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Reference Architecture: Image Management

Audience

This document is intended for Citrix technical professionals, IT decision makers, partners, and architects who want to explore image management services with Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops either in on-premises or cloud environments. The reader must have a basic understanding of Citrix products, hypervisors, and cloud frameworks.

Objective of this document

This document provides an overview of product functionality and design architecture for an image management environment to ensure efficient delivery of application and desktop workloads for an organization. The document is focused on Citrix image management services with conceptual deployment scenarios.

Regarding image management, there are two provisioning models that enable Citrix administrators to manage the Citrix environment efficiently:

  • Machine Creation Services (MCS)
  • Citrix Provisioning (PVS)

Architectural Design Framework

Virtualization solutions from Citrix enable organizations to create, control and manage virtual machines, deliver applications and implement granular security policies. The Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops solution provides a unified framework for developing a complete digital workspace offering. This offering enables Citrix users to access applications and desktops independent of their device’s operating system and interface.

The Citrix architectural design framework is based on a unified and standardized layer model. The framework provides a foundation to understand the technical architecture for most of the common Virtual Apps and Desktops deployment scenarios. These layers are depicted in the conceptual diagram.

  • User Layer - This layer defines the user groups and locations of the Citrix environment.
  • Access layer - This layer defines how users access the resources.
  • Resource layer - This layer defines the provisioning of Citrix workloads and how resources are assigned to the given users.
  • Control layer - This layer defines the components that control the Citrix solution.
  • Platform layer - This layer defines the physical elements where the hypervisor components and cloud service provider framework run to host the Citrix workloads.
  • Operations Layer - This layer defines the tools that support the delivery of the core solutions.

IM-Image-1

Image management services, fit into the Control, Platform, and Operations layers to manage virtual machines in the Resource layer. The following sections go through the Citrix Machine Creation Services (MCS) and Citrix Provisioning (PVS) concepts as these are the basic building blocks of image management in a Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops environment.

Why Image Management is necessary?

Image Management is an approach of creating a master or golden image that contains the operating systems and all the required applications to deliver that single virtual image to multiple target virtual machines. The key concept behind image management is reusability and simplified management, which allow the Citrix administrator to deliver the necessary operating systems with the required set of applications to appropriate users based on their needs.

IM-Image-2

The Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops solution has two provisioning models for image management: Citrix Machine Creation Services and Citrix Provisioning.

Machine Creation Services (MCS)

Citrix Machine Creation Services is a component of the Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops solution that is coupled within the Delivery Controller. Using application programming interfaces (APIs) from the underlying hypervisor or cloud provider, MCS builds intelligent linked clones from a master image to provision multiple virtual desktops. The clones include a differencing disk and an identity disk linked from a base disk.

Machine Creation Services (MCS) configures, starts, stops, and deletes virtual machines using the hypervisor APIs. MCS is a disk-based provisioning approach that works with major hypervisors and leading cloud platforms.

Why MCS?

Citrix Machine Creation Services offers a simplified approach for image management through the following features:

  • Simple to deploy and manage using Citrix Studio
  • Technology embedded into core product and no additional infrastructure required
  • Better suited for Cloud provisioning
  • Ideal for both persistent and non-persistent workloads

Citrix Provisioning (PVS)

Citrix Provisioning streams a single shared disk image to multiple individual machines rather than copying images to them. Citrix Provisioning enables organizations to reduce the number of disk images that they have to manage, even when the number of machines continues to grow.

Also, machines are streaming from a single shared image in real time, machine image consistency is ensured, at the same time large pools of machines can completely change their configuration, applications, and even operating systems all within the time it takes to reboot. This best-in class approach enables organizations to install and update the security and application patches to a single shared image in minimal time while meeting business objectives.

Why PVS?

The proper use of Citrix Provisioning allows for more efficient image management through the following features:

  • High scalability
  • Reduced storage requirements
  • Increased IOPS efficiency
  • Integrated version management capabilities
  • Supports for both physical and virtual targets

Choosing the right provisioning model

Citrix MCS and PVS are mature provisioning platforms proven at scale. However, there are considerations when deciding on which one to use or if both are appropriate for a given environment. Citrix MCS is embedded into the delivery controller and is managed from within the Citrix Studio Console. Citrix Provisioning requires separate servers, network considerations, a database and it has its own management console.

The following table compares both the Citrix MCS and PVS models.

CapabilityMCSPVS
Support for virtual RDS and VDI workloadsXX
Support for pooled and personal VDI desktopsXX
Support for physical machinesX
Support for Microsoft Azure machinesX
Support for Amazon Web Services (AWS) machinesX
Support for Google Cloud PlatformX

You can read more about image management decision factors in our article Choosing the Provisioning Model for Image Management

Machine Creation Services

Citrix Machine Creation Service (MCS) plays a vital role in image management for Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops environments. Citrix MCS services are coupled with the Citrix Delivery Controller and Cloud Connector hence it does not require any additional servers or infrastructure. With MCS, IT administrators simply access the Citrix Studio Console to create and deliver the virtual desktops and server images to the enterprise users either on-premises or with Citrix Cloud.

Citrix Machine Creation Services uses Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) from the underlying hypervisor or public cloud platform that enables Citrix MCS to create, configure, start, stop, and delete virtual machines to the on-premises, hybrid, private, and public cloud environments.

The administrator creates a virtual machine with the required OS, installs the necessary applications and Citrix Virtual Delivery Agent on the hypervisor or in the cloud. The IT administrator selects this as the master virtual machine to provision a group of virtual desktops or servers using the Citrix Studio management console. Citrix MCS creates a snapshot of master the VM and it copies the full snapshot to the storage repository to serve as the master image (base disk).

When provisioning multiple virtual desktops or servers, MCS includes two types of disks: a differencing disk and an identity disk for each virtual machine.

Citrix MCS supports both server and desktops OS environment.

For desktop OS environments, Citrix administrators can create three types of virtual desktops using Citrix Machine Creation Services

  • Pooled-random desktops are non-persistent virtual desktops assigned to users randomly every time they start a VDI session. These desktops erase any user-specific changes each time they reboot. With the Citrix Profile Management solution, the user specific data and settings can be stored on centralized file servers.

  • Pooled-static desktops are assigned to a specific user and only the assigned user will be able to use that desktop unless changed by an IT admin. The user’s personal data and settings do not carry over from session to session. With the Citrix Profile Management solution, the user specific data and settings are stored on centralized file servers.

  • Dedicated desktops are assigned to individual users and the data and settings persist on the desktops. Optionally, the Citrix Profile Management solution can be used to store the user profile and data on central file servers. For dedicated desktops there is a new option available under Desktop OS Catalogs virtual machine copy mode, “Use full copy for better data recovery and migration support, with potentially reduced IOPS after the machines are created”.

For the Server OS environment, Citrix administrators can deploy multiple hosted shared virtual machines for a Virtual Apps environment using the master VM image (base disk).

MCS High-level VM and Disk Architecture

The first step when using Citrix MCS is to provision a master VM that serves as a template to create clones. The IT administrator can provision the VM with the required amount of CPU, RAM and disk space, and then install an operating system and required applications. Using the Citrix Studio Console, the admin creates a machine catalog of clone VMs using the base image. Those VMs live in a data store, which is different from PVS.

Citrix MCS is completely relying on storage. When the VM is provisioned two types of disks are created for each VM: a differencing disk and an identity disk.

Citrix MCS creates the number of VMs specified in the create catalog wizard with two disks defined for each VM on the storage. A copy of the master image is also stored in the same storage repository. If there are multiple storage repositories defined, then each one gets the following types of disks.

Each storage repository gets one full snapshot of the master VM image, which is read-only and shared across the VMs.

A unique identity disk (16 MB) for VM identity will also be created. The Delivery Controller creates the identity disks for each VM.

Each VM also gets a difference disk. A unique difference disk used to store any writes made to the VM. The disk is thin provisioned (if supported by the storage) and will increase to the maximum size of the base disk if necessary.

Full Clone

Sometimes, it is not desirable to create VMs with delta disks. A few reasons are mentioned below:

  • Some of the backup solutions don’t backup VMs that contain a delta structure
  • Storage migration becomes more complicated
  • VM migration does not work on all hypervisors
  • Deltas grows over time which leads to load on storage

For these reasons, MCS added a new capability in addition to creating the existing delta structure called full clones. When using persistent VMs, Citrix MCS allows admins to select VMs to be created with a full clone of the master image.

IM-Image-3

There is no special requirement for full clones. Citrix MCS uses its identity technology to change the identity of the full clone. Full clone machines have two disks, one for the actual VM, and one for identity including machine name, computer account and password. Full clone VMs can be moved to a different datastore or cluster which is not possible with linked clones.

While provisioning machines through Citrix Studio, full clones is only an option for desktop OS and not for server OS.

Machine Catalog

Collections of physical or virtual machines are managed as a single entity called a Machine Catalog in Citrix environments. While creating Machine Catalogs administrators have the option to select ways to provision VMs, and which Citrix image management tools such as Citrix Machine Creation Services or Provisioning Services.

Reference: Citrix docs: Machine Catalogs

Host Connection

In Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops, before creating the machine catalog it is important to create connections to hosting resources while creating a site to integrate an underlying platform including hypervisor or cloud providers. Configuring a connection includes selecting the connection type among the supported hypervisors and cloud services. The system requirements page lists the supported hypervisors and cloud options.

Reference: Citrix docs: System requirements

Host storage

A storage product is supported if it can be managed by a supported hypervisor. Provisioning machines, data is classified by type:

  • Operating system (OS) data, which includes master images

  • Temporary data, which include all non-persistent data written to MCS-provisioned machines, Windows page files, user profile data, and any data that is synchronized with Content Collaboration (formerly ShareFile). This data is discarded each time the machine restarts

Provisioning separate storage for each data type can reduce load and improves IOPS performance on each storage device.

Storage shared by hypervisors

Shared storage stores data that is retained for longer periods and provides centralized backup and management. This storage holds the OS disks and other disks associated with virtual machines. When using shared storage, local storage to the hypervisor used for temporary data cache, aids to reduce traffic for main OS storage. The disk is cleared after every machine restart, using local storage for temporary data. The provisioned VDA is tied to a specific hypervisor host. If the host goes down, the VM cannot start.

The hypervisor provides optimization technologies through read caching of the disk images locally. For example, Citrix Hypervisor (formerly XenServer) offers IntelliCache. This reduces network traffic to the central storage.

Citrix Hypervisor also supports read caching using the host’s free memory. The performance improvement can be seen whenever data is read from disk more than once, as it gets cache in memory.

Both read-caching and IntelliCache can be enabled simultaneously. In this case, IntelliCache caches the reads from the network to a local disk. Reads from that local disk are cached in memory with read caching.

Reference: Citrix docs: storage read-caching

Local storage

Local storage stores data locally on the hypervisor local data store. This includes, master images and other OS data that are, transferred to all of the hypervisors in the site. This method increases network traffic along with management traffic.

When this method is selected, the option to choose whether to use shared storage to provide resilience and support for backup and disaster recovery systems is available.

How MCS works with on-premises hypervisors

Below is the pictorial flow diagram and workflow depicting how Citrix Machine Creation Services works with on-premises hypervisors.

IM-Image-5

IM-Image-4

Citrix Machine Creation Services uses hypervisor APIs to provision virtual machines. Each virtual machine is assigned an identity disk that gives the machine a unique identity and a differencing disk that handles the writes for the virtual machine.

Instruction Disk: This small instruction disk contains the steps of the image preparation to run and is attached to that VM. The preparation virtual machine is then started, the image preparation process begins, and the virtual machine is shut down.

Identity Disk: A unique Identity Disk used to provide each virtual machine with a unique identity. The functionality within the Delivery Controller creates the identity Disks. This disk is 16 MB in size.

Differencing Disk: A unique Difference Disk is used to store any writes made to the VM. The disk is thin provisioned and will increase to the maximum size of the base VM as required.

Cache for Temporary Data

For the pooled (not dedicated) machines in a machine catalog, administrators can enable the use of temporary data cache on the machine. To enable this feature, the VDA on each machine in the catalog must be minimum version 7.9 and above. This feature is also referred to as MCS-IO.

The administrator must specify the storage type for temporary data that the catalog uses. Enabling temporary cache in the catalog includes Memory allocated to Cache (MB) and Disk cache size (GB).

IM-Image-6

  • The temporary data is written to the memory cache until it reaches the limit, when the temporary data reaches the configured limit, the cold data is moved to temporary data cache disk.

  • Memory cache is part of total memory on each machine, before enabling this option, consider increasing the total amount of memory of each machine.

  • Enabling only disk cache size, temporary data is written directly to the cache disk, using a minimal amount of memory cache.

