offers Oracle, MySQL, Microsoft SQL Server, PostSQL and Sybase IQ, on a metered basis.