A Microsoft pilot program should allow more large enterprises to bring their Windows Server enterprise agreements to Amazon Web Services' cloud computing services.
Amazon's cloud division has supported Windows Server 2003 and recently added Windows Server 2008. The rub for some large customers: They had enterprise agreements in place with Microsoft and it was fuzzy whether those arrangements applied to Enterprise Compute Cloud (EC2) instances.
Now things are a bit less fuzzy. Microsoft has launched a pilot program that allows these customers to bring their Windows Server enterprise agreements to the cloud and launch Amazon EC2 instances. The Microsoft Windows Server instances will be the same price as the Linux/Unix server on-demand offerings, but vary by region (Northern California is more expensive than Northern Virginia). The pilot is only for enterprise customers---government and education institutions aren't included.
Enrollment in the pilot program kicked Thursday and will run through Sept. 23. To participate, a Microsoft customer has to be based in the U.S. and have an enterprise agreement that doesn't expire within 12 months of entering the pilot. In addition, Microsoft customers must have Software Assurance for the Windows Server licenses.
Once the Microsoft enterprise agreements are moved they can be applied to Amazon's EC2 for one year. Each Windows Server and Windows Server Datacenter license will allow for four EC2 instances. You can move these instances every 90 days.
The process goes like this:
- Amazon has a registration form.
- Microsoft confirms eligibility in 3 to 5 days and gets you a digital amendment to your licensing agreement.
- Print, sign and mail the signed amendment back to Amazon.
- Within 3 to 5 business days Amazon and Microsoft countersign the agreement and you're in the pilot.
Simply put, this process is a little bit more complicated than just firing up an instance with a few clicks and a credit card.
And a look at the pricing:
These enterprise agreements can be complicated so with that in mind here are some handy links that may resolve some of the fine print.
- Art of the software deal can get messy
- SLA's and the Real World
- Facing Microsoft licensing decisions? Bridge the gap between Operations and Sourcing
- Webcasts on Microsoft enterprise agreements