Windows hosting from Amazon Web Services

  • Tutorial
Hi Khabrovites! image

I told you a lot about AWS, but most of the articles deal exclusively with Linux and free software. Today I decided to talk about Windows and the features of Amazon Web Services related to starting Windows Servers.

So, the main page about Windows on AWS is . So, we are provided with the following server launch options:
  • Microsoft Windows Server 2008 Base
  • Microsoft Windows Server 2008 R2 Base
  • Microsoft Windows Server 2008 R2 with SQL Server Express and IIS
  • Microsoft Windows Server 2008 R2 with SQL Server Web
  • Microsoft Windows Server 2008 R2 with SQL Server Standard
  • Microsoft Windows Server 2012 Base
  • Microsoft Windows Server 2012 with SQL Server Express
  • Microsoft Windows Server 2012 with SQL Server Web
  • Microsoft Windows Server 2012 with SQL Server Standard

Among other things, you can upload your Windows images through AWS Import / Export . For example, we provide servers on Windows 2k3 in this way .

I would like to devote this article to two main points - launching a new server and licensing Microsoft products in AWS.

Windows server startup

So, starting a server running OS from Microsoft is no different from regular Linux startup.
1. Log in to the console .

2. We make Launch Instance:

3. We select the image necessary for us:

4. Further, further and further.

So, the instance has started and is now waiting to log in to it.

5. Check that the Security Group contains the RDP port open:

Track, and even MS SQL is also open to the outside.

6. We will receive the password from Windows:

7. Next, we will be asked to decrypt the password with our key:

8. The password has been decrypted and ready for login:

We can also download a .rdp file, in which there will already be connection parameters without a password:

$ cat Downloads/ 
auto connect:i:1

Well, now we can log in and see what and how in this server:
$ rdesktop -u Administrator -p 3ghcEhvWP6

We started the server with preinstalled SQL and can observe this software already there:

That's all, we can also raise servers using the API / CLI.


The most scary and sensitive issue for all users of Microsoft software products is the correct licensing of these products. How does this happen in AWS?

First, AWS charges Windows Server licenses for any instance, whether it’s official AMI or made by us. Payment is done hourly along with instance type cost. The same goes for SQL Express / Web / Standard licenses. Pricing is separate.

Secondly, AWS provides a license migration service for the following products from other places in its cloud:
  • Microsoft Exchange Server
  • Microsoft SharePoint Server
  • Microsoft SQL Server Standard Edition
  • Microsoft SQL Server Enterprise Edition
  • Microsoft Lync Server
  • Microsoft System Center Server
  • Microsoft Dynamics CRM Server

SQL Server Licensing Nuances :

In general, I can read the comprehensive Windows @ Amazon Web Services licensing information from the links I provided.

One of the main advantages of using Windows in AWS is that you pay only for what you use, and you do not need to buy a bunch of servers, you autoscale Windows as well as Linux and do not think about licenses.

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