End-of-Support Migration Program for Windows Server

Future-proof your legacy Windows Server applications on AWS

AWS helps customers with migration of their legacy Windows Server applications to the latest, supported versions of Windows Server on AWS, without any code changes. Many organizations struggle with migrating their legacy applications due to tight dependencies on older, unsupported operating systems (OS), limited in-house expertise, and/or missing access to installation media or source code. Moreover, getting extended support for these applications does not resolve the inevitable end of support problem, it just delays the inevitable. To mitigate these challenges, AWS offers the End-of-Support Migration Program (EMP) for Windows Server.

EMP for Windows Server includes tooling to migrate your legacy applications from Windows Server 2003, 2008, and 2012 to newer, supported versions on AWS, without any refactoring. The EMP tool decouples the applications from the underlying OS, enabling the migration of your critical applications to newer, supported versions of Windows Server on AWS. Customers can use the EMP tool freely as a self-service option or with the help of AWS Partners or AWS Professional Services. A user guide is also available for customers who want to use the tool themselves. 

The EMP tool identifies the dependencies that your application has on the outdated OS, and creates a package that includes the resources necessary for the application to run on the newer version of Windows Server. The package includes all the application files, runtimes, components, and deployment tools, as well as an engine that redirects the API calls from your application to files within the package. This resolves the dependencies, and decouples the application from the underlying OS. You can now run the packaged application on future versions of Windows Server, which means you don’t have to worry about upgrading these applications when the next end of support event for Windows Server arrives. Once on AWS, you can continue to optimize the operations and costs for these applications and explore further modernizing Windows workloads.


Future-proof your legacy applications

Safeguard your applications from periodic end of support events by decoupling these applications from the underlying unsupported Windows Server operating system. This means when the next end of support event occurs, you can simply move and then run your applications on the latest supported version of Windows Server without any code changes.

Reduce risk

When you run your packaged applications on supported versions of Windows Server, you proactively receive the latest patches and operating system-wide security improvements that are not available for the older versions. This protects your applications from vulnerabilities of the older operating systems.

Reduce cost and complexity

Migrating legacy applications to newer, supported versions of Windows Server often requires refactoring, which is expensive and complex because of limited in-house expertise for such applications. With EMP for Windows Server, you no longer need to refactor your applications to ensure compatibility with newer versions of Windows Server.  You now have the choice of using the tool as a self-service option at no cost or you can pay for the expert engagement to drive migration of your applications to AWS using the EMP tool. 

Works for a wide range of applications

EMP for Windows Server supports even your most complicated applications, including the ones with tight dependencies on older versions of the operating system, including registry, libraries, and other files. EMP for Windows Server helps upgrade applications regardless of the availability of installation media or code.

How it works

How it works

IHS Markit is a leading Fortune 500 Information Services company based out of the UK.

As part of a broader migration, IHS Markit engaged with AWS to understand how to address their legacy Windows servers. At the time IHS Markit was struggling to replatform a legacy version of Microsoft Dynamics Great Plains ERP running on Windows 2003 to a more modern version of Windows Server. AWS recommended the End-of-Support Migration Program (EMP) to solve this problem. Using the EMP tool, an AWS partner, Cloudhouse, worked with the customer to package the application without changing the application source code or impacting end-user experience. After the packaging process was complete, the customer received an Amazon Machine Image (AMI) with the Great Plains ERP running on a Windows 2019 server. With a fully functioning application deployed in AWS, IHS Markit also found additional benefits including, increased performance and restoration of export functionality with the ability to run a newer version of Microsoft Office.

V/Line is an Australia-based public transport provider that has provided services to the Victoria region for over 30 years.

As part of an initiative to reduce their legacy Microsoft technical debt and increase the security posture of their end-of-support applications, V/Line engaged with AWS to migrate a legacy version of Microsoft Dynamics AX. The application ran on Windows Server 2003 and the customer wanted to replatform to a modern, supported Windows Server in the AWS Cloud. Using the End-of-Support Migration Program (EMP) tool, the entire application was packaged without changing the application source code or impacting the end-user experience. Following the EMP engagement, the packaged application was successfully deployed to a Windows Server 2019 platform in AWS, allowing V\Line to decommission their legacy server.

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Additional resources

New AWS Program to Help Future-proof Your End-of-Support Windows Server Applications

December 02, 2019
By Martin Beeby

If you have been in business a while, you might find yourself in a situation where you have legacy Windows Server applications, critical to your business, that you can’t move to a newer, supported version of Windows Server.

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AWS EMP Technical Whitepaper

A technical overview of concepts and features associated with the AWS End-of-Support Migration Program (EMP) for Windows Server
Migrating Legacy Windows Applications to Newer Versions of Windows With Install Media (8:11)

Watch this video to learn understand how EMP can package and migrate your legacy application when the media is available.

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Check out more details

Learn more about EMP for Windows Server through our FAQ page

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