It seems to be a weekly event. Every few days, a major Linux distribution introduces a new type of integration with Amazon Web Services. The usual suspects include Canonical, Red Hat and SUSE. For cloud integrators seeking to link on-premises systems with public cloud services, the Linux-to-Amazon relationships are worth watching closely.

One of the most recent moves involves Red Hat MRG Grid on Amazon Web Services. The effort involves Red Hat Cloud Access, which allows Red Hat customers to move their subscriptions between traditional on-premise servers and off-premise clouds hosted by Red Hat Premier Certified Cloud Providers, such as Amazon Web Services.

Red Hat has been working closely with Amazon Web Services for about two years. As the Linux company recently noted: Red Hat initially extended its Red Hat Enterprise Linux subscriptions into the cloud with Red Hat Cloud Access in April 2010.

Meanwhile, Red Hat Storage (previously known as Gluster) recently connected the dots between on-premises storage systems and Amazon Web Services.

Rewind a couple of weeks, and Amazon Web Services introduced Premium Support for SUSE Linux Enterprise Server. AWS customers using SUSE Linux Enterprise Server on Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) can experience seamless support through experts at Amazon backed by SUSE, according to a statement from SUSE.

For its part, Canonical continues to promote Ubuntu for public and private cloud initiatives. Canonical hit the road with Amazon in 2011, appearing at multiple Amazon Web Services Cloud Summits -- hosted in New York, London and San Francisco.

Where Cloud Integrators Fit In


For channel partners and cloud integrators, the Linux-to-Amazon connections offer potential business opportunities.

No doubt, thousands of customers are seeking to augment their on-premise storage systems with off-premise backup and disaster recovery services. In some scenarios, it sounds like many Linux-based systems can now be extended or completely re-deployed on Amazon's public cloud.

Still, Amazon isn't exactly known for customer support, especially when it comes to channel partners. While Amazon Web Services has a good reputation for reliability, many channel partners and cloud integrators demand deep support relationships, including real-time phone support with dedicated cloud admins who can assist during an emergency. At this point, I'm not sure if Amazon Web Services can answer such calls for help.