Microsoft Opens Windows Server App Licenses To Amazon Cloud

The partnership, unveiled Wednesday at Microsoft's Worldwide Partner Conference (WPC) 2011, comes roughly a month after Microsoft launched its License Mobility with Software Assurance Program, which lets users move Windows Server application licenses between on-premise environments and the cloud.

"Today, I am really excited to announce that AWS and Microsoft have joined together to extend Microsoft License Mobility through Software Assurance to the AWS Cloud," Amazon cloud evangelist Jinesh Varia wrote in a blog post about Amazon's Windows Server Application support. "This is a game changer because now you can get industry leading enterprise-grade software from Microsoft and run them on the highly reliable, scalable on-demand infrastructure from AWS -- it's the best of both worlds."

According to Amazon, a host of Microsoft Windows Server applications are now available to run on AWS clouds, including Microsoft Exchange Server, Microsoft SharePoint Server, Microsoft SQL Server Standard, Microsoft SQL Server Enterprise Edition, Microsoft Lync Server, Microsoft System Center Servers and Microsoft Dynamics CRN Server.

Users can buy a new license or migrate existing licenses through the Software Assurance program. Businesses using Microsoft Volume License with Software Assurance can run existing Windows Server application licenses on Amazon EC2. Varia wrote that there are no associated mobility fees and users can deploy workloads on-premise and on AWS.

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Amazon and Microsoft showcased the new capabilities to partners at WPC 2011 in Los Angeles on Wednesday, and the ability to offer Microsoft Windows Server applications and licenses on Amazon's cloud is open to ISVs and systems integrators that join Amazon's Solution Provider Program.

"If you are an ISV and have migration tools that will help customers migrate their existing deployments, now you can extend your offerings to AWS cloud," Varia wrote. "If you are a system integrator offering professional services to customers and specialize in above Microsoft Windows Server applications, we would love to hear from you."

Amazon said some customers are already upgrading to the cloud as part of a regular software upgrade and migration. For example, users are upgrading from on-premise Microsoft SharePoint 2007 to SharePoint 2010 in the AWS cloud in a bid to cut costs and boost scalability and agility.