Virtualization Technology News and Information
Amazon Web Services Launches Amazon EC2 for Windows

Amazon Web Services LLC (AWS), a subsidiary of, Inc., today launched a public beta of Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) running Microsoft Windows Server and Microsoft SQL Server, providing even greater flexibility for deploying solutions in the AWS cloud. Additionally, AWS today announced that Amazon EC2 is now Generally Available, having successfully exited its beta period and now offers a Service Level Agreement (SLA). Launched in beta in August of 2006, Amazon EC2 is the popular AWS service that provides resizable compute capacity in the cloud for businesses and developers. To sign up for Amazon EC2 and other AWS services, go to

"When we launched Amazon EC2 over two years ago, the idea of accessing computing power over the web was still a novel idea. Today a diverse array of businesses drawn by the benefits of cloud computing -- cost savings without giving up speed, reliability, flexibility, and performance -- are running EC2 for all types of applications," said Peter De Santis, General Manager of Amazon EC2. "We've listened closely to our customers for the past two years and worked backward from their requirements, adding important new features such as those we are announcing today -- Windows support and a Service Level Agreement."

Eli Lilly and Company is a leading pharmaceutical company with a history of innovation. As a part of Lilly's efforts to find new and improved methods to support research, Lilly recently began using AWS. "Amazon EC2 has given us the ability to easily spin up tailored computing environments that can quickly and cost-effectively process tremendous amounts of research data," said Dave Powers, Associate Information Consultant at Eli Lilly and Company. "This is a huge step forward in maximizing our results relative to IT spend, and now that Amazon EC2 runs Windows and SQL Server, we have even greater flexibility in the kinds of applications we can build in the AWS cloud."
Windows and SQL Server Support for Amazon EC2
Beginning today, customers can employ Amazon EC2 running Windows Server or SQL Server with all of the performance, reliability, and scalability benefits of Amazon EC2. Windows with Amazon EC2 has been a common request of AWS customers since the service launched. Amazon EC2 now provides an ideal environment for deploying ASP.NET web sites, high performance computing clusters, media transcoding solutions, and many other Windows-based applications. Like all services offered by AWS, Amazon EC2 running Windows Server or SQL Server offers a low, pay-as-you-go model with no long-term commitments and no minimum fees. Pricing for using Windows Server with Amazon EC2 begins at $0.125 per compute hour.
"Autodesk is the industry leader in design innovation technology. Traditionally, our software products for managing, analyzing and rendering CAD data are built for the Windows operating system. However, new web-based applications, such as Autodesk Seek, require large scale processing of CAD data, and we've made Amazon EC2 our environment of choice for data processing. With the release of Amazon EC2 running Windows Server, we are now able to run all necessary software in the AWS cloud for our complete backend data processing needs, making our overall architecture more consistent and ultimately cheaper as we scale up," said Mike Haley, Senior Architect, Search Engineering at Autodesk.
"RenderRocket delivers professional-level rendering power on-demand to 3-D production teams. We launch intensive 3-D rendering jobs for films and TV on Amazon EC2 to take advantage of Amazon's massive compute power. We pay only for the resources we consume, and can expand our use of Amazon EC2 in relation to the growth of our business. Amazon EC2 running Windows Server offers additional opportunities to grow our business by offering Windows-based services to our customers," said Ruben Perez, CEO of RenderRocket.
For more information about Amazon EC2 running Windows or SQL Server please go to
Amazon EC2 Service Level Agreement
With over two years of operation and many highly-requested features added, Amazon EC2 is today exiting its beta into general availability and offering customers a Service Legal Agreement (SLA). The Amazon EC2 SLA guarantees 99.95% availability of the service within a Region over a trailing 365 day period, or customers are eligible to receive service credits back. The new Amazon EC2 SLA is designed to give customers additional confidence that even the most demanding applications will run dependably in the AWS cloud.
New Features for Amazon EC2 in 2009
To help customers better plan their future hardware and software investments, AWS today announced plans to release several new features in 2009 that will make managing cloud-based applications even easier. Thousands of customers employ the massive compute power of Amazon EC2 to build highly scalable and reliable solutions. AWS will deliver additional features that automate customer usage of Amazon EC2 for more cost-efficient consumption of compute power and provide greater visibility into the operational health of an application running in the AWS cloud. These features include:
  • Load Balancing -- Enables customers to balance incoming requests and distribute traffic across multiple Amazon EC2 compute instances.
  • Auto-Scaling -- Automatically grows and shrinks usage of Amazon EC2 compute capacity based on application requirements.
  • Monitoring -- Enables customers to monitor operational metrics of Amazon EC2, providing even better visibility into usage of the AWS cloud.
  • Management Console -- Provides a simple, point-and-click web interface that lets customers manage and access their AWS cloud resources.
Published Saturday, October 25, 2008 6:38 PM by David Marshall
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