SharePoint On Amazon AWS

Moving application to the cloud can lead to many business improvements including:

  • Reduced infrastructure costs
  • Ability to scale as demand grows automatically
  • Streamlined administration and management

It is exactly these benefits that Amazon corporate IT experienced when it migrated its SharePoint Services to Amazon AWS. Other organisations can also now benefit by moving their existing Microsoft SharePoint servers from on-premise to the cloud. The Microsoft Mobility through Software Assurance program enables volume license customers with active Software Assurance to deploy to the cloud with no additional cost.

The Microsoft License Mobility Program enables certain software licenses purchased under a volume licensing agreement to be deployed in authorised data centres, one of which is Amazon AWS. Deploying to AWS raises a number of questions both technical and commercial. From a technical perspective, is the installation the same as on-premise or are there additional configuration elements required due to the AWS infrastructure. How will autoscale work on AWS for SharePoint instances. From a commercial view, is auto scaling compatible with the Microsoft Software Assurance is one of many questions that need to be answered.

I have read the Microsoft volume licensing agreement and also the associate Product Use Rights (PUR) and it is still not clear to me what the actual deal is. From the technical perspective the deployment skills can be gained from attending a training course such as that offered by Learning Tree. What is far more difficult is the commercial/licensing aspect of deployment to the cloud. What would be helpful if the cloud suppliers and software vendors got together and clearly defined the policy for migration and its implication on license agreements compared to the current situation with say SharePoint where they refer to each other to define the terms.

Chris Czarnecki

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