IDC recently produced a report analyzing the Windows Server Market (access a summary here). The report discovered that more and more organizations are transitioning their Windows workloads to the public cloud. Windows Server Deployments in the cloud more than doubled from 8.8% in 2014 to 17.6% in 2017. Migrating to the cloud allows organizations to grow and work past the limitations of on-premises data centers, providing improved scalability, flexibility, and agility.
The report found that of all Windows Cloud Deployments, 57.7% were hosted on Amazon Web Services (AWS). AWS’s share of the market was nearly 2x that of the nearest cloud provider in 2017. Second in line was Microsoft Azure, which hosted 30.9% of Windows instances deployed on the public cloud IaaS market. Over time, the Windows public cloud IaaS market will continue to expand because of the growing usage of public cloud IaaS among enterprises and the movement of Windows workloads into public cloud IaaS.
When it comes to Windows, AWS helps you build, deploy, scale, and manage Microsoft applications quickly and easily. AWS also has top-notch security and a cost-effective pay-as-you-go model. On top of this, AWS provides customers with a fully-managed database service to run Microsoft SQL Server. These services give customers the ability to build web, mobile, and custom business applications.
This begs one to ask the question: why is AWS the most sought-after cloud hosting service, considering there are other options in the market? We believe it is because of the plethora of services AWS offers. As a software company in particular, if you’re looking to migrate and rearchitect your legacy system, AWS provides an excellent set of services that companies can utilize to make their application cloud native. The richness of these services often allows companies to decouple their legacy architecture without needing to overhaul the entire legacy application within their Windows platform.
Let’s walk through a few examples. For starters, take an application that would traditionally host storage-intensive data such as video, pictures, and documents. This application can keep its Windows platform as is and move the files into Amazon S3 with minimal architecture change. AWS allows its customers to decouple their storage and move it into S3 in a cost-effective, secure, and efficient manner. Next, applications with heavy back-end processing can benefit from services such as lambda, EMR, and Spark. AWS allows customers to decouple the compute needs into relevant services for their application. Lastly, imagine an application that hosts significant historical data with requirements to search or query that data. Traditionally, some customers would need to keep all the historical and archived data in a database, but with AWS they can maintain the same architecture and move the archived data to S3 and use services like Amazon Athena and Elasticsearch to query and search this data without a need for a database. This helps to reduce their footprint on a database and cut down on costs.
Examples like these demonstrate why we believe AWS is a superior cloud-hosting service for Windows workloads. If a company is looking at their architecture holistically, AWS provides a comprehensive solution for compute, networking, storage, security, analytics, and deployment. This has been proven to us time and time again through customer migrations.