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Windows Server 2012 now runs in Amazon's cloud

Administrators can take advantage of improved management features using PowerShell

Enterprises can now run Windows Server 2012 on the Amazon Web Services cloud, and take advantage of improved management features and new versions of IIS and the .Net framework.

AWS isn't the only provider whose cloud can run Microsoft's new server operating system. The OS can already be installed on Microsoft's own Azure cloud and Rackspace also offers a number of different configurations on its platform.

The operating system is available in AWS data centers around the world, and enterprises can choose between 31 Windows Server 2012 virtual images. They support 19 different languages and have been prepackaged with SQL Server 2008 and 2008 R2, Tom Rizzo, general manager for the Windows team at AWS, wrote in a blog post on Tuesday.

Windows Server 2012 became generally available in September, and includes the Internet Information Services (IIS) 8.0 web server, version 4.5 of the .Net framework and improved management using PowerShell.

With Windows PowerShell 3.0 administrators can for the first time handle any management task using the command line interface, and in the process save time by automating more and more tasks, according to Microsoft.

To help users get started, AWS has posted a video showing how to configure a Windows Server 2012.

Enterprises can also use Windows Server 2012 with Elastic Beanstalk, which AWS is pitching as an easier way to deploy and manage applications.

Developers upload their ASP.NET applications to the AWS cloud, and Elastic Beanstalk automatically takes care of deployment details such as capacity provisioning, load balancing, auto-scaling and application health monitoring, according to the company.

Elastic Beanstalk is still being beta tested.

Windows Server 2012 is also included in the so-called free tier of AWS services, which allows new customers to run the OS and other services for free for up to a year. Enterprises can start evaluating Windows Server 2012 and then move to a production environment when they are ready, according to Rizzo.

Running Windows Server on the AWS cloud costs from US$0.02 per hour with the company's on-demand pricing.

Previously, AWS users could choose between Windows Server 2003 R2, 2008 and 2008 R2. They are still available alongside Windows Server 2012.

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