Amazon has released its own version of the open-source Linux operating system for enterprise customers who use its cloud offering - Amazon Web Services - which will run both on clients' computers as well as in the cloud.
This marks a shift in Amazon's cloud computing strategy as it earlier did not allow similar operating systems to run on its clients' servers, but rather on Amazon-owned data centres. Reports suggest the company will allow its cloud customers to rent access to its new operating system, which it calls Linux 2, but will also allow clients to install the new OS on its own servers.
Companies can use the new OS to operate a variety of popular software programmes including Microsoft's Hyper-V, VMware, Oracle's VM VirtualBox, Docker, and Amazon's Docker alternative, Amazon Machine Image.
As part of the offering, Amazon will provide a five-year support guarantee which includes security patches, bug fixes and other troubleshooting options.
Amazon had earlier shaken up the system by offering cloud services to enterprise customers, a move that threatened revenue streams of companies providing software and hardware for servers. The idea here was that companies could rent a cloud instead of paying for software and hardware. The fallout saw server-oriented companies such as EMC, HP and IBM take a hit as clients moved to Amazon's cloud instead.
Companies such as Oracle (which also has its own version of Linux), Microsoft and Red Hat have been trying to counter AWS through a concept called "hybrid computing".
Hybrid technology allows enterprises to tap into both the cloud and their own on-site servers and toggle between the two.
Linux 2 is Amazon's attempt to counter the hybrid model. It already has a tie-up with VMware that enables the cloud infrastructure firm's customers to easily move their apps to Amazon's cloud.