Tag Archives: AWS on Windows

We love SQL Server running on AWS almost as much as our customers

Post Syndicated from Sandy Carter original https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/compute/we-love-sql-server-running-on-aws-almost-as-much-as-our-customers/

We love SQL Server running on AWS almost as much as our customers. Microsoft SQL server 2019 became generally available on November 8, 2019, and is now available to on AWS. More customers run SQL Server on AWS than any other cloud, and trust AWS for a number of reasons.

The first is performance. Recent performance benchmarks show that AWS delivers great price-performance for running SQL server. ZK Research points out that SQL Server on AWS consistently shows a price performance using HammerDB, a TPC-C-like benchmark tool compared to Azure, that’s over two times better. These results come from analysis done by ZKResearch based on independent testing results published by DBBest. Furthermore, we offer fast and high throughput storage options with Amazon EBS and local NVMe instance storage. We know that getting better application performance is critical for your customer’s satisfaction. In fact, excellent application performance leads to 39% higher* customer satisfaction, while poor performance may lead to damaged reputations or, even worse, customer attrition. To make sure you have the best possible experience for your customers, we have focused on pushing the boundaries around performance.

For example, the value of running SQL Server on AWS is shown in Pearson’s migration story. Pearson is a British-owned education publishing and assessment service to schools and corporations, as well for students directly. Pearson owns educational media brands including Addison–Wesley, Prentice Hall, eCollege, and others. Schoolnet , one of their offerings, tests tens of millions of students and is used by tens of thousands of educators. Pearson migrated Schoolnet, which was an on-premises application that used SQL Server, over to the AWS cloud. The goal of the migration was to ensure that the high volume of tests done daily would run efficiently and effectively. As many customers do, Pearson build for the worst-case demand, and had over-provisioned with a massive infrastructure utilized for potential (real!) peaks. When they moved to AWS, not only did they see efficiencies in cost but SQL Server was far easier to manage and was much faster. In fact, at our reInvent conference, Ian Wright told the audience that they had so much feedback coming into the level 2 support desk that was positive from the migration in particular, that Schoolnet was running faster than ever before!

Second, customers need high availability for mission-critical applications written using SQL Server. We have the best global infrastructure for running workloads that require high availability. The AWS Global Infrastructure underlays SQL Server on AWS and spans 69 Availability Zones (AZs) within 22 geographic regions around the world. These AZs are designed for physical redundancy and provide resilience, which enables uninterrupted performance. In 2018, the next-largest cloud provider had almost seven times more downtime hours than AWS.

Third, while CIOs tell us that cost is not the key factor in their decision to move to the cloud (agility and innovation are usually at the center of their motivation), they are often impressed with the cost savings they see when bringing their SQL server workloads to AWS. We typically see at least 20% savings with just a lift-and-shift. Over the first few months, you can continue to optimize your EC2 instances for an additional 10–20% savings. By adopting higher level services, you can further optimize—many customers saw 60% or more savings.

For example, Axinom ran its Windows-based applications in an on-premises environment that made it difficult to scale to meet increasing user traffic. The company also wanted to boost scalability and cut costs. Axinom moved its applications, including Axinom CMS and Axinom DRM, to the AWS Cloud. The company runs its Microsoft SQL Server–based platform on AWS and Spot Instances to optimize costs. As Johannes Jauch, the Chief Technology Officer of Axinom, said, “We have cut costs for supporting our digital media supply chain services by 70 percent using AWS products such as Amazon Spot Instances. As a result, we can provide more competitive pricing for our global customers.” And Axinom is not the only customers. Customers like Salesforce, Adobe, and Decisiv are benefitting from increased productivity and agility running SQL Server on AWS. You can read more about how customers are unlocking maximum business value by migrating to AWS.

And finally, not only does AWS offers more security, compliance, and governance services and key features than the next largest cloud provider, we also have the most migration experience.

All these benefits mean that the new features of SQL Server 2019, such as big data clusters, always being encrypted with secure enclaves, and improvements in SQL on Linux features, run better on AWS. We are also happy to announce that you can now launch EC2 instances that run Windows Server 2019/2016 and four editions of SQL Server 2019 (Web, Express, Standard, and Enterprise). The Amazon Machine Images (AMIs) are available today in all AWS Regions and run on a wide variety of EC2 instance types. You can launch these instances from the AWS Management Console, AWS CLI, or through AWS Marketplace. To get started with SQL 2019 on AWS, you can either purchase a License Included EC2 instance, or, if you have software assurance, you also have two Bring Your Own License (BYOL) options! You can BYOL SQL Server on an AWS instance with license-included Windows, or can BYOL SQL Server on a dedicated host with BYOL Windows (provided the Windows license was purchased before October 1, 2019).

