Windows Server 2012 R2 Finally Arrives on Amazon's Cloud

The company is also offering preconfigured images with SQL Server 2014

Enterprises can now run Windows Server 2012 R2 on Amazon's cloud, taking advantage of features such as tiered storage, and they can also combine the OS with SQL Server 2014.

Windows Server 2012 R2 was released by Microsoft in October last year. Organizations with virtual machines running on the platform in their data centers can move them to Amazon's cloud, using the company's VM Import tools.

Potential use cases include application hosting, website and Web-service hosting, data processing and media transcoding, according to Amazon.

The new images are available in 19 languages and include a set of paravirtualized drivers that have been certified by Microsoft for their server OS. Users can pick between different flavors, including Server Core, a low maintenance, minimal server installation, according to Amazon.

Tiered storage is one of the reasons CIOs should consider upgrading to Release 2, according to Amazon. The feature lets enterprises dynamically move chunks of data between different classes of storage, such as fast SSD and slower hard drives. The IT department can create a single virtual disk that spans both classes of storage and have Windows Server 2012 R2 keep the most frequently accessed data blocks on the SSDs, it said.

As part of this release, new Microsoft SQL Server 2014 Standard, Web and Express Edition images running on Windows Server 2012 R2 are available in localized versions for English, Japanese and Brazilian Portuguese.

Running Windows Server 2012 R2 on Amazon's cloud costs between US$0.02 to $9.348 per hour when paying on-demand prices. Prices for reserved and spot instances are lower. The OS combined with SQL Server 2014 Standard costs between $0.356 to $17.016 per hour.

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