  • Disabling both options, temporary data is not cached and it is written to the differencing disk of each VM.

Citrix MCS with Linux VDAs

Citrix Machine Creation Services offers administrators the ability to create Linux VMs starting from Citrix XenApp and XenDesktop 7.18 and later. Prepare a master virtual machine on the hypervisor or cloud provider and install the Linux Virtual Delivery Agent on this template VM. Create a machine catalog in Citrix Studio using the template VM and then create a delivery group to provision the Linux VMs to enterprise users.

Reference: Citrix docs: Linux Virtual Delivery Agent

Citrix Cloud and Machine Provisioning

Citrix Cloud manages the operation of the control plane for Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops Service environments. Delivery controllers, management consoles, SQL database, License Server, StoreFront, and Citrix Gateway are all delivered on Citrix Cloud and managed by Citrix.

The workloads hosting the apps and desktops for users remain under the customer control in the data center of their choice, either cloud or on-premises. These components are connected to the cloud service using an agent called the Citrix Cloud Connector.

Citrix Machine Creation Service uses APIs from underlying hypervisors. These resources can come from the customer’s data center or cloud. Citrix Cloud Connector acts as a bridge between the Citrix Cloud plane and underlying resources. The control plane has access to metadata, such as login details, machine names and application shortcuts, restricting access to the customer’s intellectual property from the control plane.

Data flowing between the cloud and customer premises uses secure TLS connections over port 443.

IM-Image-7

While provisioning VMs using the MCS method ensure that the hypervisor or cloud service has enough processors, memory and storage to accommodate virtual machines.

Installing the latest hypervisor tools on the golden image is required so that applications and desktops function normally. It is advised to not run Sysprep on master images as MCS handles machine identity itself.

Reference: Citrix docs: Citrix Cloud and Machine provisioning

Common use case

Citrix MCS is a best fit for production environments which meet the criteria as follows:

  • Deploying in a cloud environment
  • Intending to deploy NFS storage or clustered shared volumes
  • Availability of high IOPS storage (MCS directs more read activity to the shared storage)

Citrix MCS offers a simple management plane through Citrix Studio and easy to provision workloads from a single UI. There is no extra infrastructure needed. Let’s assume running mixed workloads using the Citrix MCS provisioning method. This includes hosted shared desktops, Linux VMs, full clone VMs, GPU-based workloads and a few Windows apps.

IM-Image-8

The above diagram is a conceptual deployment scenario for running mixed workloads that support task workers and power users in the same environment. The task worker workload is deployed through hosted shared desktops while the power users are using dedicated VMs deployed and separated into different datastores, as these VMs are the highest in IOP usage.

In the above deployment scenario, there is more than one delivery controller deployed in the environment to achieve high availability and load balancing. Delivery controllers are equipped with adequate processing power and memory to handle the user traffic. Microsoft SQL Servers are deployed in a high availability model so that if any one database server goes down, delivery controller operations like fetching the user details, responding to StoreFront requests are not impacted.

As the number of applications increases, resource consumption also goes up in the environment. It is best practice to pre-calculate the number of users and types of workloads that are going to run in the environment. Citrix MCS is simple to manage from Citrix Studio, there is no extra infrastructure required hence it is easy to deploy on leading hypervisors and cloud platforms.

Best practices for MCS with Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops

There are several aspects that must be taken into account before provisioning virtual machines using Citrix Machine Creation Services. Citrix MCS is capable of delivering virtual RDS and VDI workloads on Citrix Hypervisor, Hyper-V, vSphere, AHV and also with leading cloud providers.

The following infrastructure considerations should be addressed before provisioning virtual machines using Citrix MCS

  • Storage
  • Temporary Cache
  • OS optimization
  • Delivery controller
  • Scalability

Storage

Storage configuration and sizing’s are the deciding factor when using Citrix Machine Creation Services.

Capacity Considerations: When VMs are created using Citrix MCS a minimum of two disks are created: one is the delta disk containing the OS as copied from the master image and the other one is the identity disk (16 MB) containing Active Directory identity data for each VM. Extra disks can be added to satisfy certain use cases.

The Citrix Hypervisor IntelliCache feature, creates a read-only disk of the master VM on local storage on each host. It is recommended to pre-calculate storage before provisioning the end user machines.

Hypervisor overhead: Different hypervisors create specific sets of files that generate overhead on a per VM basis. For example, log files, hypervisor specific configuration files and snapshot files are also saved on the storage.

Process overhead: Initial catalog creation requires the base disk to be copied to each storage repository. Adding a new machine to a catalog does not require copying the base disk to each storage repository. The catalog updates process creates an extra base disk on each storage repository and can also experience temporary storage peak.

Others: RAM sizing and thin/thick provisioning approaches are also considered for provisioning the virtual machines.

Temporary Cache / MCS storage I/O optimization

Temporary cache in a catalog includes two options, the first one with memory and the second one on disk. With memory or disk, part of the resource is consumed for temporary cache operations, hence it is recommended to check available memory and disk space from the host where VMs are running. In the the case using disk for temporary cache for better performance, SSD disks or high IOPS storage solutions are recommended.

OS optimization

For better performance and to minimize the consumption of resources on the host, it is recommended to optimize the operating system by running the Citrix Optimizer Tool.

Citrix Optimizer: By default, Microsoft Windows desktop images contain numerous features that aren’t needed in a VDI environment. The Citrix Optimizer is a Windows tool developed by Citrix to help administrators optimize various components in their environment. The tool is PowerShell based, but also includes a graphical UI.

Citrix Optimizer provides various templates for optimization. Choose the right template for the operating system so that unnecessary services, configuration entries, and applications are disabled or removed. Admins can expect to realize fairly significant performance gains after optimization.

To download and install the latest Citrix Optimizer visit: https://support.citrix.com/article/CTX224676.

Delivery Controller

In Citrix MCS deployments, the Delivery Controller is the core component of the infrastructure. It is recommended to deploy delivery controllers and Microsoft SQL Server in high availability mode so that if any one delivery controller goes down normal operations will not be impacted.

In medium or large-scale deployments, delivery controllers must have enough memory and computing power so that there will not be any CPU and memory bottlenecks in the environment.

While connecting to hosting resources, make sure to check the compatible version of the hypervisor so that there will be no issues while provisioning. It is recommended to keep the master copy in the high IOPS data store /LUN on SSD or NVMe drives so that maximum efficiency and performance can be achieved.

Scalability

The Machine Creation Services functionally is bundled within the delivery controller and this interacts with the underlying hypervisor and cloud provider framework APIs. When expansion of the environment storage, it can become a bottleneck so it is recommended to have extra storage clusters available so that scalability will not be impacted.

In medium and large-scale deployment, resource consumption is more as end user demand grows, it is recommended to deploy optimized images so that unwanted applications will not consume excessive resources.

Citrix Provisioning (PVS)

Citrix Provisioning is different from traditional imaging solutions, fundamentally changing the relationship between hardware and the software that runs on it. A shared disk image is streamed over the network rather than copied to individual virtual machines. Citrix Provisioning enables enterprises to reduce the number of images that they have to manage and also provides centralized management with distributed processing.

A Provisioning Server is a server that has the Citrix Provisioning Soap and Citrix Stream Services installed. The Stream Service is used to stream software from virtual disk images, or vDisks to target devices. The Soap Service is used when accessing the console. Provisioning Servers are used to stream the contents of a vDisk file (containing a machine image) to target devices. vDisk files can reside directly on the Provisioning Server local hard disk or Provisioning Servers can access the vDisks from a shared-storage device on the network.

The Citrix Provisioning solution requires a SQL database to store all system configuration settings that exist within a farm. Provisioning Server advanced configuration options are available to ensure high availability and load-balancing of target device connections between PVS Servers.

Overview of Citrix Provisioning

The below diagram depicts an overview of Citrix Provisioning and product infrastructure.

IM-Image-9

PVS Farm

A farm represents the top level of a Provisioning Services infrastructure. A farm also includes the SQL Database and a Citrix License Server, local and/or network shared storage, and collections of target devices.

PVS Site

A site provides a method of representing and managing logical groupings of Provisioning Servers, Device Collections, and local shared storage. One or more sites can exist within a farm. The first site is created with the Configuration Wizard and is run on the first Provisioning Server in the farm.

Device Collection

Device collections provide the ability to create and manage logical groups of target devices. Creating device collections simplifies device management by performing actions at the collection level rather than at the target-device level. A target device can only be a member of one device collection.

Target Devices

A device, such as a desktop computer or a virtual machine, that boots and gets its OS image from a PVS virtual disk on the network, is considered a target device. A device that is used to create the base Personal vDisk image is considered a master target device.

vDisks

vDisks acts like a hard disk for a target device and exists as disk image files on storage that is accessible by the PVS Servers. A virtual disk consists of a VHDX base image file, any associated properties files (.pvp), and optionally a chain of versioned VHDX differencing disks (.Avhdx).

Citrix Provisioning provides support for a full image lifecycle that takes a virtual disk from initial creation, through deployment and subsequent updates, and finally to retirement. The lifecycle of a virtual disk consists of four stages:

1) Creating 2) Deploying 3) Updating 4) Retiring

Creating a virtual disk

Creation of a virtual disk requires preparing the master virtual machine for imaging, creating and configuring a virtual disk store where the vDisks will reside, and then imaging the master target device (VM) to that file that results in a new base virtual disk image. This process is performed by the Citrix administrator using the Imaging Wizard.

Deploying a virtual disk

After the base virtual disk image is created, it is deployed by assigning it to one or more target devices. When the target device starts, it boots from an assigned virtual disk. There are two boot mode options. Private Image mode (single device access, read/write), and standard image mode (multiple device access, read only with write cache options).

Updating a virtual disk

It is necessary to update a base virtual disk image over its lifecycle so that the image contains the most current software and patches. Updates can be made manually, or the update process can be automated using virtual disk Update Management features. Each time a virtual disk is updated a new version is created. Different devices can access different versions based on the joint classification of the target device and virtual disk version: test, maintenance, or production.

A maintenance device has exclusive read/write access to the newest maintenance version, test devices have shared read-only access to test versions, and production devices have shared read-only access to production versions.

Updating a virtual disk involves the following:

  • Create a version of the virtual disk, manually or automatically
  • Boot the newly created version from a device (Maintenance device or Update device), install and save any changes to the virtual disk, then shut down the device
  • Validate with a test target device, then promote to Production and reboot all the production target devices

Retiring a virtual disk

Retiring a virtual disk is the same as deleting it. The entire VHDX chain including differencing and base image files, properties files, and lock files are deleted after being unassigned.

Virtual disk Store

A store is the logical name for the physical location of the folder containing vDisks. This folder exists on a PVS server or on shared storage. When virtual disk files are created in the PVS Console, they are assigned to a store. Within a PVS site, one or more Provisioning Servers are given permission to access that store to serve vDisks to target devices.

Write Cache

When the virtual disk is in private/maintenance mode, all data is written back to the virtual disk file. When the virtual disk is in standard mode or shared mode data, cannot be written back to the base virtual disk. Instead, it is written to a write cache file in one of the following locations:

  • Device RAM
  • Device RAM with overflow on hard disk
  • PVS Server

This write cache file is deleted on the next boot cycle so that when a target is rebooted or starts up it has a clean cache and contains nothing from the previous sessions, thus guaranteeing the consistency of the image.

By default, the PVS target software redirects the system page file to the same disk as the write cache file so that the pagefile.sys is allocating space on the cache drive unless it is manually set up to be redirected on a separate volume.

Cache in device RAM

Write cache can exist as part of the non-paged pool in the target device’s RAM. This functionality provides the fastest method of disk access since memory access is always faster than disk access.

This mode is useful when the server has enough physical memory and it is faster than other cache modes. It is important to pre-calculate workload requirements and set the appropriate RAM size, otherwise the target device may bluescreen due to insufficient space before the write cache is exhausted.

Cache on device RAM with overflow on hard disk

This method has moderate consumption of RAM and hard disk. Citrix recommends using this cache type for Citrix Provisioning because it combines the best of RAM with the stability of hard disk cache. The cache uses non-paged pool memory for the best performance. When RAM utilization has reached its threshold, the oldest of RAM cache data will be written to the local disk.

Better performance and easy to scale, achieving target device reliability in high demand workloads.

Cache on PVS server

The write cache can exist as a temporary file on a Provisioning Server disk. This generally results in increased network traffic as disk writes are redirected to a remote location from the target device.

This cache type is not recommended for a production environment as it is slower than the other options.

