It looks to be a big week for Red Hat (RHT) Enterprise Linux (RHEL) in the cloud. The open source company unveiled the 5.10 version of RHEL at about the same time it announced the operating system was being made available on the free usage tier of Amazon (AMZN) Web Services EC2.

According to a memo to AWS customers, RHEL is being made available on the free usage tier of EC2 to AWS customers. Those customers get to use up to 750 hours of RHEL on the EC2 micro instance at no charge, which AWS noted is enough hours to run it continuously each month.

Of course, the free usage tier is only available to new AWS customers, so those who have been with AWS for more than 12 months don't get this trial. Naturally, there are several other usage terms in place organizations should be aware of before they try to access RHEL on AWS EC2.

As for the new 5.10 version of the operating system, it's a beta launch that introduces a few new features for system administrators, including:

  • Better troubleshooting capabilities through the new Red Hat Access Service, which was designed to make it easier for customers to manage, diagnose and engage with Red Hat directly through RHEL 5. This will provide customers with new support features and resources.
  • Enhanced security with access to MySQL 5.5 and several improvements to speed, scalability and user friendliness.
  • Enhanced management subscription tools through Subscription Asset Manager, which now provides customers with more insight into how they optimize and benefit from their Red Hat subscriptions.

The beta of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.10 is available on to customers on the Red Hat Network with an active subscription.