Microsoft Workloads on AWS

SoftwareONE: Modernizing on-premises, end-of-support Microsoft workloads on AWS

Headquartered in Switzerland, SoftwareONE helps customers migrate to the cloud and modernize their applications. Its many offerings include Simple for AWS managed services to accelerate migration to the AWS Cloud and the PyraCloud platform for cloud software and spending management.

SoftwareONE is an AWS Solution Provider, AWS Public Sector Partner, with AWS Migration Consulting Competency and Amazon EC2 for Windows Server Delivery Validation. SoftwareONE specializes in migrating, optimizing, and modernizing Microsoft workloads on AWS.

With several big Microsoft workloads end-of-support deadlines approaching, I chatted with Ian Hutchinson, AWS strategic alliance leader at SoftwareONE, to understand the challenges their customers are facing and how SoftwareONE’s approach and offerings help solve their customers end-of-support technology problem.

Q. What challenges do you see customers experiencing with their end-of-support technology?

A. We’ve just passed the end-of-support (EOS) date for SQL Server 2012 (July 12, 2022), and the Windows Server 2012 EOS date (October 10, 2023) is fast approaching. Many organizations find themselves in need of a clear path to cloud-based solutions. In fact, many of our customers have complex environments and technologies facing end of support, which means it is increasingly difficult for them to keep upgrading every few years. Their infrastructure and applications become vulnerable if they decide not to upgrade – not unless they are willing to pay for the expensive Extended Security Updates (ESU).

Q. So what options do customers have who are currently facing SQL Server end of support?

A. Customers must choose between continuing with their current technology stack or modernizing their workloads on Amazon Web Services (AWS) to unlock new business value from their EOS technology. To be more specific, customers have three choices.

Option 1 is to stick with an on-premises approach. This means paying new software license fees and being ready to repeat the same cycle in a few years when that new software, in turn, becomes old EOS software.

Option 2 is to migrate to the cloud, but stick with Microsoft software, and move data to newer versions, such as SQL Server 2019. This is the simplest step in the right direction, but customers will still face the cycle of version upgrades.

Option 3 is to migrate to the cloud and explore an alternative software route to remove ongoing licensing and EOS issues. As a matter of fact, the upcoming EOS events are a perfect opportunity for customers to modernize their business with a move to the AWS Cloud. And SoftwareONE is the ideal partner for quick, efficient, and cost effective EOS migration and modernization to AWS.

Q. What is the SoftwareONE approach for migrating and modernizing end-of-support technologies?

A. We have a detailed, three-step approach to help customers facing EOS issues. The three steps include: Assess, Mobilize, and Migrate/Modernize. We have specific offerings to execute these steps and help our customer. This infographic helps customers visualize the overall journey at a glance. That said, every customer’s journey is unique, so SoftwareONE’s experts work with each customer to optimize their own cloud journey path. SoftwareONE approach for migrating and modernizing End of Support workloads

Q. Can you provide more details on the SoftwareONE offerings you mentioned?

A. Our first offering is Optimization and Licensing Assessment (OLA). An OLA is an advisory service funded by AWS and provided by SoftwareONE. It’s aimed at understanding how IT resources are currently used and to get a full picture of current licensing costs. This lets us identify the best migration strategy when you’re facing an EOS software issue like SQL Server 2012 or Windows Server 2012. After the OLA, which usually takes about 30 days, we look at how to optimize resource usage in the AWS Cloud and build a business case for an AWS migration and licensing strategy. We also identify if a customer qualifies for the AWS Migration Acceleration Program (MAP), which provides AWS funding, tools, and other resources for accelerating customer migration to AWS.

Our next offering is Application Modernization Advisory (AMA). AMA helps to define and design the best approach to modernize applications using cloud technologies, focusing on transforming or optimizing each application. Our AMA process uses automated tools, interviews, and workshops to gain a deep understanding of the customers’ applications. We use AMA to define the suggested cloud architecture according to the needs of the customer, and then create a business case that lets you understand the total cost of ownership of your legacy versus the modernized application.

Q. What about licensing agreements? What do your customers need to know?

A. Our OLA process can help a lot with optimizing customer licensing agreements. It can also help customers identify ways to rightsize their consumption habits and eliminate zombie resources that they no longer use but are still paying for.

What really helps here is having a single-pane-of-glass view into software licenses and spending across customer IT estate. Our PyraCloud platform is a great solution. It provides software lifecycle automation with visibility into purchases, contracts, license keys, and costs, wherever their applications are—on premises or in the cloud.

Q. Once a customer has moved its EOS Microsoft workloads to the cloud, what’s the best way to manage them?

A. Migrating to the cloud can reduce a lot of the time-consuming tasks related to on-premises IT. But optimizing your cloud consumption, especially in a multi-cloud environment, means new challenges. The key is following best practices and paying ongoing attention to costs, security, and compliance. We provide help for this through our Simple for AWS managed service offering, which is supported by PyraCloud.

Q. And what about managing cloud costs after migrating EOS software?

A. Customers must embrace a new operating model: FinOps. It’s all about cloud financial management built on best practices and the organization-wide ownership of cloud usage. As a FinOps Certified Service Provider (FCSP) with a FinOps Certified Platform (FCP)—PyraCloud—we understand how to help customers gain control over their cloud spending, automate where possible, and simplify cloud budget management. It’s a smart way to optimize how you use software when your old software reaches EOS.

Q. Finally, are there any resources where our readers can find more about how SoftwareONE can help with their EOS technologies?

A. Customers can download our e-book or watch an on-demand webinar. Both provide details on how SoftwareONE can help customers unlock new value from their EOS technology.

ebook - Unlock New Value From Your End-of-Life TechnologyWebinar - Unlock new value from your end-of-life technology


About the Microsoft workloads on AWS Partner Spotlight series

Please continue to join me in this blog series as I highlight our AWS Partners’ capabilities in migrating and modernizing Microsoft workloads on AWS. As you do, I hope you’ll also ask the question: “What’s my organization’s plan for moving off SQL Server or Windows Server or whatever technology is keeping us from modernizing to better care for our customers?” Let AWS Partners with their specific niche offerings help you assess how your company can get the most out of cloud.

AWS can help you assess how your company can get the most out of cloud. Join the millions of AWS customers that trust us to migrate and modernize their most important applications in the cloud. To learn more on modernizing Windows Server or SQL Server, visit Windows on AWSContact us to start your modernization journey today.

Prasad Rao

Prasad Rao

Prasad Rao is a Principal Partner Solutions Architect at AWS based out of UK. His focus areas are .NET Application Modernization and Windows Workloads on AWS. He leverages his experience to help AWS Partners across EMEA for their long term technical enablement to build scalable architecture on AWS. He also mentors diverse people who are new to cloud and would like to get started on AWS.