Join the customers on SQL Server on AWS today! To learn more about SQL Server 2019 and to explore your licensing options, visit Microsoft SQL Server on AWS. If you need advice and guidance as you plan your migration effort, check out the AWS Partners who have qualified for the AWS Microsoft Workloads Competency and focus on database solutions. Please join me and the AWS team at AWS re:Invent (December 2–6 in Las Vegas).

*Source: Netmagic, https://www.netmagicsolutions.com/data/images/WP_How-End-User-Experience-Affects-Your-Bottom-Line16-08-231471935227.pdf

Migrating Azure VM to AWS using AWS SMS Connector for Azure

Post Syndicated from Emma White original https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/compute/migrating-azure-vm-to-aws-using-aws-sms-connector-for-azure/

AWS SMS is an agentless service that facilitates and expedites the migration of your existing workloads to AWS. The service enables you to automate, schedule, and monitor incremental replications of active server volumes, which facilitates large-scale server migration coordination. Recently, you could only migrate virtual machines (VMs) running in VMware vSphere and Microsoft Hyper-V environments. Currently, you can use the simplicity and ease of AWS Server Migration Service (SMS) to migrate virtual machines running on Microsoft Azure. You can discover Azure VMs, group them into applications, and migrate a group of applications as a single unit without having to go through the hassle of coordinating the replication of the individual servers or decoupling application dependencies. SMS significantly reduces application migration time, as well as decreases the risk of errors in the migration process.

 

This post takes you step-by-step through how to provision the SMS virtual machine on Microsoft Azure, discover the virtual machines in a Microsoft Azure subscription, create a replication job, and finally launch the instance on AWS.

 

1- Provisioning the SMS virtual machine

To provision your SMS virtual machine on Microsoft Azure, complete the following steps.

  1. Download three PowerShell scripts listed under Step 1 of Installing the Server Migration Connection on Azure.
FileURL
Installation scripthttps://s3.amazonaws.com/sms-connector/aws-sms-azure-setup.ps1
MD5 hashhttps://s3.amazonaws.com/sms-connector/aws-sms-azure-setup.ps1.md5
SHA256 hashhttps://s3.amazonaws.com/sms-connector/aws-sms-azure-setup.ps1.sha256

 

  1. To validate the integrity of the files you can compare the checksums of the files. You can use PowerShell 5.1 or newer.

 

2.1 To validate the MD5 hash of the aws-sms-azure-setup.ps1 script, run the following command and wait for an output similar to the following result:

Command to validate the MD5 has of the aws-sems-azure-setup.ps1 script

2.2 To validate the SHA256 hash of the aws-sms-azure-setup.ps1 file, run the following command and wait for an output similar to the following result:

Command to validate the SHA256 hash of the aws-sms-azure-setup.ps1 file

2.3 Compare the returned values ​​by opening the aws-sms-azure-setup.ps1.md5 and aws-sms-azure-setup.ps1.sha256 files in your preferred text editor.

2.4 To validate if the PowerShell script has a valid Amazon Web Services signature, run the following command and wait for an output similar to the following result:

Command to validate validate if the PowerShell script has a valid Amazon Web Services signature

 

  1. Before running the script for provisioning the SMS virtual machine, you must have an Azure Virtual Network and an Azure Storage Account in which you will temporarily store metadata for the tasks that SSM performs against the Microsoft Azure Subscription. A good recommendation is to use the same Azure Virtual Network as the Azure Virtual Machines being migrated, since the SSM virtual machine performs REST API communications to communicate with AWS endpoints as well as the Azure Cloud Service. It is not necessary for the SMS virtual machine to have a Public IP or Internet Inbounds Rules.

 

4.  Run the installation script .\aws-sms-azure-setup.ps1

Screenshot of running the installation script

  1. Enter with the name of the existing Storage Account Name and Azure Virtual Network in the subscription:

Screenshot of where to enter Storage Account Name and Azure Virtual Network

  1. The Microsoft Azure modules imports into the local PowerShell, and you receive a prompt for credentials to access the subscription.

Azure login credentials

  1. A summary of the created features appears, similar to the following:

Screenshot of created features

  1. Wait for the process to complete. It may take a few minutes:

screenshot of processing jobs

  1. After the provisioning an output containing the Object Id of System Assigned Identity and Private IP. Save this information as it is going to be used to register the connector to the SMS service in the step 23.

