The Ubuntu 12.10 distribution has a new remote management system called Landscape. This management framework allows a manager of a network of Ubuntu machines to manage all the computers from one location. The Landscape system can manage installation of updates across all of the installed desktops, and make sure all of the installed software and updates are synchronised across all of the workstations. This would obviously be a boon for anyone who is in charge of a network of Linux machines that needs to ensure that they are all up to date and all security patches are properly installed. This service is available as a hosted service delivered by Ubuntu Advantage, but this is also available to run on-site with the Landscape Dedicated Server Edition. This means that you may use the Landscape system without Internet access, you may deliver security updates from your own private repository instead of downloading from the Internet. The ability to control machines remotely and manage a room full of machines from one console is a very powerful tool and would greatly assist any network administrator.
If you could configure a network of computers so that in the case of an employees machine was down they could use any other machine and after logging in, their own desktop and files would appear, and they could get straight to work, that would be a good feature if it could be available. The Windows Active Directory was supposed to have this functionality, I am not sure if this is how it turned out. That is what the corporate computer networks were like in Snow Crash. Yt`s Mom would log-in to any computer in the room and her desktop and documents would appear. That is what the cloud could deliver. Canonical seem to be targeting Ubuntu to a corporate crowd as well as the normal users, that is not really a bad thing. Landscape also allows users to create and manage cloud instances on the Amazon EC2 public cloud amongst other very powerful features.