Try Amazon's cloud for free, using Red Hat tools

Red Hat launches “test drives” of Amazon’s cloud through partners

Red Hat, which is the largest single contributor to the OpenStack project, is now offering an opportunity to take a "test drive" on the biggest competitor to the OpenStack project: Amazon Web Services's cloud.

Red Hat announced this week at its partner conference that customers can work with three select Red Hat partners to set up and test a lab environment within AWS's cloud. The move shows how Red Hat, while being one of the biggest supporters of the OpenStack project, is also working across the technology stack to support customers deploying resources to Amazon's market- leading cloud platform. 

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"Most enterprise customers are not going to employ a 100% public cloud architecture," says Erik Wallin co-founder of Red Hat partner Shadow-Soft, which is one of the participating companies in the trial program. "But most all enterprise customers are going to embrace a hybrid cloud strategy ... A rapid embracing of Amazon will put OpenStack in the pole position to dominate hybrid cloud."

These AWS "test drives" allow users to run software from Red Hat partners in AWS's cloud. Wallin says these applications normally require a significant installation of hardware, but by using AWS's cloud customers can get up and running quickly.

Participating Red Hat partners include:

-CityTech Inc., which allows users to test business process management (BPM) tools on AWS's cloud using Red Hat's JBoss Middleware running on AWS. In this specific example, customers can test a mortgage application workflow process.

-Shadow-Soft allows users to simulate an ecommerce store and make changes to it

-Vizuri: A Red Hat storage partner allows users to test out file sync and sharing across a WAN.

The moves continue the "frenemy" relationship between AWS and Red Hat. AWS offers Red Hat Enterprise Linux operating system servers from its cloud, as well as a variety of other Red Hat tools and services. Red Hat, meanwhile, is leading the development of OpenStack by building new tools and functionality into the IaaS platform and packaging the open source software into a software package that allows users to build a private cloud based on the technology. Red Hat is attempting to do with OpenStack what it did with Linux: Commercialize support for it and make another $1 billion.

Senior Writer Brandon Butler covers cloud computing for Network World and NetworkWorld.com. He can be reached at BButler@nww.com and found on Twitter at @BButlerNWW.

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