Red Hat, Amazon Team Up in the Cloud

Red Hat enables the development of Java application on Amazon EC2.

BOSTON-Red Hat is releasing the beta availability of its JBoss Enterprise Application Platform as a solution within the Amazon EC2 (Elastic Compute Cloud).

Announced June 17 at the Red Hat Summit 2008 here, this move extends an existing development relationship between Red Hat and Amazon.

"Java developers can develop an application and deploy it into the cloud without hardware or a data center," said Craig Muzilla, vice president of the middleware business unit for Red Hat. "JBoss is a core application server with infrastructure, such as messaging and transaction management, for Java developers."

Amazon EC2 is a Web service designed to enable developers to dynamically obtain and configure compute capacity. Muzilla said there are several business scenarios for using the JBoss platform within Amazon EC2.

"If an IT organization is developing an application and doesn't want excess infrastructure, like servers, storage or networking, they can develop code, deploy it in EC2, and get the application up and running," he said. "Or you may be an e-commerce site with a Web-based application for which you host the infrastructure internally, but with steep peaks and valleys. Instead of buying infrastructure that mostly sits idle for the peaks, you can meet the spikes by provisioning in the cloud to meet excess demand."

In another scenario, Muzilla said a small to midsize business might have a Web application that needs to be deployed, but doesn't want to go through a traditional hosting company where it would still have to buy infrastructure.

"You can develop, have someone else develop or buy an application off the shelf and provision it on-demand with hosting by Amazon," he said.

Muzilla said making the JBoss platform available on Amazon EC2 is part of experimentation within the marketplace to find ways of reducing development costs through on-demand services provided by cloud computing.

"This is a new area for the marketplace," he said.

As reported in a 2006 report on enterprise application integration from Aberdeen Group, "organizations are hemorrhaging business value that is collectively worth up to $143 billion globally, due to inefficient application integration processes and technology use." Half of the companies surveyed in the report indicated they are challenged by inflexibility in business processes.

The report suggests solutions including deploying SOA (service-oriented architecture) technology, focusing on better real-time visibility into real-time business processes, and driving lower IT software maintenance costs. By deploying its enterprise application platform in the Amazon EC2 cloud, Red Hat appears to be responding to a need for flexibility and cost control in the enterprise application integration marketplace.

Dan Berthiaume covers the retail space for eWEEK. For more industry news, check out's Retail Site.