Screenshot of the information to save

  1. To check the provisioned resources, log into the Microsoft Azure Portal and select the Resource Group option. The provided AWS script performed a role created in the Microsoft Azure IAM that allows the virtual machine to make use of the necessary services through REST APIs over HTTPS calls and to be authenticated via Azure Inbuilt Instance Metadata Service (IMDS).

Screenshot of provisioned resources log in Microsoft Azure Portal

  1. As a requirement, you need to create an IAM User that contains the necessary permissions for the SMS service to perform the migration. To do this, log into your AWS account at https://aws.amazon.com/console, under services select IAM. Then select User, and click Add user.

Screenshot of AWS console. add user

 

  1. In the Add user page, insert a username and check the option Programmatic access. Click: Next Permissions

Screenshot of adding a username

  1. Attach an existing policy with the name ServerMigrationConnector. This policy allows the AWS Connector to connects and executes API-requests against AWS. Click Next:Tags.

Adding policy ServerMigrationConnector

  1. Optionally add tags to the user. Click Next: Review.

Screenshot of option to add tags to the user

15. Click Create User and save the Access Key and Secret Access Key. This information is going to be used during the AWS SMS Connector setup.

Create User and save the access key and secret access key

 

  1. From a computer that has access to the Azure Virtual Network, access the SMS Virtual Machine configuration using a browser and the previously recorded private IP from the output of the script. In this example, the URL is https://10.0.0.4.

Screenshot of accessing the SMS Virtual Machine configuration

  1. On the main page of the SMS virtual machine, click Get Started Now

Screenshot of the SMS virtual machine start page

  1. Read and accept the terms of the contract, then click Next.

Screenshot of accepting terms of contract

  1. Create a password that will be used to login later in the management connector console and click Next.

Screenshot of creating a password

  1. Review the Network Info and click Next.

Screenshot of reviewing the network info

  1. Choose if you would like to opt-in to having anonymous log data set to AWS then click Next.

Screenshot of option to add log data to AWS

  1. Insert an Access Key and Secret Access Key for an IAM User whose only policy is attached: “ServerMigrationConnector” Also, select the region in which the SMS endpoint will be used and click Next. The access key mentioned it was created through step 11 to 15.

Selet AWS Region, and Insert Access Key and Secret Key

  1. Enter the Object Id of System Assigned Identify copied in step 9 and click Next.

Enter Object Id of System Assigned Identify

  1. Congratulations, you have successfully configured the Azure connector, click Go to connector dashboard.

Screenshot of the successful configuration of the Azure connector

  1. Verify that the connector status is HEALTHY by clicking Connectors on the menu.

Screenshot of verifying that the connector status is healthy

 

2 – Replicating Azure Virtual Machines to Amazon Web Services

  1. Access the SMS console and go to the Servers option. Click Import Server Catalog or Re-Import Server Catalog if it has been previously executed.

Screenshot of SMS console and servers option

  1. Select the Azure Virtual Machines to be migrated and click Create Replication Job.

Screenshot of Azure virtual machines migration

  1. Select which type of licensing best suits your environment, such as:

– Auto (Current licensing autodetection)

– AWS (License Included)

– BYOL (Bring Your Own License).
See options: https://aws.amazon.com/windows/resources/licensing/

Screenshot of best type of licensing for your environment

  1. Select the appropriate replication frequency, when the replication should start, and the IAM service role. You can leave it blank and the SMS service is going to use the built-in service role “sms”

Screenshot of replication jobs and IAM service role

  1. A summary of the settings are displayed and click Create. 
    Screenshot of the summary of settings displayed
  2. In the SMS Console, go to the Replication Jobs option and follow the replication job status:

Overview of replication jobs

  1. After completion, access the EC2 console, go to AMIs, and a list of the AMIs generated by SMS will now be in this list. In the example below, several AMIs were generated because the replication frequency is 1 hour.

List of AMIs generated by SMS

  1. Now navigate to the SMS console, click Launch Instance and follow the screen processes for creating a new Amazon EC2 instance.

SMS console and Launch Instance screenshot

 

3 – Conclusion

This solution provides a simple, agentless, non-intrusive way to the migration process with the AWS Server Migration Service.

 

For more about Windows Workloads on AWS go to:  http://aws.amazon.com/windows

 

About the Author

Photo of the Author

 

 

Marcio Morales is a Senior Solution Architect at Amazon Web Services. He works with AWS customers to provide guidance and technical assistance on running their Microsoft workloads on AWS.