On the eve of the fourth annual Red Hat Summit, Raleigh, N.C.-based Red Hat Inc. announced on Tuesday, June 17, that its JBoss Enterprise Application Platform is now available to beta customers on the Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2).
According to Red Hat, JBoss is the first Web application platform to be available on EC2, which provides on-demand computing and storage capacity. The announcement follows seven months after Red Hat began offering its Red Hat Enterprise Linux operating system on EC2, a service that it will demonstrate during the three-day Summit in Boston.
The new service delivery option enables JBoss customers to deploy new applications quickly and get to market faster, said Aaron Darcy, the director of product line management for the JBoss Enterprise Application Platform. For small startups without a data center, the Cloud is a low-cost solution, enabling these companies to access the infrastructure and development tools they need to build and deploy applications quickly for as long as they need them.
John Rymer, a vice president and principal analyst at Cambridge, Mass.-based Forrester Research Inc., said the ability to build a new application without having to install and test the application software is a major advantage.
Further, having additional JBoss application capacity on EC2 is helpful to a website that needs to expand or contract in size to response to changes in market demand, he said.
Despite a high number of JBoss configuration errors as noted in a recent Forrester report, JBoss is a good product that companies use successfully, Rymer said. It is bug-free, it scales well and it's as good as BEA Weblogic, he said.
"This is a big transition [for Amazon]," Rymer added. "For the first time, it's offering not only raw compute capacity and storage but a programming model. Amazon is taking a big step forward."
Darcy said that JBoss has worked with a few customers on trials of Cloud deployment, but now for the first time EC2 will be generally available as a beta version. Red Hat customers already using JBoss in their data centers should have an easy transition, he said.
Asked how much demand Red Hat has experienced for its operating system in EC2, Darcy said he didn't know, but clearly Red Hat has moved ahead with JBoss.
"We are definitely early," Darcy said. "But our customers are pushing the edge. We're seeing a lot of interest in how to adapt to nontraditional application environments."
Rymer said, however, that he's heard a lot of talk but not much actual demand for cloud computing.
"JBoss is early," Rymer said. "They have stolen the march here. We'll see how much it matters."
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