Red Hat has launched a cloud package that allows Red Hat Enterprise Linux premium support customers to move their instances between on-premises and cloud infrastructures without changes to their support plan.
Red Hat Cloud Access, introduced on Tuesday, is intended to make it easier for companies already using Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) to take advantage of cloud infrastructure while keeping a consistent support subscription agreement.
Amazon Web Services' (AWS) Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) is the first service to be included in Red Hat Cloud Access, Red Hat said.
Previously, Red Hat's technical support package for the use of RHEL on cloud infrastructure included only email support, with a response time of up to 48 hours, the company said. Under Cloud Access, customers retain their premium support conditions, which cover 24-hour, seven-days-a week support with the ability to escalate support issues if needed.
Cloud Access also gives RHEL users access to more features than they previously had on the cloud. For instance, Red Hat will make the latest versions of RHEL, including the recently released version 5.5, available on the cloud at the same time as they are available for on-premises deployments.
Red Hat said it will provide standardised, secure 32-bit and 64-bit RHEL images for cloud deployment. In addition, it will automatically deliver continuous updates to RHEL instances on AWS, much as it does for on-premises deployments via the Red Hat Network system.
The package is only available to customers with a substantial investment in RHEL. To sign up, a company must have a minimum of 25 active subscriptions and must have a direct support relationship with Red Hat, as opposed to a third-party support deal.
Certain restrictions apply, such as that Red Hat must be informed when a user wants to migrate a subscription to the cloud, and the subscription must remain there for a minimum of six months. The company has published more details on its website.
Cloud Access is available right away.
Novell last summer launched a group of technologies that allow developers to create and deploy software appliances that can run in any virtual environment, called the Suse Appliance Program. The programme included a version of Suse Linux Enterprise Server designed to run in Amazon's EC2 environment.