High Availability of Citrix Provisioning

The key to establishing a highly available Citrix Provisioning environment is to identify the critical components, create redundancy for the critical components, and ensure automatic failover to the secondary component if the active component fails. Critical components for Citrix Provisioning include:

  • SQL Database
  • Provisioning Servers
  • vDisks and Storage

Citrix Provisioning provides several options to consider when configuring for a highly available implementation, including:

Offline Database Support - This allows Provisioning Servers to use a local snapshot of the database if the connection to the database is lost to allow continued functionality.

SQL AlwaysOn - Citrix Provisioning supports the SQL Always On high availability and disaster recovery solution.

Database mirroring - A high availability solution for SQL Server implemented at the database level.

Provisioning Server Failover - If one of the PVS servers becomes unavailable, another server within the site can handle the active target device connections with the virtual disk. Load balancing is enabled so the load is automatically balanced between the target devices and the remaining servers.

vDisks and Storage - Provisioning Servers are configured to access a shared storage location. Citrix Provisioning supports various shared storage configurations including Windows shared storage and SANs.

Reference: Citrix Docs: Managing for highly available implementations

SQL Database for Citrix Provisioning

It is best practice to install the SQL database on a separate server or cluster other than where the PVS Server is located to avoid poor distribution during load balancing. Refer to the PVS system requirements for details on the SQL versions supported.

Database Sizing

Estimating the size of a database helps to determine the hardware configuration. This helps in achieving the performance, and storage allocation to store the data and indexes.

Reference: Citrix Docs: Database sizing

Citrix License Server

The Citrix License Server is installed on a Windows server within the Citrix environment to communicate with all Citrix PVS servers to activate the licenses for PVS Servers. The License Server connectivity outage grace period is 30 days (720 hours). If connectivity to the Citrix License Server is lost, Citrix Provisioning continues to provision systems for 30 days. To achieve scalability, reliability and increase availability of the Citrix License Server, Microsoft clustering functionality can be used to create clustered License Servers.

New license type for Citrix Cloud

Citrix introduced a new license type (PVS_CCLD_CCS) that provides a traditional PVS license entitlement to customers of the Virtual Apps and Desktops Service in Citrix Cloud. Citrix Provisioning license options for Citrix Cloud are controlled by the options associated with Citrix Provisioning license types, on-premises, or Citrix Cloud. Using a License Server with Citrix Provisioning, Citrix Cloud licenses are consumed if the Cloud option is selected during initial setup. Conversely, an on-premises license is consumed if on-premises is selected when setting up Citrix Provisioning.

Note: This new Citrix Cloud license type replaces the existing on-premises Citrix Provisioning license for Desktops and Provisioning for Data Centers. It possesses the same license acquiring precedence as the on-premises licenses when bundling Citrix licenses.

The on-premises trade-up feature does not apply to Citrix Cloud licenses. Each Citrix Provisioning target device checks out a single Citrix Cloud license regardless of the operating system type.

Microsoft Volume Licensing

When running the PVS imaging wizard to create the virtual disk, configure the Microsoft Key Management Service (KMS) or Multiple Activation Key (MAK) volume licensing option that enables the Citrix Provisioning Server to activate the operating system of each target device.

KMS volume licensing utilizes a centralized activation server that runs in the data center, and serves as a local activation point (opposed to having each system activate with Microsoft over the internet).

A MAK corresponds to some purchased OS licenses. The MAK is entered during the installation of the OS on each system, which activates the OS and decrements the count of purchased licenses centrally with Microsoft. Alternatively, a process of ‘proxy activation’ is done using the Volume Activation Management Toolkit (VAMT). This allows activation of systems that do not have network access to the internet. Citrix Provisioning uses this proxy activation mechanism for Standard Image Mode vDisks that have MAK licensing mode selected when the virtual disk is created.

Active Directory Integration and Target Device Management

Integrating Citrix Provisioning and Active Directory allows administrators to select the Active Directory Organizational Unit (OU) in which Citrix Provisioning should create a target device computer account. It also allows it to take advantage of Active Directory management features, such as delegation of control and Group policy. Finally, configure the Provisioning Server to automatically manage the computer account passwords of target devices.

Before integrating Active Directory within the farm, verify that the following prerequisites are met:

  • The Master Target Device was added to the domain before building the virtual disk
  • The Disable Machine Account Password Changes option was selected when the image optimization wizard was run during imaging

Reference: Citrix docs: Configuring vDisks for Active Directory management

Citrix Provisioning Accelerator

Citrix Provisioning Accelerator acts as a provisioning proxy in Dom0 on a Citrix Hypervisor’s host, streaming data from the virtual disk is cached at the proxy before being forwarded to the virtual machine. This cache accelerates the boot time of other VMs residing on the same host since it’s not necessary to stream large amounts of data from the PVS Server over the network. Citrix Hypervisor’s local resources are consumed but this improves overall performance on the network.

Reference: Citrix docs: Citrix Provisioning Accelerator

Target Device Boot Process

When a target device is powered on, it needs to be able to find and contact a Provisioning Server to stream down the appropriate virtual disk. This information is stored in a so-called bootstrap file named ARDBP32.BIN. It contains everything that the target device needs to contact a Citrix PVS server so that the streaming process can be initialized.

The bootstrap file is delivered through a TFTP server, this also partly applies to the alternative BDM (Boot Device Manager) approach. There are some distinct differences between TFTP and BDM.

TFTP

When using TFTP, the target device needs to know how and where it can find the TFTP server to download the bootstrap file before connecting to the PVS Server. TFTP can be configured in HA through a Citrix ADC to avoid a single point of failure. Provisioning Services has its own built-in TFTP server.

One of the most popular approaches in delivering the TFTP server address to target devices is through DHCP (though there are other options).

BDM (Boot Device Manager)

There are two different methods to make use of the Boot Device Manager.

PVS offers a quick wizard which generates a relatively small .ISO (around 300 KB) file. Next, the administrator configures the target devices to boot from this .ISO file, using their virtual DVD drive. This method uses a two-stage process where the PVS server location is hardcoded into the bootstrap file generated by BDM. The rest of the information like the PVS device drivers is downloaded from the PVS server using a TFTP protocol (UDP port 6969), here TFTP will still be used.

When using the Virtual Apps and Desktops Setup Wizard to provision target devices, administrator can create and assign a small BDM hard disk partition, which will be attached to the virtual machine as a separate virtual disk. Using this method, the above mentioned two-stage approach is no longer needed because the partition already contains all the PVS drivers. This way all the information needed will be directly available without the need of PXE, TFTP & DHCP.

IM-Image-10

The above diagram illustrates the high level boot steps. PXE is used for getting the TFTP server IP and bootstrap file name details by the clients and TFTP is used for downloading the bootstrap program file.

Reference: Citrix article: CTX227725

Citrix Provisioning managed by Citrix Cloud

Citrix PVS and Citrix Cloud integration is essential when an admin wants to manage their deployments from anywhere using the Citrix Cloud portal. The Citrix Cloud Connector plays a key role and it enables the communication with provisioned VDAs to be used in the Citrix Cloud Virtual Apps and Desktops Service providing proxy functionality for commands to remote hypervisors and clouds.

There are a few elements to be considered when using Citrix Provisioning with Citrix Cloud.

  • Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops Delivery Controller in Citrix Cloud
  • Citrix Cloud Connector located in one or more resource locations
  • Provisioning Server located on-premises (v7.18 or later)
  • Remote PowerShell SDK used by Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops Setup Wizard to push VDA records to the Delivery Controller in Citrix Cloud.

To connect an existing Citrix Provisioning deployment to Citrix Cloud:

  • Add Cloud Connector servers
  • Upgrade Citrix Provisioning to version 7.18 or later
  • Install the Remote PowerShell SDK to be used on the Citrix Provisioning Console with Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops.

IM-Image-11

Citrix Cloud integration enables Citrix Provisioning to add the newly provisioning VDAs to a machine catalog in the Citrix Cloud Virtual Apps and Desktops Delivery Controller located in Citrix Cloud. This process follows one of these two methods:

  • Add new devices using the Virtual Apps and Desktops Setup Wizard in the Citrix Provisioning Console
  • Import the existing Citrix Provisioning target devices using the Machine Catalog creation in Studio

Citrix Studio uses the PvsPsSnapin to communicate with the PVS Server. This snap-in has been extended to enable communications from the Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops Service to the PvsMapiProxyPlugin (in Citrix Cloud Connector). Communication happens over HTTPS (TCP 443). The PVS administrator credentials are sent over this secure channel. The credentials are then used by the proxy to emulate the PVS administrator before contacting the PVS server.

Reference: Citrix docs: Citrix Provisioning managed by Citrix Cloud

Common Use Case

Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops addresses a wide-ranging set of business requirements and use cases.

For example, in finance, marketing or any medical field, users are considered as normal office workers, knowledge workers or a power user.

Citrix Provisioning eases administrator work and provides the following capabilities

  • Fast provisioning of machines
  • Centralized and secure data
  • Consistency and a more dynamic environment based on user groups

Citrix Provisioning enables administrators to create multiple vDisks with various business-oriented applications based on user groups and their needs. For office workers, they typically require only a limited number of Windows applications for day-to-day work. For multimedia workers, who require running animation software, medical scan reports and so on hardware-accelerated systems with virtual GPUs from AMD, Intel or NVIDIA can be used.

Type of workloadsDescriptions
Homogeneous workersTypically, in a call center scenario,users accessing Driver Talent Pro 8.0.2.10 Crack Free Activation Key 2021 Office and other day-to-day applications. Deploying multiple virtual machines using single master image that contains Microsoft Office and other required application.
Deploying Hosted Shared Desktops or Streamed DesktopsIn a large user environment, multiple non-persistent user groups have access to desktops and applications. Scale ranges from tens of thousands of desktops with Citrix Provisioning helping to quickly deliver the required workloads.
If environment IOPS constrainedCitrix Provisioning is the best fit for such environments using iSCSI or less bandwidth network channel where IOPS is constrained.
Large number of applicationsCitrix Provisioning helps to create multiple server OS instances to run all the necessary departmental applications.
High performance workloadsThis is similar to power workers requiring more CPU, RAM, and benefiting from GPU.

Deployment scenario for education sector

In education sectors, IT has become a part of their system. Growing demand and delivering applications and data for thousands of unique users is the challenge. Secure remote access to applications such as Hyper chemistry, MATLAB, SAS, Mathematica, Office and so on are also required.

Virtualize and stream dozens or hundreds of applications to end-user’s on any device at scale. Citrix Provisioning Server helps administrators to overcome provisioning hurdles with the “Do more with less” concept. Assuming different sets of workloads needs to be run and provisioned through Citrix Provisioning.

IM-Image-12

The above diagram depicts multiple workloads to run on different sections/labs in the university. vDisks contain different operating system and applications stored in the shared storage and with the help of Citrix Provisioning, vDisks are streamed to different labs with different sets of workloads over the network. It is easy to scale on demand with rapid deployments.

Citrix Provisioning enables a blended delivery strategy that results in supporting mixed workloads and satisfies various use cases. Key highlights are,

  • Enables students and faculties to learn and teach anytime
  • Cuts costs while increasing IT services
  • Enhances competitive edge in higher education, where technology is a key differentiator

In all deployments, the PVS Servers must have enough processing power and should meet all the networking needs including NIC teaming, better bandwidth, etc.

Best Practices for Citrix Provisioning with Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops

While designing a Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops solution, it is important to consider Provisioning Servers to align with business needs. The components included in designing are Active Directory Services, network and security architecture, server hardware types, storage infrastructure, the virtualization platform and operating systems.

This section provides generic best practices in the following areas

  • Networking
  • Storage
  • Delivery Controller
  • Network switches
  • Virtual desktops images/Target devices
  • Scalability

Networking

Domain Name System: Dynamic updates are a key feature in DNS. This eliminates the need of manual entries of names and IP addresses into the DNS database. Securing dynamic updates will verify with Active Directory machines, which are requesting updates to the DNS. This means only computers that have joined the Active Directory domain can dynamically update the DNS database.

Network Interfaces: Citrix recommends using multiple NICs in Provisioning Server machines. A teamed pair of NICs has to be configured for streaming the vDisks via the PVS Stream Service and for network access to enterprise storage systems or file shares. A dedicated network or VLANs is also suggested for deployment.

Storage

Storage requirements for PVS Servers depend upon the number of virtual disk images to be created and maintained. The size of vDisks depends on the number of applications to be installed and the operating system.

To minimize the storage space required, Citrix recommends minimizing applications on each virtual disk and minimize the number of vDisks. Each target machine contains a volatile write cache file. The size of the cache file for each VM depends on types of applications used, user workloads and reboot frequency.

SAN/NAS: In a high availability deployment, a shared volume is required and a volume must be accessible from multiple hosts. A read-only volume is used for storing vDisks in standard mode. Private image mode requires read/writes access.

