Amazon to offer Windows virtual machines on its EC2

Posted by Staff   |   Thursday, October 9th, 2008   |  

Amazon logo

Amazon launched a virtual infrastructure available on demand and powered by the Xen hypervisor, the Elastic Computing Cloud (EC2), in August 2006.

As far as we know the number of customers that are currently using it is not public, but, despite early security issues and multiple outages, reliable sources reported to that such number is remarkable.
Nonetheless Amazon may have many more customers if it would start offering Windows virtual machines.

So far in fact the company only offers Linux instances. It’s unclear if this depends on technical issues (like the version of Xen that it’s currently in use), on policy issues (like the feeling that EC2 is not robust enough to support million of customers hosting Windows) or licensing issues (Microsoft has to give its blessing for such a massive infrastructure).

It seems that the things are finally changing: with a brief note online Amazon announced that EC2 will have Windows instances this fall.

At the moment the page just offers a notification alert subscription but, interestingly enough, it surveys the readers about possible uses of Windows virtual machines:

  • Web Server
  • Video Transcoding
  • MS SQL Server Database
  • Desktop Software
  • Microsoft Software
  • Backoffice Software
  • Development
  • High Performance Computing

Of course one of the most interesting options above, and there’s no guarantee that Amazon will allow that kind of use, is for desktop software. And that means that EC2 could become the biggest hosted VDI infrastructure on the planet (Brian Madden posted some interesting questions about this scenario).

Now, considering that Citrix influences the Xen community and that VDI is its main battleground against VMware, it would be interesting to know what kind of involvement it has in the whole project.

It would also be interesting to know if the startup Desktone has some involvement as well: the company is the first currently offering a technology for hosted VDI scenarios (see the coverage here) and, what a coincidence, is partially funded by Citrix.

blog comments powered by Disqus Newest articles
Release: VMware vRealize Log Insight 4.5

June 13th, 2017

Log Insight is a log aggregation, management and analysis tool, that VMware first introduced in 2013 and considered a competitor of Splunk.
Yesterday VMware announced the release of version 4.5, available for…

Release: VMware vRealize Automation 7.3

June 6th, 2017

Today VMware announced the latest release of its cloud management platform vRealize Automation, former vCloud Automation Center.
VMware vRealize Automation 7.3 release notes can be found at this link.


Paper: Introducing the NSX-T Platform

February 9th, 2017

“We see greater potential strategic opportunity in NSX over the next decade than our franchise product vSphere has had for the past decade.”
said VMware’s CEO Pat Gelsinger talking about…

Paper: VMware vSphere Virtual Machine Encryption Performance

November 22nd, 2016

Encryption of virtual machines is something that has been requested for years by the security community. VMware continued to postpone its implementation due to the negative operational impact that many…

Quest Software leaves Dell

November 1st, 2016

In September 2012 Dell announced to have completed the acquisition of Quest Software, a Californian company with an history in systems management, security, business intelligence and, falling back in our…

Citrix announces Q3 2016 results

October 21st, 2016

Citrix announced its financial results for third quarter 2016.
The revenues for the second quarter were $841 million for an increase of 3% compared to Q3 2015.
Net income was $132…

Release: VMware vSphere 6.5 & Virtual SAN 6.5

October 19th, 2016

2016 edition of VMworld US has been quite turbulent, on the other hand during VMworld Europe, happening these days in Barcelona, the company announced a few more products for the…

Release: VMware vRealize Log Insight 4.0

October 18th, 2016

Log Insight is a log aggregation, management and analisys tool, that VMware first introduced in 2013 and now is usually compared with Splunk.
Yesterday VMware announced Log Insight’s new major…

Release: Windows Server 2016 with support for Window Server & Hyper-V containers

October 13th, 2016

Yesterday Microsoft announced the general availability of Windows Server 2016 which the company defines as a cloud-ready OS.
Beside fancy definitions, one of the most relevant perks of this release…

Release: Oracle VM 3.4.2

September 22nd, 2016

During Oracle OpenWorld 2016 the company released version 3.4.2 of its enterprise virtualization solution.
Oracle VM is available for both x86 and SPARC based processor architectures and uses the Xen hypervisor…

VMworld US 2016 Wrap-up

September 1st, 2016

Today was the last day of VMware’s flagship conference VMworld in Las Vegas, an highly controversial edition which left a good chunk of the audience disoriented if not properly disappointed….

Gartner releases its Magic Quadrant for Cloud Infrastructure as a Service for 2016

August 11th, 2016

Last week Gartner updated its Magic Quadrant for Cloud Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) for the year 2016. The Magic Quadrant for the year 2015 was released in May last year…

Release: Ansible Tower 3 by Red Hat

August 2nd, 2016

Ansible is one of the four main players in the automation market, younger then the well known Chef and Puppet, has been launched in 2013 in Durham, N.C. and acquired…

IBM announces earnings for Q2 2016

July 19th, 2016

Yesterday IBM announced its results for Q2 2016.

If we compare with the same quarter in 2015 earnings per share, from continuing operations, decreased 22%. Net income, from continuing operations,…

Monthly Archive