March 18, 2011
Amazon Web Services (AWS) got a pair of improvements this week, with Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (VPC) adding virtual networking and Internet access capabilities and Microsoft Windows Server 2008 R2 support arriving on the Amazon EC2 (Elastic Compute Cloud) platform. The VPC updates are designed to give cloud providers more flexibility in setting up dedicated cloud resources. And Windows Server 2008 grants access to a lot of new features.
In order: From Amazon VPC’s launch through the present, it was limited to provisioning an isolated chunk of the AWS cloud and deploying resources inside it — only reachable by a VPN from your datacenter or your customers’ data center. That was probably good in a few use-cases. But with this week’s Amazon VPC updates, users don’t need any existing infrastructure to take advantage, according to the official blog entry.
Cloud administrators can define a network topology (including IP ranges) and access it all through the Internet. It’s a major usability boost to the offering that I suspect will drive some interest among cloud service providers.
As for Microsoft Windows Server 2008 R2 and SQL Server Standard 2008 R2: cloud administrators now get to move up to take advantage of features like support for IIS 7.5, additional Active Directory features, new management tools, and overall performance improvements, according to another official blog entry. These new server instances are available in all AWS regions and 64-bit instance types, but they won’t support Amazon VPC at launch.
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