Amazon Brings Enterprise Databases to the Cloud

The people over at Amazon Web Services have been busy at work the last couple weeks. The Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) team has rolled out two significant computing options over that will really help pave the way for more enterprise adoption of their services.

Last Tuesday, Amazon announced that it plans to unveil the ability to run Microsoft Windows Server and Microsoft SQL Server on the EC2 platform later this fall.  This announcement is a huge step and will allow customers to deploy ASP.NET applications using a host of database options as well as other Windows-based applications such as Windows Media transcoding.  This advancement in cloud computing will really ease the transition for potential enterprise clients which still tend to be very Windows heavy – ASP.NET portals still seem to be rather popular in my experience.

Last week, in an email to developers, they also announced that Oracle has certified EC2 as “the first cloud computing platform that has been authorized to run supported Oracle databases” which also increases the database options for enterprises and developers alike.  According to the announcement, customers will be able to run Oracle 11g, Oracle Fusion Middleware and the Oracle Enterprise Manager on AWS.  Oracle is really taking an interest in the project and has delivered a set of free images to help make deployment easier.

I don’t claim to know how many ‘enterprise’ clients Amazon Web Services has on its roster but I think this is really a step in the right direction.  I know enterprise security executives are still wary about throwing their proprietary data in the ‘cloud’ but who wouldn’t enjoy a little extra cushion for those PR heavy days when your site gets overloaded.  I can only imagine how busy the Bear Sterns intranet was the day their employees found out it was over.

This will also continue to lower the barrier of entry for web-based start-ups.  The language of choice these days tends to be PHP, but that isn’t normally a part of the university curriculum.  Now, students can continue to expand on those class projects and turn them into successful (hopefully…) start-ups.  Of course, that’s only for those few that aren’t programming before they hit high school.

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