Redhat, the poster child of open source and maker of most popular Linux distribution in the enterprise market, took another step into the cloudy future. Redhat recently released version 5.5 of their popular Enterprise Linux distribution. They followed it up with an announcement focused mainly on the hybrid nature of the enterprise cloud adoption in the immediate future.
According to the announcement, Redhat announced what they call as Red Hat Cloud Access which allows their enterprise customers to use their existing subscriptions on Amazon Web Services, EC2 to be more specific. With this, Amazon Web Services becomes first Red Hat Premier Certified Cloud Provider. With Red Hat Cloud Access, eligible Redhat customers can move their Red Hat Enterprise Linux subscriptions between traditional on-premise servers and Amazon Web Services. With this feature, customers can select appropriate computing resources for their needs, without the need for new business or support models. It is important to note that not all customers can move their licenses to AWS but those enterprise customers with at least 25 subscriptions are the only ones allowed to move back and forth. Check their website for further eligibility requirements.
Red Hat is also introducing new features designed to continue allowing enterprises to leverage the benefits of Amazon Web Services:
- The latest versions of Red Hat Enterprise Linux will be available on Amazon EC2 at the same time as the release for traditional on-premise deployments, in an effort to provide consistency between on and off-premise usage. This includes the features in the recently released Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.5.
- Standardized, secure 32-bit and 64-bit Red Hat Enterprise Linux images, which include cloud-specific content like creating images from a specific manifest and certificates, are secured using SELinux and firewall protections.
- Continuous delivery of updates to Red Hat Enterprise Linux within Amazon Web Services, offering delivery of security errata and feature enhancements.
Well, this is long expected from Redhat with Canonical making it damn simple for enterprises to use cloud computing. Unlike Redhat, Canonical doesn’t charge a subscription for their distribution and, rather, they charge for the support. Such a business model allows Canonical customers (well, there aren’t many like Redhat on the enterprise side) to easily tap into Amazon Web Services without worrying about the subscription terms. Plus, Canonical has taken a major leap into cloud computing by tightly integrating Eucalyptus into their Ubuntu Enterprise Cloud edition. The rave reviews about UEC has put enormous pressure on Redhat to do something as more and more enterprises are warming up to cloud computing, both public and private. This easing of subscription terms is an important step in ensuring that enterprises have the necessary flexibility to move from on-premise to cloud. There is a long way to go before Redhat becomes an important player in the cloud market. We will have to wait and see how it shapes up.