The on-demand virtual infrastructure that Amazon offers since August 2006 under the name of Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) is powered by Xen and Red Hat Enterprise Linux virtual machines. But Amazon is working on extending the guest operating systems offering.
In fact today the company started a beta program which allows customers to use Sun OpenSolaris virtual machines instead of Red Hat ones: the OpenSolaris Amazon Machine Images (AMIs).
Sun prepared two different guest OSes for this program: the first is the just released OpenSolaris 2008.05 (formerly codename Project Indiana) and the other is the Solaris Express Community Edition (codename Nevada).
Enroll for the beta program here.
It’s interesting that Sun is working on the Amazon grid infrastructure when it could definitively build its own at the online facility Sun Grid Compute Utility.
In that case Sun would gain even more flexibility free to spawn xVM Server virtual machines or Solaris Containers zones depending on the customer needs.
Just like in the Sun VDI case, where the company prefers to exclusively support VMware ESX rather than its hypervisor, it seems that Sun is not ready yet to push its own products.