Skip to main content

Hosting Windows workloads on Amazon Web Services

Windows workloads lie at the core of business IT

Any Enterprise is likely to deploy a sprawl of applications, databases, and services that can be difficult to manage and even track. Controlling sprawl is one of the main reasons businesses look to embrace cloud computing. Shifting existing Windows workloads to the cloud can make a huge difference. Migration can save costs by moving away from the traditional application-hosting model, and achieve greater agility through instantly spinning up new servers or services on demand without outsourcing or complex IT processes.

Since the vast majority of enterprises run their key business-critical workloads on the Microsoft platform, these are ideal candidates for moving to a cloud platform such as Amazon Web Services (AWS). AWS fully supports hosting Microsoft Windows applications such as custom web applications hosted on Internet Information Services (IIS), or SQL Server database systems, for example.

Given the cost-effective strategies available for deploying those Windows workloads to AWS, businesses can realize all the efficiencies that a relatively easy transition to a cloud hosting model can provide, while eliminating the need to unnecessarily spend valuable time and resources. Now companies are free to focus more closely on their core business activities.

Microsoft on AWS

AWS is one of the biggest users and licensees of Microsoft software. SQL server and Windows server, in particular, are fully supported on the AWS platform. With support for Cloud Formation, Elastic Beanstalk, and AWS Directory via domain-joined EC2 instances, running Microsoft applications is very much front and center on the AWS deployment roadmap, and not just Linux based applications.

By using tools like CloudFormation, PowerShell, and Elastic Beanstalk, Microsoft-based applications can be deployed with relative ease. You can leverage the skill sets that your IT personnel already have, alongside a few specific AWS skills that can be learned pretty quickly. (In fact, Cloud Academy has just created a new hands-on lab guiding users through setting up and launching their first Windows Instance on EC2)

In many cases, the ideal model for hosting Windows workloads is hybrid. By providing a secure connection between your on-premises Microsoft environment and the AWS cloud via a site-to-site VPN, the AWS cloud can be made to look just like any other part of your local data center. The fact that Active Directory connections are supported allows a seamless, single-sign-on experience for your users as well as transparent connectivity to any line of business applications that might need to remain on premises.

Read on our next article, where we look at a step-by-step guide to launching a Windows server on EC2.

Avatar

Written by

Aaron Saikovski

Aaron is a Cloud Solution Architect Lead - Applications and Infrastructure at Microsoft who enjoys writing on cloud best practices.

Related Posts

Avatar
John Chell
— June 13, 2019

AWS Certified Solutions Architect Associate: A Study Guide

The AWS Solutions Architect - Associate Certification (or Sol Arch Associate for short) offers some clear benefits: Increases marketability to employers Provides solid credentials in a growing industry (with projected growth of as much as 70 percent in five years) Market anal...

Read more
  • AWS
  • AWS Certifications
Chris Gambino and Joe Niemiec
Chris Gambino and Joe Niemiec
— June 11, 2019

Moving Data to S3 with Apache NiFi

Moving data to the cloud is one of the cornerstones of any cloud migration. Apache NiFi is an open source tool that enables you to easily move and process data using a graphical user interface (GUI).  In this blog post, we will examine a simple way to move data to the cloud using NiFi c...

Read more
  • AWS
  • S3
Avatar
Chandan Patra
— June 11, 2019

Amazon DynamoDB: 10 Things You Should Know

Amazon DynamoDB is a managed NoSQL service with strong consistency and predictable performance that shields users from the complexities of manual setup.Whether or not you've actually used a NoSQL data store yourself, it's probably a good idea to make sure you fully understand the key ...

Read more
  • AWS
  • DynamoDB
Avatar
Andrew Larkin
— June 6, 2019

The 11 AWS Certifications: Which is Right for You and Your Team?

As companies increasingly shift workloads to the public cloud, cloud computing has moved from a nice-to-have to a core competency in the enterprise. This shift requires a new set of skills to design, deploy, and manage applications in cloud computing.As the market leader and most ma...

Read more
  • AWS
  • AWS Certifications
Sam Ghardashem
Sam Ghardashem
— May 15, 2019

Aviatrix Integration of a NextGen Firewall in AWS Transit Gateway

Learn how Aviatrix’s intelligent orchestration and control eliminates unwanted tradeoffs encountered when deploying Palo Alto Networks VM-Series Firewalls with AWS Transit Gateway.Deploying any next generation firewall in a public cloud environment is challenging, not because of the f...

Read more
  • AWS
Joe Nemer
Joe Nemer
— May 3, 2019

AWS Config Best Practices for Compliance

Use AWS Config the Right Way for Successful ComplianceIt’s well-known that AWS Config is a powerful service for monitoring all changes across your resources. As AWS Config has constantly evolved and improved over the years, it has transformed into a true powerhouse for monitoring your...

Read more
  • AWS
  • Compliance
Avatar
Francesca Vigliani
— April 30, 2019

Cloud Academy is Coming to the AWS Summits in Atlanta, London, and Chicago

Cloud Academy is a proud sponsor of the 2019 AWS Summits in Atlanta, London, and Chicago. We hope you plan to attend these free events that bring the cloud computing community together to connect, collaborate, and learn about AWS. These events are all about learning. You can learn how t...

Read more
  • AWS
  • AWS Summits
Paul Hortop
Paul Hortop
— April 2, 2019

How to Monitor Your AWS Infrastructure

The AWS cloud platform has made it easier than ever to be flexible, efficient, and cost-effective. However, monitoring your AWS infrastructure is the key to getting all of these benefits. Realizing these benefits requires that you follow AWS best practices which constantly change as AWS...

Read more
  • AWS
  • Monitoring
Joe Nemer
Joe Nemer
— April 1, 2019

AWS EC2 Instance Types Explained

Amazon Web Services’ resource offerings are constantly changing, and staying on top of their evolution can be a challenge. Elastic Cloud Compute (EC2) instances are one of their core resource offerings, and they form the backbone of most cloud deployments. EC2 instances provide you with...

Read more
  • AWS
  • EC2
Avatar
Nitheesh Poojary
— March 26, 2019

How DNS Works – the Domain Name System (Part One)

Before migrating domains to Amazon's Route53, we should first make sure we properly understand how DNS worksWhile we'll get to AWS's Route53 Domain Name System (DNS) service in the second part of this series, I thought it would be helpful to first make sure that we properly understand...

Read more
  • AWS
Avatar
Stuart Scott
— March 14, 2019

Multiple AWS Account Management using AWS Organizations

As businesses expand their footprint on AWS and utilize more services to build and deploy their applications, it becomes apparent that multiple AWS accounts are required to manage the environment and infrastructure.  A multi-account strategy is beneficial for a number of reasons as ...

Read more
  • AWS
  • Identity Access Management
Avatar
Sanket Dangi
— February 11, 2019

WaitCondition Controls the Pace of AWS CloudFormation Templates

AWS's WaitCondition can be used with CloudFormation templates to ensure required resources are running.As you may already be aware, AWS CloudFormation is used for infrastructure automation by allowing you to write JSON templates to automatically install, configure, and bootstrap your ...

Read more
  • AWS
  • CloudFormation