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Windows on AWS

The proven, reliable, secure cloud for Windows

Customers have been running Microsoft Workloads on AWS for over 12 years, longer than any other cloud provider. Customers choose AWS because we have the most experience with Microsoft applications in the cloud and we offer the best platform for Windows Server and SQL Server for higher performance and reliability, greater security and identity services, more migration support, the broadest and deepest capabilities, lower total cost of ownership, and flexible licensing options. AWS supports everything you need to build and run Windows applications including Active Directory, .NET, Microsoft SQL Server, Windows desktop-as-a-service, and all supported versions of Windows Server. With our proven expertise, we can help you easily lift-and-shift, refactor, or even modernize your Windows workloads.

Why Windows on AWS


higher performance for a SQL Server workload than the next largest cloud provider*


more regions with multiple availability zones than the next largest cloud


more services offering encryption than the next largest cloud provider


savings using AWS over three years, by right-sizing instances with Migration Evaluator


projected 5-year ROI running windows AWS**

Higher reliability and performance

AWS has the broadest global infrastructure with 77 Availability Zones (AZ) across 24 regions and 99.99% availability for each Amazon EC2 region. By moving your Windows workloads to AWS, customers can realize a 98% reduction in unplanned downtime, 71% faster deployment, and 26% higher developer productivity, per IDC. AWS also delivered 2x better performance and 62% lower cost for a SQL Server workload on an EC2 R5b.8xlarge instance when directly tested against the next largest cloud provider, per Principled Technologies.

Greater security and identity services

AWS offers 230 security, compliance, and governance services and features, 5x more services than the next largest cloud provider. With the AWS Nitro System, the underlying platform for EC2 instances, virtualization functions are offloaded to dedicated hardware and software resulting in a minimized attack surface. The Nitro Security chip continuously monitors, protects, and verifies the instance hardware and firmware. We offer AWS Managed Active Directory securely in the cloud eliminating the need for you to synchronize or replicate data from your existing Active Directory during migrations. With AWS Identity Services, you can also manage identities and permissions at scale, while providing flexible options for where and how you manage your employee, partner, and customer information. 

More migration experience

AWS has unmatched experience helping millions of organizations reach their migration goals faster through unique tools and services. With AWS Database Migration Service, we’ve migrated over 230,000 databases and we can help you quickly and securely migrate, while minimizing downtime to applications. The AWS End-of-Support Migration Program can migrate legacy Windows Server applications to the latest, supported versions of Windows Server on AWS. The AWS Migration Acceleration Program (MAP) for Windows provides best practices, tools and incentives to reduce the complexity and cost of migrating to the cloud with support from AWS Partners and Professional Services.


Broadest and deepest capabilities

AWS offers over 350 Amazon EC2 instances where comparable services are simply not available from other cloud providers. We provide the only fully managed services for native-Windows file system with Amazon FSx for Windows File Server and for Kubernetes on Windows with Amazon EKS, enabling you to simplify management overhead and reduce costs. Amazon Elastic Block Store offers 99.999% availability, 99.999% durability, and performant block storage for your most demanding SQL Server deployments. Customers also choose AWS for the best and most consistent networking performance for Microsoft applications, delivering 3x more throughput and 25% lower latency than the next cloud provider. 

Lower TCO

Customers can accelerate growth, drive efficiencies, and realize long-term cost reductions running Windows on AWS. Customers can reduce 5-year cost of operations by 56% and gain 37% lower infrastructure costs, delivering up to 442% ROI over 3 years, per IDC. AWS also offers customers more ways to save through unique pricing models such as Savings Plans, which provide you with savings up to 72% on Amazon EC2 instances, and Amazon EC2 Spot, which reduces costs by up to 90% on compute instances for fault tolerant workloads. 

Flexible licensing options

We offer the most options in the cloud for using new and existing Microsoft software licenses on AWS. By purchasing Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) or Amazon Relational Database Service (Amazon RDS) license-included instances, you get new, fully compliant SQL Server licenses from AWS. You can bring your existing licenses to AWS with Amazon EC2 Dedicated HostsAmazon EC2 Dedicated Instances, or EC2 instances with default tenancy using Microsoft License Mobility through Software Assurance. AWS License Manager makes it easier to track the usage of software licenses and reduce the risk of non-compliance.

Windows on AWS

How AWS helps you migrate and modernize Windows workloads

AWS can help you assess your readiness to move to cloud. With AWS Optimisation and Licensing Assessment (AWS OLA), you can make data-driven migration decisions based on actual resource utilisation, third-party licensing, and application dependencies. AWS OLA provides right-sized and licensing-optimised instance recommendations for your on-premises Windows workload, including opportunities for Reserved instances, optimised CPUs, Dedicated Host, and Microsoft BYOL options.
Assess your readiness
Evaluate Windows workloads on-premises and cloud environments to determine your readiness to migrate
Analyse your usage
Analyse resource utilisation, third-party licensing and application dependencies to inform cost and optimisation scenarios.
Build a business case
Build a TCO model that includes a migration and licensing strategy using AWS programs and tools.

Professional Services

Complete projects faster
with on-demand
professional services
Review your architecture
and adopt best practices
Get help specific to your
Migrate to AWS and see
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Case Studies

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