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Amazon Web Services updates Linux implementation

The upgrade will allow enterprises to run different versions of applications and programming languages

Amazon Web Services has upgraded the Linux image that runs in its cloud to include newer versions of Tomcat, MySQL and Python, while at the same time allowing enterprises to stay on older versions, the company said in a blog post on Wednesday.

Allowing enterprises to run different versions of applications and programming languages has been one of the major goals with version 2012.03 of the Amazon Linux AMI (Amazon Machine Image). It allows code that relies on different versions to migrate from older AMIs with minimal changes, according to Amazon.

For example, new installations will get MySQL 5.5, unless administrators explicitly choose to install the older version 5.1, according to Amazon. However, enterprises that are already running MySQL on Linux in Amazon’s cloud will stay on MySQL 5.1 by default, it wrote.

MySQL 5.5 became generally available in December of 2010, and has better performance, scalability and is more user friendly, according to Oracle. Linux performance is up 370 percent for read-writes and 200 percent for read-only compared to version 5.1, Oracle said at the time.

Similarly AWS users can also choose between Tomcat 6 and 7; PostgreSQL 8 or PostgreSQL 9, and Python version 2.6 or 2.7.

When it comes to Python, the older version is still the default. But Amazon is working on getting more modules built for the new version, and will be adding them as they become available, it said.

Amazon has also upgraded the Linux kernel to version 3.2, updated all the AWS command line tools, and refreshed many of the included packages, the company wrote without delving into the details.

The Amazon Linux AMI 2012.03 is available in all regions, and the package repositories have also been updated in all regions, according to Amazon.

Amazon’s Linux image is available in a multitude of guises: users can choose between 32-bit and 64-bit formats, and different performance levels, from the micro instance to the quadruple extra large instances. The cost for on-demand instances is between US$0.02 per hour and $2,400 per hour.

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