Why move your Windows Server 2003 Apps to the Cloud?

Written by Amazon Web Services on 17 March 2015 in Sponsored Article
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Amazon Web Services on moving your Windows Server 2003 applications to Amazon EC2

With the end of support for Windows Server 2003 fast approaching, moving your Windows Server 2003 applications to Amazon EC2 for Windows can provide you with the time you need for migration planning and execution.

Secure
Although you still won’t get security patches from Microsoft for Windows Server 2003, the AWS cloud infrastructure has been architected to be one of the most flexible and secure cloud computing environments available today. It provides an extremely scalable, highly reliable platform that enables you to deploy applications and data quickly and securely. 

Your compute instances are located in a Virtual Private Cloud with an IP range that you specify. You decide which instances are exposed to the internet and which remain private, almost the same as if you left them in the back of your server room, “unplugged from the internet”.  

Inexpensive
Another advantage of migrating to Amazon EC2 for Windows, is that you can leverage AWS’s economies of scale decreasing, if not eliminating, your hardware costs. With pay-as-you-go pricing you only pay for how much you consume and benefiting from the ability to quickly scale up or down as needed.  If you are still running Windows Server 2003, you may be running on old hardware that may be inefficient and out of warranty, leaving you with maintenance costs, service contracts, and the headache of replacing older faulty parts that can be hard to find. With Amazon EC2 for Windows, you can remove the hassle and costs associated with buying and configuring new hardware or maintaining older servers. 

A New Home for Your Legacy Apps
If you are required to maintain running copies of legacy applications, you can migrate them to Amazon EC2 for Windows for very low storage costs. With the Amazon EC2 Dashboard you have immediate visibility and control of your infrastructure giving you instant access to your virtual machines for efficient management, including the ability to quickly identify and decommission workloads that are no longer required. This level of transparency can be difficult, if not impossible, to achieve on-premise. AWS CloudTrail provides extremely granular insight into how AWS resources are being accessed and changed. 

Migrate to a More Modern OS
In addition to Windows Server 2008 and Windows Server 2012 being more secure and supported software solutions, your move from on-premise to the cloud incorporates additional benefits as the AWS cloud infrastructure has been architected to be one of the most flexible and secure cloud computing environments available today. It provides an extremely scalable, highly reliable platform that enables you to deploy applications and data quickly and securely.

The cost savings of migrating can be significant. You will eliminate the need to purchase and maintain on premise hardware, can access IT resources and provision new Windows instances in minutes, and will pay only for the computing capacity that you actually consume. You benefit from massive economies of scale, increase your speed and agility, while simultaneously decreasing costs. 

If you need help with the migration of your Windows Server 2003 applications, AWS offers various levels of support including technical documentation, the AWS Support Center, and access to qualified AWS partners. AWS partners specialize in cloud migration services and are available to help you assess what applications need to move, identify any gaps and modifications needed to migrate, and even migrate unsupported applications without needing to redeploy.

Move 32-bit Apps to the Cloud
Even though support for Windows Server 2003 is ending, you don’t have to abandon your 32-bit applications. It’s a misconception that you cannot run 32-bit applications in the cloud. Amazon EC2 for Windows offers 32-bit instances that can be launched within minutes.

Windows Server 2003 32-bit
If you need more time to upgrade, you can migrate your 32-bit applications to preconfigured Windows Server 2003 32-bit Amazon Machine Images (AMIs) until July 14, 2017, two years subsequent to the end of Microsoft support date. Your compute instances are located in a Virtual Private Cloud providing advanced security features such as the ability to specify your IP range, decide which instances are exposed to the internet and which remain private, and even choose to launch Dedicated Instances which run on hardware dedicated to a single customer for additional isolation. 

Windows Server 2008 32-bit
If you are ready to migrate to a newer operating system but still need to run 32-bit applications, Amazon Machine Images (AMIs) preconfigured with Windows Server 2008 32-bit are ready for you providing a more secure and supported environment.
 
Rewrite Legacy Apps
When you are ready to start the process of modernizing legacy Windows Server 2003 applications, you can find the tools and resources you need to modify your legacy applications with just a few clicks. The AWS Marketplace can help you find, buy, and immediately start using the software and services that run on Amazon EC2 for Windows providing the resources you need to help you develop secure, reliable, and scalable .NET applications. The AWS Windows and .NET Developer Center provides tools, documentation, and sample code and you can build your applications on Windows and .NET using the AWS SDK for .NET, including a library, code samples, and Visual Studio templates. Visual Studio users can get easily started with the SDK using the AWS Toolkit for Visual Studio. 

Additional information can be found on the EC2 Developer Resources page. If you are looking for help with modernizing your old applications AWS partner can help with anything from migrating your applications to rewriting them. 

Leverage other AWS Services 
With AWS you have access to alternate solutions. If you are using Windows Server 2003 for file storage and sharing purposes, you can continue to run your applications on Windows, or choose to leverage other AWS services. With any AWS service you choose, the AWS cloud infrastructure has been architected to be one of the most flexible and secure cloud computing environments available today enabling you to deploy applications and data quickly and securely.

This AWS Cloud Supports Microsoft Windows Server

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