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Matthew Weinberger

March 25, 2010

2 Min Read
Amazon EC2 Makes Windows Server Cloud Pitch

Leveraging Amazon EC2 may have just gotten cheaper for many VARs, as Amazon Web Services (AWS) launches a Microsoft Windows Server License Mobility Pilot. The move lets potential customers migrate existing Windows licenses to the cloud and cut costs by up to 41%, the company claims. Here’s the scoop.

If you have a Microsoft Enterprise Agreement (EA), you can enroll in the pilot program and bring an already-purchased license to the cloud and run Windows Server on-demand without having to buy the image from AWS.

As you might guess, there are more caveats than encouragement. Straight from the official AWS blog post:

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

  • Your company must have an existing Microsoft Enterprise Agreement (EA) that is valid for a minimum of 12 months after your entry into the pilot

  • You must already have purchased Software Assurance from Microsoft for your EA Windows Server Enterprise, Datacenter, and Standard licenses

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

If you choose to enroll, you should act fast; the deadline for new pilot program applications is September 23, 2010. If you get into the License Mobility Pilot, be aware that you’re still responsible for maintaining the appropriate number of Client Access licenses and External Connector licenses.

I confess: I’m a little confused why this pilot program is rolling out on Amazon EC2 and not on Microsoft’s own Windows Azure cloud platform. What’s the benefit in helping VARs and software developers cut costs on a competing platform, limited rollout or no? We’ll keep an eye out for the answers.

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