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Red Hat Extends Linux Subscriptions to Cloud Computing

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Moving enterprise IT software to the cloud isn’t just a technology issue, it’s software support entitlement issue as well.

Red Hat Cloud Access extends Linux subscription model for cloud computing deployments on Amazon EC2.

Linux vendor Red Hat (NYSE: RHT) today is unveiling a new program dubbed Red Hat Cloud Access through which current Red Hat Enterprise Linux subscribers can leverage their existing support subscriptions for cloud deployments.

With Red Hat Cloud Access, enterprises that have Red Hat Enterprise Linux premium subscriptions can move them to Amazon’s EC2 cloud. As a result, Red Hat is enabling its customers to migrate to the cloud with their existing subscriptions. Red Hat is also now set to ensure that the Amazon images of its Red Hat Enterprise Linux are consistent with the version updates that enterprises deploy on-premises.

“This goes a long way to making it clear how customers work with Red Hat in public clouds,” Mike Ferris, director of product strategy for Red Hat’s cloud solutions, told

Management of the public cloud deployment can also be enabled via Red Hat’s Network Satellite provisioning and management tool.

Moving subscriptions to the cloud isn’t just a one-way migration, either. Ferris said he expects that enterprises taking advantage of Red Hat Cloud Access will move current on-premises RHEL subscriptions up to the cloud while also may move subscriptions back from the cloud to on-site as needed.

The move to simplify the way Red Hat works with its customers on the cloud comes as rival vendor Ubuntu ramps up its own cloud strategy.

Red Hat has been offering its Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) on Amazon for several years. Ferris noted that to date the Amazon instances of RHEL have been in beta with limited support. He added that Red Hat used the beta to help determine what customers wanted and how they’d use the public cloud with RHEL.

“Now we’re making sure that customers have a consistent relationship with Red Hat,” whether it’s on-site or in the cloud, Ferris said.

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at, the news service of, the network for technology professionals.

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