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Modernize with Amazon Web Services


The cloud is now the center of most enterprise IT strategies. Many enterprises find that a well-planned “lift and shift” move to the cloud results in an immediate business payoff. This whitepaper is intended for IT pros and business decision-makers in Microsoft-centric organizations who want to take a cloud-based approach to IT and must modernize existing business-critical applications built on Microsoft Windows Server and Microsoft SQL Server. This paper covers the benefits of modernizing applications on Amazon Web Services (AWS) and how to get started on the journey.


Why Modernize Applications?

Move off legacy software; to avoid the time, cost, and performance, and reliability challenges of maintaining legacy software and unsupported versions (Windows Server 2003, SQL Server 2003, and SQL Server 2005).

DevOps Initiatives, to take advantage of new DevOps and application lifecycle management methodologies. By moving to new application delivery platforms, companies can increase the speed of innovation.

Mobility initiatives, as users move to mobile devices, the use of IT services can increase by one or more orders of magnitude. This poses scalability challenges if an application is not prepared for that kind of growth.

New product launches, new product launches can cause rapid spikes in demand for IT. The underlying applications, including Microsoft SQL Server and Microsoft SharePoint, must be ready with the scale required to support the launch.

Mergers and acquisitions (M&A) activity, in the case of mergers and acquisitions, complexity builds up over time. After multiple acquisitions, a company may find itself in possession of several hundred SharePoint sites, multiple Exchange instances, and countless SQL Server databases. Streamlining the management of disparate applications is often a huge undertaking.


Why Run Microsoft Applications on AWS?

In a recent survey, International Data Corporation (IDC) reported that 50 percent of respondents were using AWS to support productivity applications like those from Microsoft. Of that number, 65 percent said they planned to increase their use of AWS either to move existing applications or to expand applications already running on AWS. Clearly, customers are already making the move to modernize their Microsoft applications.


AWS for Corporate Applications

Customers can improve their security posture and application performance and reliability by running corporate applications built on Microsoft Windows Server in the AWS cloud. For example, customers can deploy a globally accessible SharePoint environment in any of the 33 AWS Availability Zones in a matter of hours. To reduce complexity, customers can use AWS tools that integrate with Microsoft management and access control applications like System Center and Active Directory. Customers can also use AWS CloudFormation templates to perform application deployments reliably and repeatedly.


AWS for LOB Applications and Databases

Line of business (LOB) owners are running applications in areas as diverse as oil and gas exploration, retail point of sale (POS), finance, health care, insurance, pharmaceuticals, media and entertainment, and more. To accelerate and simplify the time to deployment, customers can launch pre-configured Amazon Machine Image (AMI) templates with fully compliant Microsoft Windows Server and Microsoft SQL Server licenses included.


AWS for Developers

Customers who develop on AWS have access to Microsoft development tools, including Visual Studio, PowerShell, and the .NET Developer Center. When these tools are combined with the scalability and agility of AWS CodeDeploy, AWS Elastic Beanstalk (Elastic Beanstalk), and AWS OpsWorks, customers can complete and deploy code on AWS much faster and with lower risk.