Image via CrunchBase
In an attempt to pre-empt Microsoft’s possible announcement about their cloud
offerings in the upcoming PDC at Los Angeles later this month, Amazon Web Services has
announced support for Windows Server on their EC2 instances. You can read this
announcement here. You can sign up to get notified about the release at AWS website. They are
currently in private beta and they are expected to go public towards the end of
2008. Windows based EC2 instances was the missing piece in the Amazon Web
Services puzzle after their EBS announcement and this announcement should fulfil the
wishes of many AWS customers and enthusiasts.
GoGrid, the cloud division
of Servepath, already
offers Windows Server 2003 and Windows Server 2008 as a part of their cloud
infrastructure offerings. With this announcement, Amazon has made the space
competitive and now pundits will be eagerly looking forward for PDC to see
if Microsoft has anything interesting to offer in the cloud
With this announcement, AWS users can set up a heterogeneous environment
consisting of various Linux distributions, Solaris and Windows based servers.
This will also allow users to run MS SQL inside the Amazon cloud (See the recent
announcement about their support for Oracle inside Amazon cloud). This puts Amazon in a very good
position to convince enterprise customers to move their current infrastructure
into the AWS clouds.
Let us take a moment and check out various vistas that could open up due to
- We can now use Windows environment, along with the scalability offered by
Amazon’s EC2 infrastructure, to do high powered video transcoding. This will not
just help folks in entertainment industry but also consumers who want to process
home/family video but lack the necessary firepower in their desktops or laptops.
- It also offers an ideal environment to setup ASP.NET web applications
tapping into the availability of MS SQL support.
- Recently, while talking at the Churchill Club meeting, Steve Ballmer, CEO of
Microsoft, mentioned about his interest in luring scientists to use Microsoft
products in their scientific computations. Availability of Windows EC2 instances
will definitely help scientists set up and use high performance computing
clusters in their research with the help of Microsoft software.
Depending on what Microsoft is planning to announce in the upcoming PDC, this
field is going to get pretty competitive and exciting. Whether we like Microsoft
or not, the presence of their products inside the clouds will definitely force
enterprises to take a second look at the cloud computing infrastructure for their needs.
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