Red Hat Cloud Access is a program for subscriptions purchased directly from Red Hat to be rolled over to a supported and certified cloud provider, and vice versa. This is described more in Red Hat Cloud Access and Migrating your Subscriptions between Clouds. This makes any type of subscription, including subscriptions for physical machines, portable between environments.
Red Hat Enterprise Linux On-Demand subscriptions are sold by your cloud provider for use within their cloud. On-Demand customers should not register their systems with the Red Hat Subscription Management because they get their content updates through the Red Hat Update Infrastructure, which connects to the Red Hat Content Delivery Network. If they register with the Red Hat Subscription Management, they will be billed twice. For On-Demand images, the total price of the virtual machines (VMs) is: (Linux VM Compute rate) + (Red Hat Enterprise Linux rate). There is an additional charge for using Red Hat Enterprise Linux On-Demand images; this additional charge does not apply to Red Hat Cloud Access VMs. While Red Hat subscriptions have a relatively long validity period, usually around two years (though that varies for your specific contract), On-Demand subscriptions are relatively short lived, from as long as a year to as short as an hour. This allows the cloud to scale and to request and consume subscriptions dynamically according to its current usage.
On-Demand and Red Hat Cloud Access subscriptions offer installation and upgrades, errata, and support for Red Hat products. Support is available for whatever service level agreement is defined in the subscription, regardless of where it was purchased.
The main difference between the two types of subscriptions is where they're purchased, which defines how they can be used.
- On-Demand images are purchased from the cloud provider, such as Microsoft. These can only be used within the cloud environment and are for cloud instances. On-Demand images are updated from Microsoft, who gets the updates from Red Hat and makes it available to their customers via Red Hat Update Infrastructure.
- Red Hat Cloud Access subscriptions are purchased from Red Hat. These can be for physical or cloud instances and can be transferred between environments as needed. Red Hat Cloud Access customers don't have access to Red Hat Update Infrastructure and must be subscribed to Red Hat to get updates.
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