Delivery Controller

As a best practice, production sites should always have at least two controllers on different physical servers in on-premises deployments (within Citrix Cloud this is managed automatically). Each Controller communicates directly with the site database.

Network Switches

Disable spanning tree and enable port fast: With Spanning Tree Protocol (STP) or Rapid Spanning Tree Protocol, the ports are placed into a blocked state while the switch transmits Bridged Protocol Data Units (BPDUs) and listens to ensure the BPDUs are not in a loopback configuration.

The amount of time it takes to complete this convergence process depends on the size of the switched network, which might allow the Pre-boot Execution Environment (PXE) to time out, preventing the machine from getting an IP address.

To resolve this issue, disable STP on edge-ports connected to clients or enable PortFast or Fast Link depending on the managed switch brand. Refer to the following table:

Switch ManufacturerFast Link Option Name
CiscoPortFast or STP Fast Link
DellSpanning Tree Fast Link
FoundryFast Port
3COMFast Port

Stream Service Isolation: If security is of primary concern, Citrix recommends isolating or segmenting the PVS stream traffic from other production traffic.

NIC teaming: Teaming two NICs for throughput provides the server with the maximum bandwidth in turn increasing network performance helping to alleviate this potential network bottleneck.

Optimize Virtual Desktop images/Target devices

Virtual disk images play an important role in delivering successful vDisks to target devices. Before creating an image, it is important to clear unwanted applications and optimize as per the requirement.

Citrix Optimizer: By default, Microsoft Windows desktop images contain numerous features that aren’t necessary in a VDI environment. The Citrix Optimizer is a Windows tool developed by Citrix to help administrators optimize various components in their environment, most notably the operating system with the Virtual Delivery Agent (VDA). The tool is PowerShell-based, but also includes a graphical UI.

Citrix Optimizer provides various templates for optimization. Choose the right template for the operating system so that unnecessary services, configuration entries, and applications are disabled or removed. Admins can expect to realize fairly significant performance gains after optimization.

Reference: Citrix blogs: Citrix Optimizer

Preparing a vDisk image: Virtual disk preparation is a key step in Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops Service deployment. A few important steps need to be taken care when preparing the master image:

  • Remove unused files and features from the master image
  • Run Citrix Optimizer to improve performance and take care to select the correct OS
  • Test the connectivity between controllers and VMs
  • Run Optimization within the Imaging Wizard

Reference: Citrix docs: Preparing a master target device for imaging

Citrix Provisioning Antivirus Best Practices: Servers and targets may experience common issues if the antivirus is not properly tuned for the environment. It is recommended to limit antivirus definition updates to only the master target device. Avoid scanning the virtual disk write cache file and streaming disk I/O makes up the operating system for a given target.

Upgrading antivirus client software requires uninstalling PVS client software and reinstalling it. Check antivirus software specific instructions on configuring scanning exceptions. Obtaining a performance baseline may helps in the event of troubleshooting.

Reference: Citrix article: CTX124185

Scalability

Scalability is an important factor while designing Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops solutions. It is important to plan for the scalability of the constituent parts of the solution rather than just viewing it in generalized ways. Scalability observed here on the Delivery Controller, Citrix Provisioning Server and for the virtual machine infrastructure.

The number of target devices that is supported per PVS Server depends on the size of the virtual disk, storage solution for virtual disk placement, write cache type and work flow of end users. The most common bottlenecks that impact scalability of PVS Servers are network I/O of the PVS Server, disk I/O of the virtual disk storage location and cache file location. Organizations have to take care of these key factors according to their use cases and infrastructure.

Citrix recommends each organization performs scalability tests according to their environment based on infrastructure use cases. Adding extra PVS Servers to the existing infrastructure help in distributing the load and provide redundancy and high availability.

Summary

Delivering virtual applications and desktops to end users has been a challenge for many IT administrators due to demands in end user experience and their work style to gain freedom of anywhere, anytime and any device access to resources.

This document demonstrates the imaging technology being used in Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops. Image management encompasses core components to deal with meeting end user needs providing customized and optimized virtual desktops and application delivery.

A few important points to be considered:

  • Image management is not only just settings for the infrastructure but it is the basic building blocks for a solution design either in on-premises or cloud

  • Optimizing resource consumption and providing different deployment models in terms of scalability

  • Application virtualization using provisioning models gives flexibility to administrators and minimizes complexity

  • Ensure generic best practices are addressed to make use of resources efficiently

We have gone through a holistic view of both provisioning models (Citrix Machine Creation Services and Citrix Provisioning) from Citrix. Organizations have the option to use one of these or both provisioning models depending on the requirement.

References

Resources for Citrix Provisioning

Resources for Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops

Endpoint Security and Antivirus Best Practices

For Best Practices and Design hand book

The official version of this content is in English. Some of the Citrix documentation content is machine translated for your convenience only. Citrix has no control over machine-translated content, which may contain errors, inaccuracies or unsuitable language. No warranty of any kind, either expressed or implied, is made as to the accuracy, reliability, suitability, or correctness of any translations made from the English original into any other language, or that your Citrix product or service conforms to any machine translated content, and any warranty provided under the applicable end user license agreement or terms of service, or any other agreement with Citrix, that the product or service conforms with any documentation shall not apply to the extent that such documentation has been machine translated. Citrix will not be held responsible for any damage or issues that may arise from using machine-translated content.

DIESER DIENST KANN ÜBERSETZUNGEN ENTHALTEN, DIE VON GOOGLE BEREITGESTELLT WERDEN. GOOGLE LEHNT JEDE AUSDRÜCKLICHE ODER STILLSCHWEIGENDE GEWÄHRLEISTUNG IN BEZUG AUF DIE ÜBERSETZUNGEN AB, EINSCHLIESSLICH JEGLICHER GEWÄHRLEISTUNG DER GENAUIGKEIT, ZUVERLÄSSIGKEIT UND JEGLICHER STILLSCHWEIGENDEN GEWÄHRLEISTUNG DER MARKTGÄNGIGKEIT, DER EIGNUNG FÜR EINEN BESTIMMTEN ZWECK UND DER NICHTVERLETZUNG VON RECHTEN DRITTER.

CE SERVICE PEUT CONTENIR DES TRADUCTIONS FOURNIES PAR GOOGLE. GOOGLE EXCLUT TOUTE GARANTIE RELATIVE AUX TRADUCTIONS, EXPRESSE OU IMPLICITE, Y COMPRIS TOUTE GARANTIE D'EXACTITUDE, DE FIABILITÉ ET TOUTE GARANTIE IMPLICITE DE QUALITÉ MARCHANDE, D'ADÉQUATION À UN USAGE PARTICULIER ET D'ABSENCE DE CONTREFAÇON.

ESTE SERVICIO PUEDE CONTENER TRADUCCIONES CON TECNOLOGÍA DE GOOGLE. GOOGLE RENUNCIA A TODAS LAS GARANTÍAS RELACIONADAS CON LAS TRADUCCIONES, TANTO IMPLÍCITAS COMO EXPLÍCITAS, INCLUIDAS LAS GARANTÍAS DE EXACTITUD, FIABILIDAD Y OTRAS GARANTÍAS IMPLÍCITAS DE COMERCIABILIDAD, IDONEIDAD PARA UN FIN EN PARTICULAR Y AUSENCIA DE INFRACCIÓN DE DERECHOS.

本服务可能包含由 Google 提供技术支持的翻译。Google 对这些翻译内容不做任何明示或暗示的保证,包括对准确性、可靠性的任何保证以及对适销性、特定用途的适用性和非侵权性的任何暗示保证。

このサービスには、Google が提供する翻訳が含まれている可能性があります。Google は翻訳について、明示的か黙示的かを問わず、精度と信頼性に関するあらゆる保証、および商品性、特定目的への適合性、第三者の権利を侵害しないことに関するあらゆる黙示的保証を含め、一切保証しません。

ESTE SERVIÇO PODE CONTER TRADUÇÕES FORNECIDAS PELO GOOGLE. O GOOGLE SE EXIME DE TODAS AS GARANTIAS RELACIONADAS COM AS TRADUÇÕES, EXPRESSAS OU IMPLÍCITAS, INCLUINDO QUALQUER GARANTIA DE PRECISÃO, CONFIABILIDADE E QUALQUER GARANTIA IMPLÍCITA DE COMERCIALIZAÇÃO, ADEQUAÇÃO A UM PROPÓSITO ESPECÍFICO E NÃO INFRAÇÃO.

Источник: https://docs.citrix.com/en-us/tech-zone/design/reference-architectures/image-management.html

Windows 10

Personal computer operating system by Microsoft released in 2015

This article is about the operating system for personal computers. For the related (now discontinued) operating system for mobile devices, see Windows 10 Mobile.

Not to be confused with Windows 1.0.

Windows 10 Logo.svg
Windows 10 Home Version 21H1 Desktop.png

Screenshot of Windows 10 version 21H1, showing the Start Menu and Action Center in light theme

DeveloperMicrosoft
Written in
OS familyMicrosoft Windows
Source model
Released to
manufacturing
July 15, 2015; 6 years ago (2015-07-15)
General
availability
July 29, 2015; 6 years ago (2015-07-29)
Latest release10.0.19044.1348 (November 16, 2021; 2 days ago (2021-11-16)[5]) [±]
Latest preview10.0.19044.1379 (November 16, 2021; 2 days ago (2021-11-16)[6]) [±]
Marketing targetPersonal computing
Available in110 languages[7][8] (Specific language packs included on the device depend on the mobile operator (for cellular connected devices) or device manufacturer. Additional language packs are available for download on the Microsoft Store, pursuant to manufacturer and carrier support.)

List of languages

Update method
PlatformsIA-32, x86-64, ARMv7,[9][10]ARM64[11][12][13]
Kernel typeHybrid (Windows NT kernel)
UserlandNative API
Windows API
.NET Framework
Universal Windows Platform
Windows Subsystem for Linux
NTVDM (IA-32 only)
Default
user interface
Windows shell (graphical)
LicenseTrialware,[14]Microsoft Software Assurance, MSDN subscription, Microsoft Imagine
Preceded byWindows 8.1 (2013)
Succeeded byWindows 11 (2021)
Official websitewww.microsoft.com/en-us/software-download/windows10
All editions except "Enterprise LTSB/LTSC" are supported until October 14, 2025 as long as they install the latest feature upgrades.[15][16] The Enterprise LTSB/LTSC editions are supported for 10 years after their release date. See § Support lifecycle for details.

Windows 10 is a major release of the Windows NToperating system developed by Microsoft. It is the successor to Windows 8.1, which was released nearly two years earlier, and itself was released to manufacturing on July 15, 2015, and broadly released for the general public on July 29, 2015.[17] Windows 10 was made available for download via MSDN and TechNet, as a free upgrade for retail copies of Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 users via the Windows Store, and to Windows 7 users via Windows Update. Windows 10 receives new builds on an ongoing basis, which are available at no additional cost to users, in addition to additional test builds of Windows 10, which are available to Windows Insiders. Devices in enterprise environments can receive these updates at a slower pace, or use long-term support milestones that only receive critical updates, such as security patches, over their ten-year lifespan of extended support.[18][19]

Windows 10 received generally positive reviews upon its original release. Critics praised Microsoft's decision to provide the desktop-oriented interface in line with previous versions of Windows, contrasting the tablet-oriented approach of Windows 8, although Windows 10's touch-oriented user interface mode was criticized for containing regressions upon the touch-oriented interface of its predecessor. Critics also praised the improvements to Windows 10's bundled software over Windows 8.1, Xbox Live integration, as well as the functionality and capabilities of the Cortana personal assistant and the replacement of Internet Explorer with Microsoft Edge. However, media outlets have been critical of the changes to operating system behaviors, including mandatory update installation, privacy concerns over data collection performed by the OS for Microsoft and its partners, and adware-like tactics used to promote the operating system on its release.[20]

Microsoft initially aimed to have Windows 10 installed on over one billion devices within three years of its release;[18] that goal was ultimately reached almost five years after release on March 16, 2020.[21] By January 2018, Windows 10 surpassed Windows 7 as the most popular version of Windows worldwide.[22] As of June 2021[update], it is estimated that 79% of Windows PCs,[22] 58% of all PCs (the rest being older Windows versions and other operating systems such as macOS and Linux), and 24% of all devices (including mobile, tablet and console)[23] are running Windows 10. On June 24, 2021, Microsoft announced Windows 10's successor, Windows 11, which was released on October 5, 2021.[24]

Windows 10 is the final version of Windows which supports IA-32 and ARMv7-based processors (also known as 32-bit processors). Its successor, Windows 11, requires a 64-bit processor in any supported architecture (x86-64/AMD64 for x86 and ARMv8 for ARM).

