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Red Hat has launched the private beta of Red Hat Enterprise Linux on Amazon’s (NASDAQ:AMZN) Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) service with a public beta due in the before the end of the year.

Under the partnership, Red Hat will make Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) and its features–the network management service, technical support and certified applications–on Amazon’s EC2 service.

In a statement, Red Hat said that the base price for RHEL on Amazon’s EC2 will be $19 a month per user and 21 cents, 53 cents or 94 cents per compute hour. The plans vary based on the options customers choose, bandwidth and storage fees.

In a nutshell, RHEL is now an on-demand service and the first operating system available on EC2. The company didn’t disclose its financial arrangement with Amazon.

See Dana Gardner’s analysis of the announcement

In addition, Red Hat said it plans to allow its independent software vendors to deliver an Appliance Operating System and Appliance Development Kit in the first half of 2008. The Red Hat Appliance Operating System will allow applications certified on RHEL to be deployed as software appliances across all industry servers.

The barrage of announcements were all part of Red Hat’s automation strategy, which aims to run any application on any server. Naturally, Red Hat is hoping this ecosystem will be powered by RHEL.

The company is predicting a big win for open source and itself, claiming that by 2015 50 percent of servers humming away in datacenters will run on Red Hat Linux.

Source: Amazon's Cloud to be Seeded with Red Hat's Enterprise Linux