New Red Hat Enterprise Linux licensing plan designed to unify cloud, physical environments

Enterprise open-source software company streamlines licensing options.

Red Hat on Tuesday announced new subscription offerings for Red Hat Enterprise Linux that are designed to make the company's flagship product a better fit for a mix of cloud, physical and virtual environments.

Socket pairs and virtual nodes are now treated as interchangeable under Red Hat’s Enterprise Linux Server license, allowing for various combinations of physical servers and virtualized machines. RHEL for Virtual Data Centers also got an update, with a purely per-socket option allowing for an unlimited number of VMs on Hyper-V, VMware, or Red Hat’s own Enterprise Virtualization.

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Flexibility in an increasingly heterodox IT environment was the key driver behind Red Hat’s move to the new licensing model, platform vice president Jim Totton said in a statement.

“Today’s enterprise infrastructures include a dynamic mix of physical, virtual and cloud deployments, and our customers need a streamlined process that allows them to quickly and easily adapt subscriptions at the speed of business, without having to constantly restart the buying cycle when requirements change and a workload needs to move,” he said.

It’s also a matter of stretching static budgets to cover rapidly increasing demands on computing hardware, according to 451 Research senior analyst Jay Lyman.

“One of the first things [IT departments] typically try to do is limit overprovisioning and over-purchasing of resources, whether physical infrastructure, virtual or cloud computing systems,” he says. “Additionally, some of the biggest costs associated with subscription software such as RHEL can often center on managing licenses, so this helps to alleviate that by allowing customers to adjust their infrastructure use, whether physical, virtual or cloud, more simply and efficiently.”

Red Hat also rolled out version 5.10 of RHEL, which adds the latest version of MySQL, a new diagnostic portal called Red Hat Access and upgraded subscription management tools on Tuesday.

Email Jon Gold at jgold@nww.com and follow him on Twitter at @NWWJonGold.

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