Early this morning, we received an announcement from Amazon the company is launching a pilot for EC2 customers to allow your enterprise organizations to move existing Microsoft Windows Server licenses to Amazon and receive a proper discount for the new EC2 instance.

The offer is open until September and is being called a pilot by the companies to test the waters and pattern for hosting Windows within Amazon.

The note from Amazon is on the Windows Server license mobility prompts immediate action:

“Dear Amazon EC2 Customer,

We are excited to announce the immediate availability of the Microsoft Windows Server® License Mobility Pilot, which enables customers with Microsoft Enterprise Agreements (EA) to migrate their existing Windows Server licenses to Amazon EC2. By moving existing licenses to the cloud, you can leverage licenses that you have already purchased to reduce your cost of running Windows On-Demand or Reserved Instances by up to 41%. Microsoft will stop accepting new enrollments for the pilot on September 23, 2010 so it is important to act quickly.

To participate in this pilot, Microsoft requires that your company meet the following criteria:

* Your company must be based (or have a legal entity) in the United States

* Your company must have an existing Microsoft Enterprise Agreement (EA) that is valid for a minimum of 12 months after your entry into the pilot

* You must already have purchased Software Assurance from Microsoft for your EA Windows Server Enterprise, Datacenter, and Standard licenses

* You must be an Enterprise customer (Academic and Government institutions are not covered by this pilot)

Once you have enrolled in the pilot, you will be eligible to run your Windows Server licenses in Amazon EC2 for the next 12 months following your sign-up. You will still be responsible for maintaining the appropriate number of Client Access licenses and External Connector licenses needed to operate your EA Windows Server licenses.

To learn more about this pilot or sign-up, please visit http://aws.amazon.com/ec2/windows-license-mobility-pilot. We hope that you take advantage of this new pilot!”

By clicking that link, you are one form away from that hardware in your closet moving to Amazon. Make sure your license administrator is handy, it asks for the basics, and of course the company agreement numbers with Microsoft.

Microsoft is Going Big into Cloud. And Amazon, Deep

For the right license holders, this is could be a big opportunity to jump to Amazon’s cloud. This could cause organizations look at old hardware with a new rigor. If this program grows, we could see whole blocks of infrastructure move to Amazon and new Windows servers materialize.

Even if this license mobility is a low or no-revenue event to Microsoft in year one, the company will win to see those servers in action. Each one, no matter where it is hosted, represents value for the company and the ecosystem.

We think that Amazon wins with Windows Server license mobility. We can see system admins de-provisioning hardware adding a step to the script “fire up new instance at EC2” and feeling even better about tidying up your data center.

License mobility seems to be another sign of how the cloud may just be more portable in its nature. And faster that FedEx.

Are your windows servers licenses ready for EC2?

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