Red Hat announced a deal today in which Red Hat Enterprise Linux customers could move their subscriptions to Google Compute Engine, a deal that could benefit both companies.
Red Hat offers what it calls a “bring your own subscription” plan. For instance, Red Hat Linux customers can shift their installations from on-premises to a public cloud provider of their choice as long as it’s part of the approved list of cloud vendors (as GCE is).
When Red Hat customers move an instance to Google Compute Engine using Red Hat tools, they will continue to get support from Red Hat, providing a single vendor to deal with in the event of any problems. That would presumably help alleviate any finger-pointing should something go wrong.
Martin Buhr, product manager for the Google Cloud Platform saw the deal as an endorsement for the Google platform. “Red Hat’s announcement is a great vote of confidence for Google Cloud Platform as an enterprise grade place for customers to develop and deploy their applications. Many customers have requested the ability to deploy RHEL on GCE, and we are excited to be only the second cloud provider included in this program,” he wrote to me in an email.
Red Hat sees this as a way to let a company decide how it wants to deploy — giving them options for physical, virtual or cloud, depending on their requirements — and they can mix and match as they see fit.
Mike Ferris, Red Hat’s Director of Cloud Product Strategy, says the deal provides a way for enterprise users to comfortably use public cloud services.
“Technology innovations in compute, networking, storage, and management have enabled massive, enterprise-quality cloud environments such as Google Compute Engine,” he tells me. “We are now solving the business and operational needs of customers through capabilities such as permitting customers to import images already hardened and approved by their IT group, consistently manage images and instances on- and off-premise, and provide service and support both on- and off-premise without any disruption to process or quality.”
As Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols, who has covered open source for years, says this is a deal that works well for both parties. “This is a natural move for both companies,” he wrote to me in an email. “Red Hat wants more cloud-based Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) cloud customers and Google wants more business clients. It’s a match made in open source heaven.”
Google joined Red Hat’s Certified Cloud Provider program last November, just a month before it announced the general availability of Google Compute Engine. At the end of last month, Google announced massive price cuts to its service, in a move clearly designed to draw customers away from Amazon Web Services.