Development[edit]

At the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference in 2011, Andrew Lees, the chief of Microsoft's mobile technologies, said that the company intended to have a single software ecosystem for PCs, phones, tablets, and other devices: "We won't have an ecosystem for PCs, and one for phones, and one for tablets‍—‌they'll all come together."[25][26]

In December 2013, technology writer Mary Jo Foley reported that Microsoft was working on an update to Windows 8 codenamed "Threshold", after a planet in its Halo franchise.[27] Similarly to "Blue" (which became Windows 8.1),[28] Foley described Threshold, not as a single operating system, but as a "wave of operating systems" across multiple Microsoft platforms and services, quoting Microsoft sources, scheduled for the second quarter of 2015. She also stated that one of the goals for Threshold was to create a unified application platform and development toolkit for Windows, Windows Phone and Xbox One (which all use a similar kernel based on Windows NT).[27][29]

At the Build Conference in April 2014, Microsoft's Terry Myerson unveiled an updated version of Windows 8.1 (build 9697) that added the ability to run Windows Store apps inside desktop windows and a more traditional Start menu in place of the Start screen seen in Windows 8. The new Start menu takes after Windows 7's design by using only a portion of the screen and including a Windows 7-style application listing in the first column. The second column displays Windows 8-style app tiles. Myerson said that these changes would occur in a future update, but did not elaborate.[30][31] Microsoft also unveiled the concept of a "universal Windows app", allowing Windows Store apps created for Windows 8.1 to be ported to Windows Phone 8.1 and Xbox One while sharing a common codebase, with an interface designed for different device form factors, and allowing user data and licenses for an app to be shared between multiple platforms. Windows Phone 8.1 would share nearly 90% of the common Windows Runtime APIs with Windows 8.1 on PCs.[30][32][33][34]

Screenshots of a Windows build purported to be Threshold were leaked in July 2014, showing the previously presented Start menu and windowed Windows Store apps,[35] followed by a further screenshot of a build identifying itself as "Windows Technical Preview", numbered 9834, in September 2014, showing a new virtual desktop system, a notification center, and a new File Explorer icon.[36]

Announcement[edit]

"Windows 9" redirects here. For the Windows versions produced from 1995 to 2000, see Windows 9x.

On September 30, 2014, Microsoft officially announced that Threshold would be unveiled during a media event as Windows 10. Myerson said that Windows 10 would be Microsoft's "most comprehensive platform ever", providing a single, unified platform for desktop and laptop computers, tablets, smartphones, and all-in-one devices.[37][38][39] He emphasized that Windows 10 would take steps towards restoring user interface mechanics from Windows 7 to improve the experience for users on non-touch devices, noting criticism of Windows 8's touch-oriented interface by keyboard and mouse users.[40][41] Despite these concessions, Myerson noted that the touch-optimized interface would evolve as well on 10.[42]

In regards to Microsoft naming the new operating system Windows 10 instead of Windows 9, Terry Myerson said that "based on the product that's coming, and just how different our approach will be overall, it wouldn't be right to call it Windows 9."[43] He also joked that they could not call it "Windows One" (alluding to several recent Microsoft products with a similar brand, such as OneDrive, OneNote, and the Xbox One) because Windows 1.0 already existed.[44] At a San Francisco conference in October 2014, Tony Prophet, Microsoft's Vice President of Windows Marketing, said that Windows 9 "came and went", and that Windows 10 would not be "an incremental step from Windows 8.1," but "a material step. We're trying to create one platform, one eco-system that unites as many of the devices from the small embedded Internet of Things, through tablets, through phones, through PCs and, ultimately, into the Xbox."

Further details surrounding Windows 10's consumer-oriented features were presented during another media event held on January 21, 2015, entitled "Windows 10: The Next Chapter". The keynote featured the unveiling of Cortana integration within the operating system, new Xbox-oriented features, Windows 10 Mobile, an updated Office Mobile suite, Surface Hub‍—‌a large-screened Windows 10 device for enterprise collaboration based upon Perceptive Pixel technology,[46] along with HoloLens‑augmented reality eyewear and an associated platform for building apps that can render holograms through HoloLens.[47]

Additional developer-oriented details surrounding the "Universal Windows Platform" concept were revealed and discussed during Microsoft's Build developers' conference. Among them were the unveiling of "Islandwood", which provides a middlewaretoolchain for compiling Objective-C-based software (particularly iOS) to run as universal apps on Windows 10 and Windows 10 Mobile. A port of Candy Crush Saga made using the toolkit, which shared much of its code with the iOS version, was demonstrated, alongside the announcement that the King-developed game would be bundled with Windows 10 at launch.[48][49][50][51]

At the 2015 Ignite conference, Microsoft employee Jerry Nixon stated that Windows 10 would be the "last version of Windows", a statement that Microsoft confirmed was "reflective" of its view of the operating system being a "service" with new versions and updates to be released over time.[52][53][54] In 2021, however, Microsoft announced that Windows 10 would be succeeded on compatible hardware by Windows 11–and that Windows 10 support will end on October 14, 2025.[55][56]

Release and marketing[edit]

On June 1, 2015, Microsoft announced that Windows 10 would be released on July 29.[17] On July 20, 2015 Microsoft began "Upgrade Your World", an advertising campaign centering on Windows 10, with the premiere of television commercials in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States. The commercials focused on the tagline "A more human way to do", emphasizing new features and technologies supported by Windows 10 that sought to provide a more "personal" experience to users.[57][58] The campaign culminated with launch events in thirteen cities on July 29, 2015, which celebrated "the unprecedented role our biggest fans played in the development of Windows 10".[59]

Features[edit]

Main article: Features new to Windows 10

See also: List of features removed in Windows 10

Windows 10 makes its user experience and functionality more consistent between different classes of device and addresses most of the shortcomings in the user interface that were introduced in Windows 8.[40][41][60]Windows 10 Mobile, the successor to Windows Phone 8.1, shared some user interface elements and apps with its PC counterpart.[61]

Windows 10 supports universal apps, an expansion of the Metro-style first introduced in Windows 8. Universal apps can be designed to run across multiple Microsoft product families with nearly identical code‍—‌including PCs, tablets, smartphones, embedded systems, Xbox One, Surface Hub and Mixed Reality. The Windows user interface was revised to handle transitions between a mouse-oriented interface and a touchscreen-optimized interface based on available input devices‍—‌particularly on 2-in-1 PCs, both interfaces include an updated Start menu which incorporates elements of Windows 7's traditional Start menu with the tiles of Windows 8. Windows 10 also introduced the Microsoft Edgeweb browser, a virtual desktop system, a window and desktop management feature called Task View, support for fingerprint and face recognition login, new security features for enterprise environments, and DirectX 12.

The Windows Runtime app ecosystem was revised into the Universal Windows Platform (UWP).[32][62][63] These universal apps are made to run across multiple platforms and device classes, including smartphones, tablets, Xbox One consoles, and other devices compatible with Windows 10. Windows apps share code across platforms, have responsive designs that adapt to the needs of the device and available inputs, can synchronize data between Windows 10 devices (including notifications, credentials, and allowing cross-platform multiplayer for games), and are distributed through the Microsoft Store (rebranded from Windows Store since September 2017).[64] Developers can allow "cross-buys", where purchased licenses for an app apply to all of the user's compatible devices, rather than only the one they purchased on (e.g., a user purchasing an app on PC is also entitled to use the smartphone version at no extra cost).[33][65][66]

The ARM version of Windows 10 allows running applications for x86 processors through 32-bit software emulation.[67]

On Windows 10, Microsoft Store serves as a unified storefront for apps, video content, and eBooks.[68] Windows 10 also allows web apps and desktop software (using either Win32 or .NET Framework) to be packaged for distribution on Microsoft Store. Desktop software distributed through Windows Store is packaged using the App-V system to allow sandboxing.[69][70]

User interface and desktop[edit]

The "Task View" display is a new feature to Windows 10, allowing the use of multiple workspaces.

A new iteration of the Start menu is used on the Windows 10 desktop, with a list of places and other options on the left side, and tiles representing applications on the right. The menu can be resized, and expanded into a full-screen display, which is the default option in Tablet mode.[40][60][71] A new virtual desktop system was added by a feature known as Task View, which displays all open windows and allows users to switch between them, or switch between multiple workspaces.[40][60] Universal apps, which previously could be used only in full screen mode, can now be used in self-contained windows similarly to other programs.[40][60] Program windows can now be snapped to quadrants of the screen by dragging them to the corner. When a window is snapped to one side of the screen, Task View appears and the user is prompted to choose a second window to fill the unused side of the screen (called "Snap Assist").[60] The Windows system icons were also changed.[71]

Charms have been removed; their functionality in universal apps is accessed from an App commands menu on their title bar.[40][60] In its place is Graphic - Activators Patch Center, which displays notifications and settings toggles. It is accessed by clicking an icon in the notification area, or dragging from the right of the screen. Notifications can be synced between multiple devices.[61][71] The Settings app (formerly PC Settings) was refreshed and now includes more options that were previously exclusive to the desktop Control Panel.

Windows 10 is designed to adapt its user interface based on the type of device being used and available input methods. It offers two separate user interface modes: a user interface optimized for mouse and keyboard, and a "Tablet mode" designed for touchscreens. Users can toggle between these two modes at any time, and Windows can prompt or automatically switch when certain events occur, such as disabling Tablet mode on a tablet if a keyboard or mouse is plugged in, or when a 2-in-1 PC is switched to its laptop state. In Tablet mode, programs default to a maximized view, and the taskbar contains a back button and hides buttons for opened or pinned programs by default; Task View is used instead to switch between programs. The full screen Start menu is used in this mode, similarly to Windows 8, but scrolls vertically instead of horizontally.[41][74][75][76]

System security[edit]

Windows 10 incorporates multi-factor authentication technology based upon standards developed by the FIDO Alliance.[77] The operating system includes improved support for biometric authentication through the Windows Hello platform. Devices with supported cameras (requiring infrared illumination, such as Intel RealSense) allow users to log in with iris or face recognition, similarly to Kinect. Devices with supported readers allow users to log in through fingerprint recognition. Support was also added for palm-vein scanning through a partnership with Fujitsu in February 2018.[78] Credentials are stored locally and protected using asymmetric encryption.[79]

In 2017, researchers demonstrated that Windows Hello could be bypassed on fully-updated Windows 10 1703 with a color printout of a person's picture taken with an IR camera.[80] In 2021, researchers were again able to bypass the Windows Hello functionalities by using custom hardware disguised as a camera, which presented an IR photo of the owner's face.[81]

In addition to biometric authentication, Windows Hello supports authentication with a PIN. By default, Windows requires a PIN to consist of four digits, but can be configured to permit more complex PINs. However, a PIN is not a simpler password. While passwords are transmitted to domain controllers, PINs are not. They are tied to one device, and if compromised, only one device is affected. Backed by a Trusted Platform Module (TPM) chip, Windows uses PINs to create strong asymmetric key pairs. As such, the authentication token transmitted to the server is harder to crack. In addition, whereas weak passwords may be broken via rainbow tables, TPM causes the much-simpler Windows PINs to be resilient to brute-force attacks.[82]

When Windows 10 was first introduced, multi-factor authentication was provided by two components: Windows Hello and Passport (not to be confused with the Passport platform of 1998). Later, Passport was merged into Windows Hello.[83][79]

The enterprise edition of Windows 10 offers additional security features; administrators can set up policies for the automatic encryption of sensitive data, selectively block applications from accessing encrypted data, and enable Device Guard‍—‌a system which allows administrators to enforce a high-security environment by blocking the execution of software that is not digitally signed by a trusted vendor or Microsoft. Device Guard is designed to protect against zero-day exploits, and runs inside a hypervisor so that its operation remains separated from the operating system itself.[77][84]

Command line[edit]

The console windows based on Windows Console (for any console app, not just PowerShell and Windows Command Prompt) can now be resized without any restrictions, can be made to cover the full screen by pressing +, and can use standard keyboard shortcuts, such as those for cut, copy, and paste. Other features such as word wrap and transparency were also added. These functions can be disabled to revert to the legacy console if needed.[85]

The Anniversary Update added Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL), which allows the installation of a user space environment from a supported Linuxdistribution that runs natively on Windows. The subsystem translates Linux system calls to those of the Windows NT kernel (only claims full system call compatibility as of WSL 2, included in a later Windows update). The environment can execute the Bash shell and 64-bit command-line programs (WSL 2 also supports 32-bit Linux programs and graphics, assuming supporting software installed,[86] and GPUs support for other uses[87]). Windows applications cannot be executed from the Linux environment, and vice versa. Linux distributions for Windows Subsystem for Linux are obtained through Microsoft Store. The feature initially supported an Ubuntu-based environment; Microsoft announced in May 2017 that it would add Fedora and OpenSUSE environment options as well.[88][89][90][91][92][93][94]

