Late yesterday, Amazon announced that coming this fall, developers will be able to run Windows Server 2008 and SQL Server instances on its EC2 cloud services.
The implications are many, especially given the anticipated rollout of Microsoft's own cloud computing platform later this month at its Professional Developer's Conference (PDC 2008) in Los Angeles, where it has scheduled at least 32 sessions on the topic.
Here's more detail from Amazon Web Services evangelist Jeff Barr, as posted on the AWS blog yesterday evening:
You will be able to use Amazon EC2 to host highly scalable ASP.NET sites, high performance computing (HPC) clusters, media transcoders, SQL Server, and more. You can run Visual Studio (or another development environment) on your desktop and run the finished code in the Amazon cloudIn his personal blog, All Things Distributed, Amazon.com CTO Werner Vogels says significant demand for Windows support has come from the entertainment industry:
One particular area that customers have been asking for Amazon EC2 with Windows Server was for Windows Media transcoding and streaming. There is a range of excellent codecs available for Windows Media and there is a large amount of legacy content in those formats. In past weeks I met with a number of folks from the entertainment industry and often their first question was: when can we run on windows?
While the ability to run Windows-based applications on AWS servers is competition for Microsoft's own plans, EC2 availability widens options for .NET developers and may draw new programmers to ASP.NET and its growing set of tools, including its new MVC framework and support for the jQuery library.
The new service is currently in private beta testing, but as reported by Barr, interested developers can sign up here to receive notice when the service becomes generally available. PDC perhaps?