Blender es one of the free and open source projects capable of competing and beating commercial alternatives. Is a 3D creation suite for artists and media production experts. Canonical is the company that, thanks to the Linux Ubuntu distribution, managed to gain a foothold in the corporate market by providing professional business support and long-term security maintenance for solutions based on open source software.
The Blender Developers they joined forces with Canonical to offer design professionals and studios solutions based on the LTS version of the suite.
Mark Shuttlewort, Canonical's CEO, stated:
It is a privilege to support Blender and the fantastic work of this remarkable community, its founders and leaders. Today's announcement empowers Blender with Canonical support that includes full service and long-term security maintenance, and offers the level of security that professional Blender content creators need.
From the Blender Foundation, who spoke was its president, Ton Roosendaal:
The way Canonical structured this service together with us is exemplary for the open source movement. I think it will set a new standard for how independent, free groups of manufacturers who really care about their products and users participate in the marketplace and shape the future of the industry.
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Canonical will support Blender. Pricing and Features
The support offering will include Blender LTS versions on Linux, Microsoft Windows and macOS distributions. Canonical engineers will work directly with customers to provide comprehensive technical support to users by determining, diagnosing and resolving problems as quickly as possible. Canonical will manage the entire support process, including integration with the Blender support infrastructure.
The different support modalities are:
Standard support ($ 500 per year)
- Support by ticket or phone on business days
- First response to a serious problem within a period of no more than 4 business hours.
- Second response within a period of no more than 8 business hours.
- Third answer within a period of no more than 12 business hours.
- Fourth response within a period of no more than one business day.
Advanced support ($ 1000 per year)
- Support by phone or ticket 24 hours a day, 7 days.
- First response to a serious problem within a period of no more than 1 hour.
- Second response within a period of no more than 2 hours.
- Third response within a period of no more than 6 hours.
- Fourth response within a period of no more than 12 hours.
Canonical will build and maintain its own service framework for Blender, based on the already existing Ubuntu Advanced platform. The income from the services will be partially shared with the foundation that will invest it in the basic development of Blender and in the public support for the extended support versions. The project will not have any contractual obligations with the clients that agree with Canonical.
The Blender Foundation is confident that the partnership with Canonical will help it fulfill its stated mission in 2020.
Putting the world's best 3D technology in the hands of artists as free / open source software, and doing amazing things with it.
Let's hope that in this way Blender can solve one of the most serious problems that affects different independent free software projects.
Although Blender has performance equal to or better than proprietary alternatives, the lack of a commercial support offering prevented it from further increasing the corporate user base. The availability of a support is one of the aspects that companies take into account when choosing a product.
It is also an excellent business alternative for Canonical. Although it has succeeded in corporate services, particularly in cloud services, this is a market where Red Hat has clear leadership. On the other hand, providing commercial support to free software projects is a totally new service.