Amazon EC2 Taps Microsoft Program for Windows Server Customers

By Darryl K. Taft  |  Posted 2010-03-25 Print this article Print

Amazon has launched an initiative for Microsoft customers to bring their Windows Server licenses to Amazon's Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) platform.

Amazon has launched an initiative for Microsoft customers to bring their Windows Server licenses to Amazon's Elastic Compute Cloud platform.

Amazon's effort is in conjunction with a new Microsoft pilot program that enables Windows Server customers with an Enterprise Agreement (EA) with Microsoft to bring their licenses to Amazon EC2 and pay Amazon's Linux On-Demand or Reserved Instance rates, said Peter DeSantis, general manager of EC2 at Amazon. That translates to a savings of between 35 percent and 50 percent, depending on the type of customer and instance, he said

In an interview with eWEEK, DeSantis said Amazon customers have sought support for Windows Server and Amazon has delivered support for both Windows Server 2003 and more recently Windows Server 2008. However, larger customers with EA agreements with Microsoft wanted to know if those agreements could be applied to EC2 instances. This new pilot program makes that possible.

Amazon announced the effort on March 24 and immediately began enrolling customers. Enrollment will continue through September 15, 2010, DeSantis said.

In a notice sent out to announce the program, Amazon said to participate in the pilot, Microsoft requires that your company meets the following criteria:

??Ç         Your company must be based (or have a legal entity) in the United States.

??Ç         Your company must have an existing Microsoft Enterprise Agreement that does not expire within 12 months of your entry into the Pilot.

??Ç         You must already have purchased Software Assurance from Microsoft for your EA Windows Server licenses.

??Ç         You must be an Enterprise customer (Academic and Government institutions are not covered by this pilot).

Meanwhile, according to Amazon, some of the fine print for the project reads:

"Once enrolled, you can move your Enterprise Agreement Windows Server Standard, Windows Server Enterprise, or Windows Server Datacenter Edition licenses to Amazon EC2 for 1 year. Each of your Windows Server Standard licenses will let you launch one EC2 instance. Each of your Windows Server Enterprise or Windows Server Datacenter licenses will let you launch up to four EC2 instances. In either case, you can use any of the EC2 instance types. The licenses you bring to EC2 can only be moved between EC2 and your on-premises machines every 90 days. You can use your licenses in the US East (Northern Virginia) or US West (Northern California) Regions. You will still be responsible for maintaining your Client Access Licenses and External Connector licenses appropriately." 

Darryl K. Taft covers the development tools and developer-related issues beat from his office in Baltimore. He has more than 10 years of experience in the business and is always looking for the next scoop. Taft is a member of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) and was named 'one of the most active middleware reporters in the world' by The Middleware Co. He also has his own card in the 'Who's Who in Enterprise Java' deck.

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