A new partnership between Microsoft and Amazon Web Services was revealed last week, giving Amazonís cloud customers the ability to run Microsoft Windows Server applications on their cloud infrastructure. The official announcement came last week during Microsoftís 2011 Worldwide Partner Conference. The partnership is an appealing one, as it combines Microsoftís solid software with Amazonís reliable infrastructure.
Jinesh Varia, a tech evangelist for Amazon Web Services, spoke of the move on the Amazon Web Services Blog: "Today, I am really excited to announce that AWS and Microsoft have joined together to extend Microsoft License Mobility through Software Assurance to the AWS Cloud. This is a game changer because now you can get industry leading enterprise-grade software from Microsoft and run them on the highly reliable, scalable on-demand infrastructure from AWS -- it's the best of both worlds."
Although the disclosure of the Microsoft and Amazon Web Services partnership is certainly good news, it should not come as that much of a surprise. Approximately one month earlier, Microsoft unveiled its plans to give users the power to mobilize their Windows Server application licenses between on-premise environments and the cloud via the License Mobility through Software Assurance program. With the partnership now in place, users can run a wide variety of Microsoft Windows Server applications on Amazon Web Services clouds, such as Microsoft Dynamics CRN Server, Microsoft Exchange Server, Microsoft Lync Server, Microsoft SharePoint Server, Microsoft SQL Server Standard, Microsoft SQL Server Enterprise Edition, and Microsoft System Center Servers.
Users have the choice of either buying new licenses or migrating existing ones with the License Mobility through Software Assurance program. Businesses owning a Microsoft Volume License with Software Assurance now have the power to run their Windows Server application licenses on Amazonís Elastic Compute Cloud, otherwise known as EC2. According to Varia, users can enjoy enhanced mobility to deploy workloads on-premise and on Amazon Web Services at no extra cost.
Independent software vendors and systems integrators can offer the benefits of the Microsoft and Amazon partnership to customers by joining the Amazon Solution Provider program. Varia wrote: "If you are an ISV and have migration tools that will help customers migrate their existing deployments, now you can extend your offerings to AWS cloud. If you are a system integrator offering professional services to customers and specialize in above Microsoft Windows Server applications, we would love to hear from you."
Amazon.com has a very strong presence in the United States, and the online shopping giant has also expanded to sell goods directly to customers in Austria, Canada, China, France, Germany, Japan, and the United Kingdom. With strong competition from such industry heavyweights as Apple, Google, and eBay when it comes to selling services and products, Amazon.com knows it cannot afford to be complacent. As such, the U.S.-based company is looking to expand even more, and Australia looks to be one of its international targets.
Established in 1995, Amazon specializes in offering customers a retail haven for purchasing goods online. It also provides services in the realm of video, music, books, and more. Amazonís success in the United States prompted the company to expand overseas. Late 2010 marked Amazonís latest foray into the foreign market when it established a direct presence in Italy. While many countries are undoubtedly hoping for local Amazon expansion, it appears as if Australia will be next on Amazonís agenda.
Last week, The Australian reported that Amazon Web Services would set up a local data center in Australia to appease the needs of the nationís enterprise and government clients. Werner Vogels, Amazon.comís Chief Techology Officer, commented on the Amazon.com.au rumors: ďFor a very long time we actually halted our international rollout. And we just started again with Amazon Italy and again, just like with the web services, we are evaluating what will be the next places to start rolling this out. Given that we recently rolled out Amazon Italy it is clear that we are continuing to look at (the) rollout (of) other locations that might be beneficial for our retail operation. And I think every country in the world is probably on that shortlist.Ē
Like their global counterparts, many customers in Australia have expressed the desire for Amazon to have a local presence. Amazon Web Services currently operates from data centers in the United States, Ireland, Japan, and Singapore.
As it stands, Australiaís online shoppers can order products from Amazon.com, but they must pay additional international shipping fees. Although that could be seen as an obstacle, Australiaís strong dollar has helped to alleviate some of the pain. In fact, many Australians have opted for online shopping instead of local retailers, which has caused a dent in the sales of traditional outlets.