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Compelling Benefits of Running Microsoft Workloads on AWS

The cloud platform of Amazon Web Services (AWS) is the most advanced among its direct competitors like Microsoft Azure or Google Cloud Platform, with more than 12 years of development. This also applies to the operation of Microsoft Workloads, which has been possible since the inception of AWS Cloud in 2008.

When offered a direct comparison, customers will choose AWS since it has the most experience with Microsoft applications in the cloud and offers the best platform for Windows and SQL Server. In this blog article, we will show you the exact benefits of running your Microsoft Workloads on AWS.

First, let's dispel a common misconception:

“Microsoft Workloads can only run on the Microsoft Azure cloud platform – after all, AWS is responsible for Linux, right?”

Wrong. What used to be seen as a natural division for workloads for many years is no longer true today. AWS sets itself apart not only through various technological metrics but also from the next largest cloud platforms:

  • 2x higher performance for SQL Server on Windows
  • 2x more regions with multiple Availability Zones
  • 5x more services offering encryption
  • 36% savings from AWS over three years by right-sizing instances with Migration Evaluator
  • 442% projected 5-year ROI on Windows on AWS (According to 2019 IDC report).

But pure metrics alone do not highlight the full value-adds and benefits that AWS offers for running Microsoft workloads. So let's take a detailed look at the various benefits.

The benefits of the AWS Cloud

1. The core promise of Amazon Web Services: Reliability and performance

AWS has the broadest global infrastructure with 80 Availability Zones (AZ) in 25 geographic regions and 99.99% availability for each Amazon EC2 region. A region is a separate geographic area, and an Availability Zone is multiple isolated sites within a region. For example, when you start an EC2 instance, you can select "Frankfurt am Main" as the region. This region is in turn subdivided into the Availability Zones eu-central-1a, eu-central 1b and eu-central 1c.

With the high reliability and consistent performance of the AWS Cloud, moving your Microsoft workloads to AWS enables you to:

  • 98% reduction in unplanned downtime
  • 71% faster deployment
  • 26% higher developer productivity

Years of development, which puts AWS ahead of its competitors, definitely pays off on this point. The clear advantage: thanks to a reliable and powerful cloud platform, your Microsoft workloads on AWS are used in the way that is most profitable for you.

2. Safety first: You can rely on these security and identity services

The continuous optimization and further development of the more than 230 services for security, compliance and governance is one of the top priorities for AWS. In addition, they offer 5x more services for security and identity services compared to the next largest cloud platforms.

How exactly does the whole thing work in practice? With the AWS Nitro System, the underlying platform for EC2 instances, virtualization functions are offloaded to dedicated hardware and software, resulting in a minimised attack surface. The Nitro security chip continuously monitors, protects, and verifies your instance's hardware and firmware.

AWS Identity Services also lets you manage identities and permissions at scale while providing flexible options for where and how you manage your employee, partner, and customer information.

3. 12 years public cloud from Amazon Web Services = more migration experience

In the last 12 years, since the creation of the cloud platform in 2008, AWS has supported and accompanied millions of organisations - from startups and young companies to medium-sized companies to corporations and global companies - in achieving their migration goals. In concrete figures, this means that 230,000 databases have been migrated while minimising application downtime.

The AWS End-of-Support Migration Program can migrate legacy Windows Server applications to the latest supported versions of Windows Server on AWS. The AWS Migration Acceleration Program (MAP) for Windows provides best practices, tools, and incentives to reduce the complexity and cost of migrating to the cloud with support from AWS partners and professional services.

In addition, when migrating your Microsoft workloads, not only the experts from AWS, but also we, your public cloud service provider, are at your side with expertise for a smooth and successful migration. An experience advantage that you can clearly use as an advantage for your Microsoft workloads on AWS.

4. Broadest and deepest skills

The last 12 years not only leave a positive mark on the migration experience, but also have an impact on many other skills. AWS offers over 350 Amazon EC2 instances where comparable services from other cloud providers are simply not available. They offer the only fully managed services for native Windows file systems with Amazon FSx for Windows File Server and for Kubernetes on Windows with Amazon EKS, allowing you to simplify management and reduce costs.

Amazon Elastic Block Store offers 99.999% availability, 99.999% durability, and high-performance block storage for your most demanding SQL Server deployments. Businesses also choose AWS when compared to other leading cloud platforms for the best and most consistent network performance for Microsoft applications. In numbers, that means AWS gives you 3x more throughput and 25% less latency than the next best cloud provider.

5. Lower total cost of ownership by migrating your workloads to AWS

Let's take a look back in time and see what today's customers, whose Microsoft workloads are now running on AWS, have achieved and gained through migration. In addition to the advantages already mentioned for Microsoft workloads on AWS, it is also worth considering the costs and potential savings.

Customers can accelerate growth, increase efficiency, and realize long-term cost reductions with Windows on AWS. Customers can reduce 5-year operational costs by 56% and achieve 37% lower infrastructure costs, resulting in an ROI of up to 442% over 3 years after IDC.

AWS also offers you additional savings opportunities through unique pricing models such as Savings Plans, which enable you to save up to 72% on Amazon EC2 instances, and Amazon EC2 Spot, which reduces the cost of fault-tolerant workloads when computing instances by up to 90%. reduced.

At this point, our experts recommend an individual analysis of the total cost of ownership that is tailored to your company. The costs that your Microsoft workloads are currently causing are compared with the potential costs of a migration and continued operation in the AWS public cloud. This enables you to take a long-term look into the future, including the required resources and, at best, potential savings.

6. Last but not least: Flexible licensing options in the AWS Cloud

AWS makes a promise up front for your Microsoft workloads on their cloud platform: "As AWS, we offer you the most options in the cloud for leveraging new and existing Microsoft software licences."

What this means for you in practice is: buy instances including licences from Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) or Amazon Relational Database Service (Amazon RDS) and you get new, fully compliant SQL Server licences from AWS.

You can bring your existing licences into AWS with Amazon EC2 Dedicated Hosts, Amazon EC2 Dedicated Instances, or EC2 instances with standard tenant capability that leverage Microsoft License Mobility through Software Assurance. AWS License Manager facilitates tracking of software licence usage and reduces the risk of non-compliance.

The first steps of your Microsoft workloads into the AWS Cloud

In a direct comparison among various leading cloud platforms, Amazon Web Services demonstrates not only technological superiority but also a clear advantage in experience, showing who's leading the race. The benefits for your Microsoft Workloads on AWS are diverse and can be tailored to your needs.

The journey of your Microsoft Workloads to the AWS cloud is not steep or challenging, yet it's recommended to consult a cloud expert who has conducted numerous migrations.

We're here to help, with our team of cloud experts ready for an initial discussion about feasibility and possibilities. We can also delve into deeper analyses like Total Cost of Ownership or even handle entire migrations. Simply reach out to us using the contact form below, and we'll promptly address your needs.

Discover more about Microsoft workloads on AWS



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