AWS Government, Education, & Nonprofits Blog

The sum is worth more than the parts: The unintended benefits of moving Microsoft workloads to AWS

Education, nonprofit, and government customers often find themselves moving Microsoft workloads to Amazon Web Services (AWS) for cost savings, but then also reaped performance improvements. AWS can seamlessly support thousands of applications, systems, and solutions – including Microsoft workloads – without disrupting service during migration. Read stories of how AWS global customers used AWS for Microsoft workloads.

Infor runs more than 30 customer-facing applications on the AWS Cloud and delivers enterprise resource planning (ERP) and other software solutions to a range of public sector customers worldwide. Originally, Infor used AWS to shorten backup times for two petabytes of its Microsoft SQL Server-based application data, which typically took twelve hours to fully backup. Infor also needed to improve application availability since customers were running mission-critical applications supporting human resources, healthcare, and ERP.

Now, Infor uses Microsoft SQL Server on Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) instances, and has about two petabytes of application data to back up daily. By using Amazon Elastic Block Store (Amazon EBS) volume types optimized for throughput, Infor can complete these backups in the cloud 30% quicker at a 75% cost savings.

Infor also uses Amazon EC2 I2 instances for ephemeral storage of SQL Server databases, with clusters supported in multiple Availability Zones. “The ability to cluster across multiple availability zones enables higher application availability,” adds Randy Young, director of cloud operations at Infor. The company also improved SQL Server performance on AWS.

Macmillan Learning is an educational solutions company that delivers content, tools, and services to facilitate instruction and learning. LaunchPad, its flagship digital application, lets educators use and customize courses to facilitate student learning. When Macmillan embarked on its cloud adoption journey with AWS, their main goal was to ensure LaunchPad could support three times the number of users and increase capacity dynamically, and release new application features faster. Macmillan worked with AWS Partner Relus Cloud to migrate LaunchPad to the AWS Cloud, using a combination of services including Amazon EC2 for Windows and Linux, Amazon EBS, Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3), Amazon CloudFront, and AWS Direct Connect.

Relus helped Macmillan Learning move LaunchPad to AWS, running on 90 Amazon EC2 instances with a mix of Linux and Windows servers in front of Amazon EBS storage volumes. LaunchPad also uses Amazon S3 to store static content, and CloudFront as its global content delivery network (CDN) for a faster user experience. With the move, Macmillan scaled LaunchPad.

Deltek, a global provider of enterprise software and information solutions for government contractors, professional services firms, and other project-based businesses, offers software solutions to 22,000 organizations worldwide. Deltek runs its customer-facing software as a service (SaaS) business in production on the AWS Cloud to take advantage of Amazon EC2 Dedicated Instances and Amazon EC2 Dedicated Hosts to reduce costs and stay in license compliance with Microsoft.

Deltek also found compliance with Microsoft was simpler than expected. Many of Deltek’s products are made to work together with Microsoft business applications like SharePoint, Exchange, Windows Server, SQL Server, and RDP. By using Amazon EC2 Dedicated Instances, Deltek was able to bring its own SQL Server licenses to AWS and comply with Microsoft terms of use. Deltek was also able to release new software features by moving to AWS.

“Our customers can take advantage of the fact that AWS has Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program (FedRAMP), International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR), SOC, and other important industry-specific accreditations. We can give our customers even more confidence by having our business on AWS,” says Cris Carlin, vice president of global cloud operations at Deltek.

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) is the trade association for the world’s airlines, representing 250 companies, accounting for 84% of global air traffic. When the organization needed to boost the performance of its business intelligence (BI) platform, they looked to AWS. In particular, AWS has ISO 27001 Certification, which IATA required for its highly confidential information. IATA is running Microsoft SQL Server and Microsoft Sharepoint on AWS, in a hybrid solution integrated with its on premises Active Directory.

After migrating its BI platform to the cloud, IATA created a new intranet on AWS, which runs Microsoft SharePoint 2013 and NewsGator/Sitrion and provides advanced social networking features on top of SharePoint for IATA’s 1,550 users. IATA solutions on AWS run in an Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (Amazon VPC) and are fully integrated with IATA’s existing Microsoft Active Directory service.

Using AWS-enabled IATA to provide its customers with more business value by leveraging capabilities that weren’t possible with traditional solutions. For example, the organization can now ingest terabytes of data into storage without prior capacity planning, and then process the data in a limited period of time. “Every time we start a project, we have a roadmap with a list of features that correspond to business value,” says Pascal Buchner, director of IT services and CIO at IATA.

AWS customers move their Microsoft workloads to the AWS Cloud for a variety of reasons, but it’s the sum total of the AWS breadth and depth, global reach and availability, and pace of innovation that can provide additional – and continued – benefits.

Learn more about Microsoft Workloads on AWS.