Storage requirements[edit]

To reduce the storage footprint of the operating system, Windows 10 automatically compresses system files. The system can reduce the storage footprint of Windows by approximately 1.5 GB for 32-bit systems and 2.6 GB for 64-bit systems. The level of compression used is dependent on a performance assessment performed during installations or by OEMs, which tests how much compression can be used without harming operating system performance. Furthermore, the Refresh and Reset functions use runtime system files instead, making a separate recovery partition redundant, allowing patches and updates to remain installed following the operation, and further reducing the amount of space required for Windows 10 by up to 12 GB. These functions replace the WIMBoot mode introduced on Windows 8.1 Update, which allowed OEMs to configure low-capacity devices with flash-based storage to use Windows system files out of the compressed WIM image typically used for installation and recovery.[95][96][97] Windows 10 also includes a function in its Settings app that allows users to view a breakdown of Windows › System › File Management - Crack Key For U their device's storage capacity is being used by different types of files, and determine whether certain types of files are saved to internal storage or an SD card by default.[98]

Online services and functionality[edit]

Windows 10 introduces Microsoft Edge, a new default web browser. It initially featured a new standards-compliant rendering engine derived from Trident, and also includes annotation tools and integration with other Microsoft platforms present within Windows 10.[99][100][101] Internet Explorer 11 is maintained on Windows 10 for compatibility purposes, but is deprecated in favor of Edge and will no longer be actively developed.[102][103] In January 2020, the initial version of Edge was succeeded by a new iteration derived from the Chromium project and the Blink layout engine and the old Edge based on EdgeHTML is now called 'Microsoft Edge Legacy'.[104] The legacy version of Edge is currently being replaced by the new Chromium-based Edge via Windows Update, though this version can also be downloaded manually. Every Windows 10 version from 20H2, which was released on October 20, 2020, will come with the new version of the browser CyberLink YouCam 7 Crack + Keygen Full Version Free Download The Windows 10 October 2020 update added a price comparison tool to the Edge browser.[106]

Windows 10 incorporates a universal search box located alongside the Start and Task View buttons, which can be hidden or condensed into a single button.[107][108] Previous versions featured Microsoft's intelligent personal assistant Cortana, which was first introduced with Windows Phone 8.1 in 2014, and supports both text and voice input. Many of its features are a direct carryover from Windows Phone, including integration with Bing, setting reminders, a Notebook feature for managing personal information, as well as searching for files, playing music, launching applications and setting reminders or sending emails.[109][110][71] Since the November 2019 update, Microsoft has begun to downplay Cortana as part of a repositioning of the product towards enterprise use, with the May 2020 update removing its Windows shell integration and consumer-oriented features.[111][112][107][113]

Microsoft Typing master free download full version 2017 for pc - Free Activators Safety is replaced by Microsoft Family, a parental controls system that applies across Windows platforms and Microsoft online services. Users can create a designated family, and monitor and restrict the actions of users designated as children, such as access to websites, enforcing age ratings on Microsoft Store purchases, and other restrictions. The service can also send weekly e-mail reports to parents detailing a child's computer usage. Unlike previous versions of Windows, child accounts in a family must be associated with a Microsoft account‍—‌which allows these settings to apply across all Windows 10 devices that a particular child is using.[114][115]

Windows 10 also offers the Wi-Fi Sense feature originating from Windows Phone 8.1; users can optionally have their device automatically connect to suggested open hotspots, and share their home network's password with contacts (either via Skype, People, or Facebook) so they may automatically connect to the network on a Windows 10 device without needing to manually enter its password. Credentials are stored in an encrypted form on Microsoft servers and sent to the devices of the selected contacts. Passwords are not viewable by the guest user, and the guest user is not allowed to access other computers or devices on the network. Wi-Fi Sense is not usable on 802.1X-encrypted networks. Adding "_optout" at the end of the SSID will also block the corresponding network from being used for this feature.[116]

Universal calling and messaging apps for Windows 10 are built in as of the November 2015 update: Messaging, Skype Video, and Phone. These offer built-in alternatives to the Skype download and sync with Windows 10 Mobile.[117][118]

Multimedia and gaming[edit]

See also: List of Xbox Live Games on Windows 10

Windows 10 provides greater integration with the Xbox ecosystem. Xbox SmartGlass is succeeded by the Xbox Console Companion (formerly the Xbox app), which allows users to browse their game library (including both PC and Xbox console games), and Game DVR is also available using a keyboard shortcut, allowing users to save the last 30 seconds of gameplay as a video that can be shared to Xbox Live, OneDrive, or elsewhere.[119][120] Windows 10 also allows users to control and play games from an Xbox One console over a local network.[121] The Xbox Live SDK allows application developers to incorporate Xbox Live functionality into their apps, and future wireless Xbox One accessories, such as controllers, are supported on Windows with an adapter.[122] Microsoft also intends to allow cross-purchases and save synchronization between Xbox One and Windows 10 versions of games; Microsoft Studios games such as ReCore and Quantum Break are intended as being exclusive to Windows 10 and Xbox One.[123]

Candy Crush Saga and Microsoft Solitaire Collection are also automatically installed upon installation of Windows 10.[124][125]

Windows 10 adds native game recording and screenshot capture ability using the newly introduced Game Bar. Users can also have the OS continuously record gameplay in the background, which then allows the user to save the last few moments of gameplay to the storage device.[126]

Windows 10 adds FLAC and HEVC codecs and support for the Matroska media container, allowing these formats to be opened in Windows Media Player and other applications.[127][128][129]

DirectX 12[edit]

Windows 10 includes DirectX 12, alongside WDDM 2.0.[130][131] Unveiled March 2014 at GDC, DirectX 12 aims to provide "console-level efficiency" with "closer to the metal" access to hardware resources, and reduced CPU and graphics driver overhead.[132][133] Most of the performance improvements are achieved through low-level programming, which allow developers to use resources more efficiently and reduce single-threaded CPU bottlenecking caused by abstraction through higher level APIs.[134][135] DirectX 12 will also feature support for vendor agnostic multi-GPU setups.[136] WDDM 2.0 introduces a new virtual memory management and allocation system to reduce workload on the kernel-mode driver.[130][137]

Fonts[edit]

Main article: List of typefaces included with Microsoft Windows

Windows 10 adds three new default typefaces compared to Windows 8, but removes dozens of others. The removed typefaces are available in supplemental packs and may be added manually over a non-metered internet connection.

Editions and pricing[edit]

Main article: Windows 10 editions

Windows 10 is available in five main editions for personal computing devices; the Home and Pro editions of which are sold at retail in most countries, and as pre-loaded software on new computers. Home is aimed at home users, while Pro is aimed at power users and small businesses. Each edition of Windows 10 includes all of the capabilities and features of the edition below it, and add additional features oriented towards their market segments; for example, Pro adds additional networking and security features such as BitLocker, Device Guard, Windows Update for Business, and the ability to join a domain. Enterprise and Education, the other editions, contain additional features aimed towards business environments, and are only available through volume licensing.[138][139]

As part of Microsoft's unification strategies, Windows products that are based on Windows 10's common platform but meant for specialized platforms are marketed as editions of the operating system, rather than as separate product lines. An updated version of Microsoft's Windows Phone operating system for smartphones, and also tablets, was branded as Windows 10 Mobile.[140] Editions of Enterprise and Mobile will also be produced for embedded systems, along with Windows 10 IoT Core, which is designed specifically for use in small footprint, low-cost devices and Internet of Things (IoT) scenarios and is similar to Windows Embedded.[138][139]

On May 2, 2017, Microsoft unveiled Windows 10 S (referred to in leaks as Windows 10 Cloud), a feature-limited edition of Windows 10 which was designed primarily for devices in the education market (competing, in particular, with Chrome OS netbooks), such as the Surface Laptop that Microsoft also unveiled at this time. The OS restricts software installation to applications obtained from Microsoft Store; the device may be upgraded to Windows 10 Pro for a fee to enable unrestricted software installation. As a time-limited promotion, Microsoft stated that this upgrade would be free on the Surface Laptop until March 31, 2018.[141] Windows 10 S also contains a faster initial setup and login process, and allows devices to be provisioned using a USB drive with the Windows Intune for Education platform.[142][143][144][145][146] In March 2018, Microsoft announced that Windows 10 S would be deprecated because of market confusion and would be replaced by "S Mode", an OEM option wherein Windows defaults to only allowing applications to be installed from Microsoft Store, but does not require payment in order to disable these restrictions.[147][148]

Preview releases[edit]

See also: Windows Insider

A public beta program for Windows 10 known as the Windows Insider Program began with the first publicly available preview release on October 1, 2014. Insider preview builds are aimed towards enthusiasts and enterprise users for the testing and evaluation of updates and new features.[149] Users of the Windows Insider program receive occasional updates to newer preview builds of the operating system and will continue to be able to evaluate preview releases after general availability (GA) in July 2015‍—‌this is in contrast to previous Windows beta programs, where public preview builds were released less frequently and only during the months preceding GA.[40][42][150][151][152] Windows Insider builds continued being released after the release to manufacturing (RTM) of Windows 10.[153]

Public release[edit]

On July 29, 2015, Microsoft officially announced that Windows 10 would be released for retail purchase as a free upgrade from earlier versions of Windows. In comparison to previous Windows releases, which had a longer turnover between the release to manufacturing (RTM) and general release to allow for testing by vendors (and in some cases, the development of "upgrade kits" to prepare systems for installation of the new version), an HP executive explained that because it knew Microsoft targeted the operating system for a 2015 release, the company was able to optimize its then-current and upcoming products for Windows 10 in advance of its release, negating the need for such a milestone.[155][better source needed]

The general availability build of Windows 10, numbered 10240, was first released to Windows Insider channels for pre-launch testing on July 15, 2015, prior to its formal release.[156] Although a Microsoft official said there would be no specific RTM build of Windows 10, 10240 was described as an RTM build by media outlets because it was released to all Windows Insider members at once (rather than to users on the "Fast ring" first), it no longer carried pre-release branding and desktop watermark text, and its build number had mathematical connections to the number 10 in reference to the operating system's naming.[158][159][160][161][162][163] The Enterprise edition was released to volume licensing on August 1, 2015.[164]

Windows 10 is distributed digitally through the "Media Creation Tool", which is functionally identical to the Windows 8 online installer, and can also be used to generate an ISO image or USB install media.[165] In-place upgrades are supported from most editions of Windows 7 with Service Pack 1 and Windows 8.1 with Update 1, while users with Windows 8 must first upgrade to Windows 8.1. Changing between architectures (e.g., upgrading from 32-bit edition to a 64-bit editions) via in-place upgrades is not supported; a clean install is required.[166][167] In-place upgrades may be rolled back to the device's previous version of Windows, provided that 30 days have not passed since installation, and backup files were not removed using Disk Cleanup.

Windows 10 was available in 190 countries and 111 languages upon its launch, and as part of efforts to "re-engage" with users in China, Microsoft also announced that it would partner with Qihoo and Tencent to help promote and distribute Windows 10 in China, and that Chinese PC maker Lenovo would provide assistance at its service centers and retail outlets for helping users upgrade to Windows 10.[168][169][170] At retail, Windows 10 is priced similarly to editions of Windows 8.1, with U.S. prices set at $119 and $199 for Windows 10 Home and Pro respectively. A Windows 10 Pro Pack license allows upgrades from Windows 10 Home to Windows 10 Pro.[171][172] Retail copies only ship on USB flash drive media; however, system builder copies still ship as DVD-ROM media.[173] New devices shipping with Windows 10 were also released during the operating system's launch window.[174]

Windows RT devices cannot be upgraded to Windows 10.[167][175]

Free upgrade offer[edit]

Main article: Windows 10 editions § Free upgrade

During its first year of availability,[176] upgrade licenses for Windows 10 could be obtained at no charge for devices with a genuine license for an eligible edition of Windows 7 or 8.1.[172][177][178]

This offer did not apply to Enterprise editions, as customers under an active Software Assurance (SA) contract with upgrade rights are entitled to obtain Windows 10 Enterprise under their existing terms. All users running non-genuine copies of Windows, and those without an existing Windows 7 or 8 license, were ineligible for this promotion; although upgrades from a non-genuine version were possible, they result in a non-genuine copy of 10.[153][168][178][179][180]

On the general availability build of Windows 10 (version 1507), to activate and generate the "digital entitlement" for Windows 10, the operating system must have first been installed as an in-place upgrade. During the free upgrade, a file is created in the background and the system's motherboard details are registered with a Microsoft Product Activation server. Once installed, the operating system can be reinstalled on that particular system via normal means without a product key, and the system's license will automatically be detected via online activation - in essence, the Microsoft Product Activation Server will remember the system's motherboard and give it the green light for product re-activation.[166][181][182] Because of installation issues with Upgrade Only installs, the November Update (version 1511) included additional activation mechanisms. This build treated Windows 7 and Windows 8/8.1 product keys as Windows 10 product keys, meaning they could be entered during installation to activate the free license, without the need to upgrade first to "activate" the hardware with Microsoft's activation servers.[183] For major Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs), Windows 8/8.1 and Windows 10 OEM product keys are embedded in the firmware of the motherboard and if the correct edition of Windows 10 is present on the installation media, they are automatically inputted during installation. Since the release of the Fall Creators Update (version 1709), Microsoft decided to release multi-edition installation media, to alleviate installation and product activation issues users experienced because of accidentally installing the wrong edition of Windows 10.

