The new Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.1 will be available as the OS platform for physical servers, virtual servers, appliances, and, in a new move for the company, as virtual servers on Amazon's EC2 service, Red Hat announced Wednesday.
To deploy on Amazon EC2, customers will pay both for a Red Hat Network subscription for the software, and for the computing, storage and bandwidth they use at Amazon. Terms of the relationship between Red Hat and Amazon are not public, and EC2 is still in beta.
Customers will be able to use the same Red Hat management tools and software update service across all four deployment models, and independent software vendors (ISV) who certify on RHEL 5.1 will be certified on all four models. "Every RHEL application is certified on every deployment model," says Scott Crenshaw, vice president, enterprise Linux business at Red Hat
MySQL architect Brian Aker told LinuxWorld.com that EC2 is useful, as a flexible way for IT shops to add more computing capacity. "They're taking that whole idea of time sharing that we've been listening to since the 1970s and making it very practical. As you need more computing nodes, you can just request more computing nodes."
Compared with the rPath approach, the new Red Hat approach lets ISVs build applications for RHEL, as they ordinarily would, instead of adding support for another distribution. "It is a RHEL certified offering whether you're laying down your application on bare metal, on a virtual host, or embedded on an appliance. It's RHEL and you certify once and deploy anywhere," says Paul Cormier, executive vice president, worldwide engineering, for Red Hat. "With other solutions, for every appliance you generate a home-grown Linux. That doesn't scale in the enterprise."
Cormier gave an ambitious market share target for Red Hat. "We believe that through this extension of the open source platform, we will more than double our market share to power more than 50% of the world's servers by 2015," he says.