The Business Value of Running Windows Workloads on AWS Cloud

The Business Value of Running Windows Workloads on AWS Cloud

“There is no compression algorithm for experience,”
Andy Jassy

The momentum to modernize Microsoft workloads by migrating to AWS Cloud is accelerating with 400% increase in the number of enterprise customers using EC2 for Windows server between 2015 and 2018. Reasons are not hard to discern—AWS Cloud has the longest experience of hosting Windows workloads on its Cloud.

Small wonder then AWS has the widest selection of services, offering deep functionalities including 143 instance types and 37 instance families with 60 AMI families for Windows workloads. AWS innovation is not just restricted to virtual servers but extends to .Net and management environment making it easier to extract business value.

AWS Cloud provides a series of offerings around serverless and containers to empower coders. This includes

  • AWS Lambda, a service which lets you run code in the Cloud without having to own, manage, or even think about servers. You can choose from several .NET core runtimes for Lambda functions and write your code.
  • The AWS Cloud Development Kit for .NET allows to define cloud infrastructure as code and deploy it using AWS CloudFormation.
  • The continuous innovation has extended to support Windows on Amazon Elastic Container Service (ECS), Elastic Kubernetes Service (EKS) and Amazon Fargate, AWS’s serverless compute engine that works with ECS and EKS.

AWS Offers Widest Selection of Services

  • 143 instance type
  • 37 instance families
  • 60 AMI families

These innovations help customers jumpstart the Cloud journey but more importantly enable continuous value to optimize workload and streamline management with tools and services that are conveniently available on AWS platform. This is possible because AWS Cloud provides the foundation for robust and reliable infrastructure giving way to a host of business benefits, chief among which are:

Cost Optimization

According to a study by IDC which examined the business value of running Windows workloads on AWS Cloud, organizations running workloads such as Windows Server and Microsoft SQL Server can reduce their five-year cost of operation by up to 56%. Savings accrued due to efficient use of infrastructure and application licenses; freeing IT personal to focus on value-added IT and business initiatives; improved IT agility; enhanced security and reduced risks.

Customers interviewed for the IDC study responded that a primary consideration to choose AWS Cloud was OpEx cost model, but also reuse and “bring your own” licenses, targeted use of compute, storage, and database capacity enabled up to 37% savings annually for comparable workloads in previous IT environments.

More reasons why AWS Cloud customers achieve cost optimization include

  • Continuous cost reduction as AWS pass on benefits of scale to customers.
  • Various levers that an experienced APN partner can pull. This includes re-architecting and rightsizing deployments to align workloads with requirements using autoscaling.
  • You can also take advantage of pricing mechanisms such as reserved instances which are cost-effective for regular workloads; and spot instances which work well with applications having persistent storage.
  • Continuous monitoring of resources provide insights into workloads which can be optimized for efficiency and accrue higher ROI.

Reliability & Availability

AWS Cloud provides very high reliability compared to other Cloud providers due to better global infrastructure design based on Regions and Availability Zones. This is the key distinction between AWS and other Cloud providers who often define a region as a single datacenter. And even if there are Availability Zones, the stringent requirements for isolation between zones do not apply.

The AWS Cloud spans 69 zones within 22 geographic Regions around the world. A Region comprises multiple, isolated and physically separate Availability Zones with independent power, cooling, and physical security and connected via redundant, ultra-low latency network.

AWS Offers Widest Selection of Services

  • 143 instance type
  • 37 instance families
  • 60 AMI families

The multiple AZ design offers advantage to design applications to run in multiple AZ’s that automatically fail over between zones without interruption. Also, applications can be partitioned across multiple zones in the same Region to better isolate issues and achieve high availability.

Application downtime means loss of business and bad customer experience. Many of our customers across sectors in manufacturing, retail, healthcare and financial services are using technology as a business differentiator and Umbrella has helped migrate critical workloads to AWS Cloud by leveraging multi-AZ, autoscaling and close monitoring services which has ensured high application availability and uptime and thereby, customer satisfaction.

Enhanced Security

WS datacenters have more than 50 industry certifications such as HIPPA, FiSMA, SOC- 1 2,3, and ISO and offers 210 security, compliance and governance services and key features. All AWS services that store customer data offer the ability to encrypt data with encryption available across 116 AWS services. These capabilities have helped customers’ IT security teams achieve higher efficiencies at 59% according to the same IDC study.

Achieving higher security has motivated many of our customers to migrate to AWS Cloud. Amongst our customers a niche retailer for live-style products inspired by Indian traditions has high requirement for security and compliance due to high value transactions and exclusive clientele. The company moved its Microsoft Navision ERP workload to AWS Cloud and is able to achieve its security objectives as it was not possible to achieve compliance requirements with on-premise environment. AWS’s deep security features such as automated infrastructure configuration and close monitoring along with encryption and Identity and access management enabled to achieve security objectives.


The IDC study revealed that AWS customers could better meet business demand through greater agility and improved performance. As opposed to legacy environment where customers had to either overprovision infrastructure or risk not meeting business demands in a timely manner.

For example, a design house selling apparels and lifestyle products creates immersive experiences by leveraging an omnichannel strategy. The business suffered a setback when the site crashed during a sale in 2016. Its traditional vendor said it would take 72 hours to resume operations. So the customer reached out to Umbrella to seek a solution. Our team explained migration to AWS Cloud could be achieved swiftly, and soon we moved its entire workload comprising Navision ERP to AWS Cloud and within 24 hours resuming the sale with minimal damage.

The customer has now embarked on a transformative journey leveraging DevOps to innovate continuously and strengthen its phygital strategy by creating unique customer experiences.

Our experience finds most organizations migrated Windows workloads to AWS Cloud for anticipated cost savings but as the journey matures with modernization, the benefits achieved via improved performance, efficiency, agility, flexibility and enhanced security multiplies manifold bringing in higher returns than anticipated. This has helped our customers achieve transformational capabilities wherein IT has become an enabler and a game changer.