The Windows Insider Preview version of Windows 10 automatically updated itself to the generally released version as part of the version progression and continues to be updated to new beta builds, as it had throughout the testing process. Microsoft explicitly stated that Windows Insider was not a valid upgrade path for those running a version of Windows that is ineligible for the upgrade offer; although, if it was not installed with a license carried over from an in-place upgrade to 10 Insider Preview from Windows 7 or 8, the Insider Preview does remain activated as long as the user does not exit the Windows Insider program.[153]

The offer was promoted and delivered via the "Get Windows 10" application (also known as GWX), which was automatically installed via Windows Update ahead of Windows 10's release, and activated on systems deemed eligible for the upgrade offer. Via a notification area icon, users could access an application that advertised Windows 10 and the free upgrade offer, check device compatibility, and "reserve" an automatic download of the operating system upon its release.[184][185] On July 28, a pre-download process began in which Windows 10 installation files were downloaded to some computers that had reserved it. Microsoft said that those who reserved Windows 10 would be able to install it through GWX in a phased rollout process. The operating system could alternatively be downloaded at any time using a separate "Media Creation Tool" setup program, that allows for the creation of DVD or USB installation media.[165][174][186][187]

In May 2016, Microsoft announced that the free upgrade offer would be extended to users of assistive technologies; however, Microsoft did not implement any means of certifying eligibility for this offer, which some outlets thereby promoted as being a loophole to fraudulently obtain a free Windows 10 upgrade. Microsoft said that the loophole is not intended to be used in this manner.[188][189][190] Graphic - Activators Patch November 2017, Microsoft announced that this program would end on December 31, 2017.[191]

However, another loophole was found that allowed Windows 7 and 8.1 users upgrade to Windows 10 using Graphic - Activators Patch licenses, even though the free upgrade offers officially ended in 2017. No word from Microsoft was given whether it will be closed[192] and some outlets have continued to promote it as a free method of upgrading from the now-unsupported Windows 7.[193]

Licensing[edit]

During upgrades, Windows 10 licenses are not tied directly to a product key. Instead, the license status of the system's current installation password recovery bundle 2019 pro Windows is migrated, and a "Digital license" ( known as "Digital entitlement" in version 1511 or earlier) is generated during the activation process, which is bound Graphic - Activators Patch the hardware information collected during the process. If Windows 10 is reinstalled cleanly and there have not been any significant hardware changes since installation (such as a motherboard change), the online activation process will automatically recognize the system's digital entitlement if no product key is entered during installations. However, unique product keys are still distributed within retail copies of Windows 10. As with previous non-volume-licensed variants of Windows, significant hardware changes will invalidate the digital entitlement, and require Windows to be re-activated.[166][181]

Updates and support[edit]

Main article: Windows 10 version history

Unlike previous versions of Windows, Windows Update does not allow the selective installation of updates, and all updates (including patches, feature updates, and driver software) are downloaded and installed automatically. Users can only choose whether their system will reboot automatically to install updates when the system is inactive, or be notified to schedule a reboot.[194][195] If a wireless network is designated as "Metered"—a function which automatically reduces the operating system's background network activity to conserve limits on Internet usage—most updates are not downloaded until the device is connected to a non-metered network. Version 1703 allows wired (Ethernet) networks to be designated as metered, but Windows may still download certain updates while connected to a metered network.[196][197]

In version 2004, by installing the August 2020 security update and later versions, driver and non-security updates pushed via Windows Update that are considered optional are no longer automatically downloaded and installed in their devices. Users can access them on Settings > Update & Security > Windows Update > View optional update.[198]

Updates can cause compatibility or other problems; a Microsoft troubleshooter program allows bad updates to be uninstalled.[199][200]

Under the Windows end-user license agreement, users consent to the automatic installation of all updates, features and drivers provided by the service, and implicitly consent "without any additional notice" to the possibility of features being modified or removed.[201][202][203] The agreement also states, specifically for users of Windows 10 in Canada, that they may pause updates by disconnecting their device from the Internet.[204]

Windows Update can also use a peer to peer system for distributing updates; by default, users' bandwidth is used to distribute previously downloaded updates to other users, in combination with Microsoft servers. Users can instead choose to only use peer-to-peer updates within their local area network.[205]

Support lifecycle[edit]

Mainstream supportVaries by version[206][207]
Extended supportOctober 14, 2025 (2025-10-14)[206][207]
Home, Pro, Pro for Workstations, S, Education, Pro Education, Enterprise, IoT Enterprise, IoT Core, Team, Enterprise 2015 LTSB, and IoT Enterprise 2015 LTSB.[208]
Windows 10 Mobile, Mobile Enterprise, and IoT MobileUnsupported as of January 14, 2020[209]
Windows 10 Enterprise and IoT Enterprise 2016 LTSBMainstream support ended on October 12, 2021[207]
Extended support until October 13, 2026[207]
Windows 10 Enterprise, IoT Enterprise, and IoT Core 2019 LTSCMainstream support until January 9, 2024[207]
Extended support until January 9, 2029[207]
Windows 10 Enterprise 2021 LTSCMainstream support until January 12, 2027[207]
Windows 10 IoT Enterprise and IoT Core 2021 LTSCMainstream support until January 12, 2027[207]
Extended support until January 13, 2032[207]

The original release of Windows 10 receives mainstream support for five years after its original release, followed by five years of extended support, but this is subject to conditions. Microsoft's support lifecycle policy for the operating system notes that "Updates are cumulative, with each update built upon all of the updates that preceded it", that "a device needs to install the latest update to remain supported", and that a device's ability to receive future updates will depend on hardware compatibility, driver availability, and whether the device is within the OEM's "support period"‍—‌a new aspect not accounted for in lifecycle policies for previous versions.[210][178][211][212] This policy was first invoked in 2017 to block Intel Clover Trail devices from receiving the Creators Update, as Microsoft asserts that future updates "require additional hardware support to provide the best possible experience", and that Intel no longer provided support or drivers for the platform. Microsoft stated that these devices would no longer receive feature updates, but would still receive security updates through January 2023.[213] Microsoft will continue to support at least one standard Windows 10 semi-annual channel release until October 14, 2025.[15][16]

The following table collects current status of the aforementioned updating and support of different branches of Windows 10:

Update makemusic finale 26 crack - Activators Patch internal channels
(more detail here)
Alpha software
Windows Insider Preview Branch
(WIPB)
Beta software
Semi-Annual Channel
(formerly CB)
"End user"
Long-term Servicing channel
(formerly LTSB)
"Mission critical"
EditionHome  
Pro  
Education  
Enterprise Enterprise LTSC
Critical updates
Security patches and stability updates
Continuous Continuous as made available
(choice of Beta, Dev, or Release Preview channel)
Automatic User can defer updates indefinitely
Feature upgrades
Non-critical functionality and feature updates
Automatic or defer[218]Only through LTSC Graphic - Activators Patch upgrades
Feature upgrades cadence Continuous Continuous as released Continuous, deferrable for 12 months at a time; once a deferral period is past, no further deferrals possible until latest updates are installed LTSC releases are stable 'snapshots' of SAC
Upgrade support Continuous updating, features come and go silently with new builds Continuous updating or in-place upgrade to supported LTSC builds In-place upgrade support for the three most recent LTSC builds
Update support Only the latest build is supported 10 years (or until future builds require hardware support the old device doesn't have or ~4 months after a missed cumulative update made into SAC.)[210]10 years (or ~6 months from deferring build upgrade or until future builds require hardware support the old device doesn't have.) 5 years (for 21H2 and newer, non IoT) or 5 years mainstream + 5 years extended (for 2019 and older, all IoT versions)
Update methods Windows UpdateWindows Update
Windows Update for Business
Windows Server Update Services

Feature updates[edit]

Windows 10 is often described by Microsoft as being a "service", as it receives regular "feature updates" that contain new features and other updates and fixes.[178][219][220][221] In April 2017, Microsoft stated that these updates would be released twice a year every March and September in the future.[222] Mainstream builds of Windows 10, until and including 2004, were labeled "YYMM", with "YY" representing the two-digit year and "MM" representing the month of release. For example, version 1809 was released in September (the ninth month) of 2018. This was changed with the 20H2 release where "MM" represents the half of the year in which the update was released, for example H1 for the first half and H2 for the second half.[223]

The pace at which feature updates are received by devices is dependent on which release channel is used. The default branch for all users of Windows 10 Home and Pro is "Semi-Annual Channel (Targeted)" (formerly "Current Branch", or "CB"),[221] which receives stable builds after they are publicly released by Microsoft. Each build of Windows 10 is supported for 18 months after its original release.[221] In enterprise environments, Microsoft officially intends that this branch is used for "targeted" deployments of newly-released stable versions so that they can be evaluated and tested on a limited number of devices before a wider deployment. Once a stable build is certified by Microsoft and its partners as being suitable for broad deployment, the build is then released on the "Semi-Annual Channel" (formerly "Current Branch for Business", or "CBB"), which is supported by the Pro and Enterprise editions of Windows 10.[221][195][224] Semi-Annual Channel receives stable builds on a four-month delay from their release on the Targeted channel,[221] Administrators can also use the "Windows Update for Business" system, as well as existing tools such as WSUS and System Center Configuration Manager, to organize structured deployments of feature updates across their networks.[221][195]

The Windows Insider branches receive unstable builds as they are released; it is divided into two channels, "Dev" (which receives new builds immediately after their release), and "Beta" (whose releases are slightly delayed from their "Dev" release).[221]

Enterprise licensees may use the Windows 10 Enterprise LTSC (formerly LTSB) edition, where "LTSC" stands for "long-term servicing channel", which only receive quality of life updates (i.e. security patches), and has a full, 5 or 10-year support lifecycle for each build.[221][224][217] This edition is designed for "special-purpose devices" that perform a fixed function (such as automated teller machines and medical equipment). For this reason, it excludes Cortana, Microsoft Store, and all bundled Universal Windows Platform apps (including but not limited to Microsoft Edge, hence these builds ship only with Internet Explorer as browser).[225][226][221][178][227][228] Microsoft director Stella Chernyak explained that "we have businesses [that] may have mission-critical environments where we respect the fact they want to test and stabilize the environment for a long time."[229] Four LTSC builds have been released, correlating with the 1507, 1607, 1809, and 21H2 versions of Windows 10, respectively.[230][231][232]

In July 2017, Microsoft announced changes in the terminology for Windows branches as part of its effort to unify the update cadence with that of Office 365 ProPlus and Windows Server 2016.[233][221] The branch system now defines two paces of upgrade deployment in enterprise environments, "targeted" initial deployment of a new version on selected systems immediately after its stable release for final testing, and "broad" deployment afterwards. Hence, "Current Branch" is now known as "Semi-Annual Channel (Targeted)", and "Current Branch for Business" for broad deployment is now referred to as "Semi-Annual Channel".[234][221]

In February 2019, Microsoft announced changes again in delivering updates in beginning of release of version 1903: a single SAC will be released and SAC-T will be retired, and users are no longer able to switch to different channels. Instead, these updates can be deferred from 30 to 90 days, or depending how the device was configured to deferred the updates.[235] In April 2019, it was announced that, in addition, feature updates will no longer be automatically pushed to users.[236] However after the release of version 2004, the update only pushed for those running a feature update version that is nearing end of service or it can be paused for up to 35 days.[237][238]

Feature updates prior to version 1909 are distributed solely as an in-place upgrade installation, requiring the download of a complete operating system package (approximately 3.5 GB in size for 64-bit systems). Unlike previous builds, version 1909 is designed primarily as an update rollup version of 1903, focusing primarily on minor feature additions and enhancements. For upgrades to 1909 from 1903, a new delivery method is used where its changes were delivered as part of the monthly cumulative update, but are left in a dormant state until the 1909 update "enablement" patch is installed. The full upgrade process is still used for those using builds prior to 1903.[239][240]

Features in development[edit]

In May 2017, Microsoft unveiled Fluent Design System (previously codenamed "Project Neon"), a revamp of Microsoft Design Language 2 that will include guidelines for the designs and interactions used within software designed for all Windows 10 devices and platforms. The new design language will include the more prominent use of motion, depth, and translucency effects. Microsoft stated that the implementation of this design language would be performed over time, and it had already started to implement elements of it in Creators Update and Fall Creators Update.[241]

On December 7, 2016, Microsoft announced that, as part of a partnership with Qualcomm, it planned to introduce support for running Win32 software on ARM architecture with a 32-bit x86 processor emulator, in 2017. Terry Myerson stated that this move would enable the production of Qualcomm Snapdragon-based Windows devices with cellular connectivity and improved power efficiency over Intel-compatible devices, and still capable of running the majority of existing Windows software (unlike the previous Windows RT, which was restricted to Windows Store apps). Microsoft is initially targeting this project towards laptops.[67] Microsoft launched the branding Always Connected PCs in December 2017 to market Windows 10 devices with cellular connectivity, which included two ARM-based 2-in-1 laptops from Asus and HP featuring the Snapdragon 835 system-on-chip, and the announcement of a partnership between AMD and Qualcomm to integrate its Snapdragon X16 gigabit LTE modem with AMD's Ryzen Mobile platform.[242][243]

In August 2019, Microsoft began testing changes to its handling of the user interface on convertible devices—downplaying the existing "Tablet Mode" option in favor of presenting the normal desktop with optimizations for touch when a keyboard is not present, such as increasing the space between taskbar buttons and displaying the virtual keyboard when text fields are selected.[244]

In April 2021, the ability to run Linux applications using a graphical user interface, such as Audacity, directly in Windows, was introduced as a preview.[245] This feature would later be included as part of the updated Windows Subsystem for Linux 2 for Windows 11 only.

