Expanding the Cloud for Windows Developers

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The software that powers today’s world of Internet services has become incredibly diverse. Today’s announcement of Amazon RDS for Microsoft SQL Server and .NET support for AWS Elastic Beanstalk marks another important step in our commitment to increase the flexibility for AWS customers to use the choice of operating system, programming language, development tools and database software that meet their application requirements.

Using the AWS Toolkit for Visual Studio, you can now deploy your .NET applications to AWS Elastic Beanstalk directly from your Visual Studio environment without changing any code. You can then off load the management and scaling of your database and application stack to Amazon RDS and AWS Elastic Beanstalk, and focus on adding value to your customers.

Amazon RDS for SQL Server

Managing databases has been a stumbling block for many of our customers, shifting their time away from developing innovative applications to the “muck” of administrative tasks such as OS and database software patching, storage management, and implementing reliable backup and disaster recovery solutions. Amazon RDS manages all these time consuming database administration tasks including patch management, striping the storage for better performance, and database and log backups for disaster recovery, enabling developers to focus more on their applications.

Since we launched Amazon RDS for MySQL in October 2009, it has become one of the most popular services on AWS, with customers such as Intuit using the service to keep up with the steep increase in traffic during the tax season. We introduced Amazon RDS for Oracle last year, and based on the demand from our Windows customers, are introducing Amazon RDS for SQL Server today. Amazon RDS currently supports SQL Server 2008 R2 and plans to add support for SQL Server 2012 later this year.

Depending on your requirements, you can choose from four different SQL Server Editions: Express, Web, Standard and Enterprise to run on Amazon RDS. If you are a new Amazon RDS customer, you can get started with Amazon RDS for SQL Server with a Free Usage Tier, which includes 750 hours per month of Amazon RDS micro instances with SQL Server Express Edition, 20GB of database storage and 10 million I/O requests per month.

After the Free Usage Tier, you can run Amazon RDS for SQL Server under two different licensing models - "License Included" and Microsoft License Mobility. Under the License Included service model, you do not need to purchase SQL Server software licenses. “License Included” pricing starts at $0.035/hour and is inclusive of SQL Server software, hardware, and Amazon RDS management capabilities. The Microsoft License Mobility program allows customers who already own SQL Server licenses to run SQL Server deployments on Amazon RDS. This benefit is available to Microsoft Volume Licensing customers with SQL Server licenses covered by active Microsoft Software Assurance contracts. The Microsoft License Mobility program is suited for customers who prefer to use existing SQL Server licenses or purchase new licenses directly from Microsoft.

.NET support for Elastic Beanstalk

In our effort to let a thousand platforms bloom on AWS, I am excited to introduce .NET support for AWS Elastic Beanstalk. Elastic Beanstalk gives developers an easy way to quickly build and manage their Java, PHP and as of today, their .NET applications in the AWS cloud. As discussed here, Elastic Beanstalk targets both application developers by providing a simple set of tools to get started with development quickly and the platform developers by giving control over the underlying technology stack. Developers simply upload their application and Elastic Beanstalk automatically creates the AWS resources and application stack needed to run the application, freeing developers from worrying about server capacity, load balancing, scaling their application, and version control.

Using the AWS Toolkit for Visual Studio, developers can now deploy their .NET applications directly to Elastic Beanstalk, without leaving their development environment. The incremental deployment capabilities allow for quick development and testing cycles by only uploading modified files. Within seconds, new application versions get updated on a set of Amazon EC2 instances.

To get started with Amazon RDS for SQL Server and AWS Elastic Beanstalk, visit http://aws.amazon.com/rds/sqlserver and http://aws.amazon.com/elasticbeanstalk. For a hands-on demo on how to deploy .NET applications on Elastic Beanstalk with Amazon RDS for SQL Server, visit the AWS Elastic Beanstalk Developer Guide.

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