In an announcement yesterday, Amazon opened up their Elastic Compute Cloud to Windows Server 2016. The operating system is now available in all Amazon AWS regions worldwide.
If you already own a Windows Server 2016 license, you can bring it to your AWS setup and run it on Amazon’s cloud. These are the four “forms” Amazon will let you use Server 2016 in:
Windows Server 2016 Datacentre with Desktop Experience
This is the standard version of Windows Server 2016, with support for both traditional and cloud-native applications.
Windows Server 2016 Nano
This version boots significantly faster than the standard version and maintains a minimal footprint by leaving critical system resources such as processor time, memory, and storage for the apps to use. This is a cloud-native server, and doesn’t include a desktop experience – you will need to administer this version remotely via PowerShell or WMI.
Windows Server 2016 with Containers
This version of Windows Server 2016 comes with containers and Docker pre-installed.
Windows Server 2016 with SQL Server 2016
This version of Windows Server 2016 comes with SQL Server 2016 pre-installed.
Specs & Pricing
Microsoft recommends at least 2 GB of memory for Windows Server 2016, so you should probably get an AWS instance with at least that.
The standard Windows EC2 Pricing applies to Windows Server 2016 as well; you can also launch On-Demand and Spot Instances, as well as purchase Reserved Instances.
More details about the pricing and specifications are available on Amazon’s blog post, along with a basic introduction to Windows Server 2016 running on Amazon AWS.