Red Hat partners with Amazon for Enterprise Linux fabric in Elastic Compute Cloud

Red Hat partners with Amazon for Enterprise Linux fabric in Elastic Compute Cloud

Summary: My take on these announcements is that Red Hat wants to take its Linux distribution clout far beyond the market for dedicated servers and blades at individual enterprises, and become the de facto industry standard for how hosting organizations, telecommunications providers, entertainment providers, and on-demand ISVs deploy all their applications over the next 10 years.

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Seeking to make ISVs an offer they can't refuse, Red Hat has teamed with Amazon to provide Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 5.x instances in the Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) infrastructure as a service offering.

The beta Amazon-hosted monthly payment subscription service will allow developers -- be they in ISVs or enterprises -- to develop to RHEL and then deploy the applications as a service. The applications owners will then only pay for the hosting of those applications and services based on their use and support infrastructure demand -- known as pay as you drink.

Red Hat also announced Wednesday the release of RHEL 5.1, which follows from RHEL 5.0's arrival last March. The newer point release provides an even deeper and aggressive reach into virtualization benefits, including significant performance boosts.

Additionally, Red Hat plans in mid-2008 to debut a series of software appliances, beginning with Red Hat Appliance OS and an associated development kit. This will allow entire packages of platform, middleware and applications to be crafted into an easily deployed functionally targeted and optimized appliance.

The goal is to allow developers and ISVs myriad choices on how to deliver their applications and services, as long as they deploy to the RHEL stack of open source infrastructure. Red Hat then charges for maintenance and support, or via on-demand subscriptions. By targeting just RHEL, developers can then deploy directly to dedicated servers, to virtualized instances of Linux, via optimized software appliances (apps plus OS plus required stacks), as well as via several choices for on-demand hosting (including Amazon).

Red Hat calls this plethora of deployment models and approaches as its new Linux Automation strategy. Red Hat is also interestingly getting chummy with Sun Microsystems on enterprise Java support, now that Java is open source.

What's more, through its burgeoning embrace of virtualization options, Red Hat plans to aggressively support Windows instances on Red Hat, so that any Windows 32-bit applications (from across many versions of Windows) can be supported virtually on RHEL. The leading Linux supplier also plans to work inside of Microsoft's pending Viridian hypervisor, which is based on the Linux-based Xen hypervisor (at least for now).

On a large business level, Red Hat is seeking to bring more open source deployment options to global developers of nearly every ilk. For operators, Red Hat hopes to simplify their infrastructures while offering strong performance and lower total costs through higher utilization and capacity management on top of lower licensing and hardware costs. Red Hat says that RHEL is gaining ground quickly on mainframes, including IBM's System Z.

My take on these announcements is that Red Hat wants to take its Linux distribution clout far beyond the market for dedicated servers and blades at individual enterprises, and become the de facto industry standard for how hosting organizations, telecommunications providers, entertainment providers, and on-demand ISVs deploy all their applications over the next 10 years.

Red Hat is banking on the trends around virtualization, clustering and utility computing, multi-core hardware/parallelism, and the increasingly advantageous on-demand subscription economic models to become the low-cost, high-performance enough foundational supplier.

With virtualization performance gaining ground, and allowing many types and kind of server applications to run on instances of many OSes, then more (and nearly) all things become equal such that a pure price-performance comparison can be made for providing applications and services. Whether you are building, hosting, providing, or monetizing around those services -- you will eventually move to the best price-performance deal.

The race is on then: Windows, Solaris/Open Solaris, Red Hat Linux -- on various types of platform iterations -- for the best story when it comes to hosting price-performance and deployment ease experience. Red Hat is aiming high on this one. And it has a pretty good shot at it doing very well.

Red Hat is boldly predicting it can, by 2015, double its market share and support more than half the worlds server instances. And they didn't even use the "grid" or "utility" words, not once.

Topics: Amazon, Linux, Open Source, Operating Systems, Software

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8 comments
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  • nice, but expensive compared to base EC2

    For companies that really want paid support from Red Hat, this is a nice option, and it's great to see Amazon sign up a major partner like this. However, you can already install RH Linux on an EC2 machine yourself, and pre-packaged EC2/RHL instances are already freely available, and they are considerably less expensive than this newly announced version.

    Red Hat is charging more than twice what EC2 charges for an unsupported small instance, and charging a premium of around 33% and 18% for the large and extra large instances, respectively, plus tacking on a small surcharge for bandwidth.

    So, again, for companies that really need full-on RHEL or think they'll require support directly from RH, it's a nice option, but for everyone else it's just an unnecessary additional expense.
    wpurvis@...
    • Compare to on-premises TCO ...

      Good points! The comparison for many however will be TCO for on-premises
      deployments, and that looks sweet.

      Also, for ISVs, they want ease and a solution-level approach. And as they pay
      on per-use, they create a margin and pass along costs to their users, many of
      which will be acquired on a pay per access basis.

      If the margin holds, the pricing works.
      Dana Gardner
  • RE: Red Hat partners with Amazon for Enterprise Linux fabric in Elastic Compute Cloud

    fubar
    dragon@...
  • This is RETARDED

    Red hate is GHEY and Amazone is for school marmes shopping for books on knitting elastic pants for bed wetters like you geektarded lunix fan boiz. Go cry to mommy on your blargs cuz Bill Mastergates P0wnZ the INTERTUBES!!!!! AHAHAHAAAAAAAAAAAAAA LAMERZ.
    Duke E. Love
    • Go away

      You waste precious electrons.
      Dana Gardner
      • Oh the Humanity!

        nt
        D T Schmitz
    • Could ZDNet...

      ...put a little filter in place that automatically rejects posts wherein the misspelled-word percentage exceeds some fairly low threshold?
      Henrik Moller
  • Virtual Private Servers for the masses

    This is intriguing from the standpoint that although VPS hosting is not new, the 'appliance' based servers could unfold into on-line Desktop VMs for the masses, provided that cost is not too burdensome.

    Merge that idea with solid state 'thin client green' pc access devices and you begin to have an interesting story.

    Instead of buying a traditional fat client pc, you opt with your isp to rent a remote bootable thin client/cable router which boots into your Desktop hosted by Amazon, Google, MS, etc.

    You follow me? Bueler? Anybody! Never mind.
    It was just a thought. ;)
    D T Schmitz