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Nov 8

Tim O'Reilly

Tim O'Reilly

Awesome Move by Red Hat and Amazon

I was amazed and delighted to see the news that Red Hat is going to start offering Red Hat Enterprise Linux on EC2. This is good news for several reasons:

  1. It shows that Red Hat, which has gotten a bit stodgy in its pursuit of the enterprise market, is not afraid to make a bold, game changing move. (Though its pricing is not as elastic as Amazon's model allows.)

  2. It shows just how powerful the infrastructure is that Amazon is building. They completely get the idea of the web as platform, and they keep pushing the envelope. Kudos to them.

  3. It may create opportunities for people to move applications whole cloth to EC2, rather than just portions of the processing.

I haven't had a chance to study the offering in detail, but on first look, my hat's off to Red Hat and Amazon.

tags: amazon, ec2, redhat  | comments: 10   | Sphere It


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Michael Vu   [11.08.07 01:43 AM]

Awesome move indeed. Redhat's move to offer Redhat Enterprise Linux on EC2 is definitely going to push other providers towards offering their software on EC2 as well. It also gives startups/developers some more confidence in their choice to leverage EC2 for their applications.

Tristam Hodgkiss   [11.08.07 08:39 AM]

Well just today I also received a marketing E-mail from containing all of the most "Wished-For" books and music. Wished for, for what?

That's right, it's time to send "Holiday Cards" and take a look at those "Holiday Lists" and buy buy buy for "Holiday."

Um, no thanks. Everybody knows that the big "Holiday" around the world in December where everybody gives wrapped presents to each other is Christmas. It would be nice to see Jeff Bezos do the right thing already. If he wants people to use Amazon to buy Christmas presents, just say so.

Don Marti   [11.08.07 10:51 AM]

This could end up being the shortest way for an ISV to take a customer-hosted app (free/open source or proprietary) and start offering it on a subscription basis. Don't worry about building your own infrastructure: build and test on RHEL and you get an app that will run on EC2. Then bring up one AMI for every customer that wants the same app, but hosted, and manage the underlying RHEL yourself.

Erik   [11.08.07 01:04 PM]

bold move? this is a meaningless move. software that is 'certified' to run on RHEL is not the type of software that people who are running ec2 instances are going to be using. really, who cares?

> (Though its pricing is not as elastic as Amazon's model allows.)

what does this mean?

Deepak   [11.08.07 01:42 PM]

I am inclined to agree with Erik to a degree, in that I don't think this is a bold move as such. In fact it reminds me a little of IBM's on-demand computing offering (although the pricing is probably more attractive). Even there Linux is usually client provided and IBM provides AIX5.xL

I still see this as Red Hat looking at an alternative distribution for RHEL into enterprises as more enterprises look at utility computing as a viable model.

Startups, EC2's main users, are unlikely to embrace this move any time soon.

anon   [11.08.07 05:46 PM]


rPath has been doing this for 2 yrs now. Isn't it a bit too little too late?

Tim O'Reilly   [11.09.07 12:39 AM]

Eric -- What Don said.

Re. pricing not as flexible: Amazon's pricing is by actual usage. RH's is by month.

Paul Prescod   [11.09.07 05:16 AM]

"It may create opportunities for people to move applications whole cloth to EC2, rather than just portions of the processing."

Tim: I am told by those who have tried it that the reason you can't move applications whole cloth to EC2 is because your virtual machines can sometimes randomly disappear with all of your data. "Poof". Of course you can use backup, but how often and how quickly can you recover?

Few people would want to run a production website in an environment like that, Red Hat's blessing notwithstanding.

Tim O'Reilly   [11.09.07 06:11 AM]

Hmmm... if you're right, Paul, and I don't see any reason you wouldn't be, knowing your expertise, then this is

a) just a PR move on Red Hat's part, without much substance
b) suggests improvements to the reliability of EC2?

It will be interesting to see how this develops.

David   [11.09.07 07:00 AM]

Tristam Hodgkiss, you've gotta take your irrelevant comments somewhere else.

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