System requirements[edit]

The basic hardware requirements to install Windows 10 were initially the same as those for Windows 8.1 and Windows 8, and only slightly higher than for Windows 7 and Windows Vista. As of the May 2019 update, the minimum disk space requirement has been increased to 32 GB. In addition, on new installations, Windows permanently reserves up to 7 GB of disk space in order to ensure proper installation of future feature updates.[247][248]

The 64-bit variants require a CPU that supports certain instructions.[249] Devices with low storage capacity must provide a USB flash drive or SD card with sufficient storage for temporary files during upgrades.[250]

Some pre-built devices may be described as "certified" by Microsoft. Certified tablets must include, and keys; and keys are no longer required.[251]

As with Windows 8, all certified devices must ship with UEFI Secure Boot enabled by default. Unlike Windows 8, OEMs are no longer required to make Secure Boot settings user-configurable, meaning that devices may optionally be locked to run only Microsoft-signed operating systems.[252] A supported infrared-illuminated camera is required for Windows Hello face authentication, and a supported fingerprint reader is required for Windows Hello fingerprint authentication.[177] Device Guard requires a UEFI system with no third-party certificates loaded, and CPU virtualization extensions (including SLAT and IOMMU) enabled in firmware.

Beginning with Intel Kaby Lake and AMD Bristol Ridge, Windows 10 is the only version of Windows that Microsoft will officially support on newer CPU microarchitectures.[253][254] Terry Myerson stated that Microsoft did not want to make further investments in optimizing older versions of Windows and associated software for newer generations of processors.[255][256] These policies were criticized by the media, who especially noted that Microsoft was refusing to support newer hardware (particularly Intel's Skylake CPUs, which was also originally targeted by the new policy with a premature end of support that was ultimately retracted)[257][258] on Windows 8.1, a version of Windows that was still in mainstream support until January 2018.[259][260] In addition, an enthusiast-created modification was released that disabled the check and allowed Windows 8.1 and earlier to continue to work on the platform.[261]

Windows 10 version 1703 and later do not support Intel Clover Trail system-on-chips, per Microsoft's stated policy of only providing updates for devices during their OEM support period.[213][262]

Starting with Windows 10 version 2004, Microsoft will require new OEM devices to use 64-bit processors, and will therefore cease the distribution of x86 (32-bit) variants of Windows 10 via OEM channels. The 32-bit variants of Windows 10 will remain available via non-OEM channels, and Microsoft will continue to "[provide] feature and security updates on these devices".[263] This would later be followed by Windows 11 dropping 32-bit hardware support altogether, and thus making Windows 10 the final version of Windows to have a 32-bit version.[264]

Reception[edit]

Main article: Criticism of Windows 10

Critics characterized the initial release of Windows 10 as being rushed, citing the incomplete state of some of the operating system's bundled software, such as the Edge web browser, as well as the stability of the operating system itself on launch.[265][266][267] However, TechRadar felt that it could be "the new Windows 7", citing the operating system's more familiar user interface, improvements to bundled apps, performance improvements, a "rock solid" search system, and the Settings app being more full-featured than its equivalents on 8 and 8.1. The Edge browser was praised for its performance, although it was not in a feature-complete state at launch. While considering them a "great idea in principle", concerns were shown for Microsoft's focus on the universal app ecosystem:

It's by no means certain that developers are going to flock to Windows 10 from iOS and Android simply because they can convert their apps easily. It may well become a no-brainer for them, but at the moment a conscious decision is still required.[266]

Engadget was similarly positive, noting that the upgrade process was painless and that Windows 10's user interface had balanced aspects of Windows 8 with those of previous versions with a more mature aesthetic. Cortana's always-on voice detection was considered to be its "true strength", also citing its query capabilities and personalization features, but noting that it was not as pre-emptive as Google Now. Windows 10's stock applications were praised for being improved over their Windows 8 counterparts, and for supporting windowed modes. The Xbox app was also praised for its Xbox One streaming functionality, although recommending its use over a wired network because of inconsistent quality over Wi-Fi. In conclusion, it was argued that "Windows 10 delivers the most refined desktop experience ever from Microsoft, and yet it's so much more than that. It's also a decent tablet OS, and it's ready for a world filled with hybrid devices. And, barring another baffling screwup, it looks like a significant step forward for mobile. Heck, it makes the Xbox One a more useful machine."[268]

Ars Technica panned the new Tablet mode interface for removing the charms and app switching, making the Start button harder to use by requiring users to reach for the button on the bottom-left rather than at the center of the screen when swiping with a thumb, and for making application switching less instantaneous through the use of Task View. Microsoft Edge was praised for being "tremendously promising", and "a much better browser than Internet Explorer ever was", but criticized it for its lack of functionality on-launch. In conclusion, contrasting Windows 8 as being a "reliable" platform albeit consisting of unfinished concepts, Windows 10 was considered "the best Windows yet", and was praised for having a better overall concept in its ability to be "comfortable and effective" across a wide array of form factors, but that it was buggier than previous versions of Windows were on-launch.[265]ExtremeTech felt that Windows 10 restricted the choices of users, citing its more opaque setting menus, forcing users to give up bandwidth for the peer-to-peer distribution of updates, and for taking away user control of specific functions, such as updates, explaining that "it feels, once again, as if Microsoft has taken the seed of a good idea, like providing users with security updates automatically, and shoved the throttle to maximum."[269] Windows 10 has also received criticism because of deleting files without user permission after auto updates.[270]

Critics have noted that Windows 10 heavily emphasizes freemium services, and contains various advertising facilities. Some outlets have considered these to be a hidden "cost" of the free upgrade offer.[271][272][273] Examples of these have included microtransactions in bundled games such as Microsoft Solitaire Collection,[274][271][275][276] default settings that display promotions of "suggested" apps in the Start menu, "tips" on the lock screen that may contain advertising,[272][273] ads displayed in File Explorer for Office 365 subscriptions on Creators' Update,[273] and various advertising notifications displayed by default which promote Microsoft Edge when it is not set as the default web browser (including, in a September 2018 build, nag pop-ups displayed to interrupt the installation process of competitors).[277][278]

Market share and sales[edit]

See also: Usage share of operating systems § Crossover to smartphones having majority share

Windows PC market share (of Windows) statistics
Windows 10

81.43%
Windows 7

13.57%
Windows 8.1

3.17%
Windows 8

1.07%
Windows XP

0.53%
Windows Vista

0.21%
Other

0.02%
"Desktop Windows Version Market Share Worldwide" according to StatCounter for October 2021.[279] Note, StatCounter tracks Windows vs. macOS, Linux etc. separately, and this statistic is only thereof Windows share.

Up to August 2016, Windows 10 usage was increasing, with it then plateauing,[280] while eventually in 2018, it became more popular than Windows 7[281][282] (though Windows 7 was still more used in some countries in Asia and Africa in 2019). As of March 2020[update], the operating system is running on over a billion devices, reaching the goal set by Microsoft two years after the initial deadline.[21]

Twenty-four hours after it was released, Microsoft announced that over 14 million devices were running Windows 10.[283] On August 26, Microsoft said over 75 million devices were running Windows 10, in 192 countries, and on over 90,000 unique PC or tablet models.[284] According to Terry Myerson, there were over 110 million devices running Windows 10 as of October 6, 2015.[285] On January 4, 2016, Microsoft reported that Windows 10 had been activated on over 200 million devices since the operating system's launch in July 2015.[286][287]

According to StatCounter, Windows 10 overtook Windows 8.1 in December 2015.[288][289]Iceland was the first country where Windows 10 was ranked first (not only on the desktop, but across all platforms),[290] with several larger European countries following. For one week in late November 2016, Windows 10 overtook first rank from Windows 7 in the United States, before losing it again.[291] By February 2017, Windows 10 was losing market share to Windows 7.[292]

In mid-January 2018, Windows 10 had a slightly higher global market share than Windows 7,[281] with it noticeably more popular on weekends,[293] while popularity varies widely by region, e.g. Windows 10 was then still behind in Africa[294] and far ahead in some other regions e.g. Oceania.[295]

Update system changes[edit]

Windows 10 Home is permanently set to download all updates automatically, including cumulative updates, security patches, and drivers, and users cannot individually select updates to install or not.[296] Microsoft offers a diagnostic tool that can be used to hide updates and prevent them from being reinstalled, but only after they had been already installed, then uninstalled without rebooting the system.[297][298] Tom Warren of The Verge felt that, given web browsers such as Google Chrome had already adopted such an automatic update system, such a requirement would help to keep all Windows 10 devices secure, and felt that "if you're used to family members calling you for technical support because they've failed to upgrade to the latest Windows service pack or some malware disabled Windows Update then those days will hopefully be over."[299]

Concerns were raised that because of these changes, users would be unable to skip the automatic installation of updates that are faulty or cause issues with certain system configurations—although build upgrades will also be subject to public beta testing via Windows Insider program.[297][299] There were also concerns that the forced installation of driver updates through Windows Update, where they were previously designated as "optional", could cause conflicts with drivers that were installed independently of Windows Update. An example of such a situation occurred prior to the general release of the operating system, when an Nvidiagraphics card driver that was automatically pushed to Windows 10 users via Windows Update caused issues that prevented the use of certain functions, or prevented their system from booting at all.[297]

Criticism was also directed towards Microsoft's decision to no longer provide specific details on the contents of cumulative updates for Windows 10.[300] On February 9, 2016, Microsoft retracted this decision and began to provide release notes for cumulative updates on the Windows website.[301]

Some users reported that during the installation of the November upgrade, some applications (particularly utility programs such as CPU-Z and Speccy) were automatically uninstalled during the upgrade process, and some default programs were reset to Microsoft-specified defaults (such as Photos app, and Microsoft Edge for PDF viewing), both without warning.[302][303]

Further issues were discovered upon the launch of the Anniversary Update ("Redstone"), including a bug that caused some devices to freeze (but addressed by cumulative update KB3176938, released on August 31, 2016),[304][305] and that fundamental changes to how Windows handles webcams had caused many to stop working.[306]

In June 2017, a Redstone 3 Insider build (RS_EDGE_CASE in PC and rs_IoT on Mobile) was accidentally released to both Insider and non-Insider users on all Windows 10 devices, but the update was retracted, with Microsoft apologizing and releasing a note on their Windows Insider Program blog describing how to Graphic - Activators Patch the build from being installed on their device.[307] According to Dona Sarkar, this was due to "an inadvertent deployment to the engineering system that controls which builds/which rings to push out to insiders."[308]

A Gartner analyst felt that Windows 10 Pro was becoming increasingly inappropriate for use in enterprise environments because of support policy changes by Microsoft, including consumer-oriented upgrade lifecycle length, and only offering extended support for individual builds to Enterprise and Education editions of Windows 10.[309]

Critics have acknowledged that Microsoft's update and testing practices had been affecting the overall quality of Windows 10. In particular, it was pointed out that Microsoft's internal testing departments had been prominently affected by a major round of layoffs undertaken by the company in 2014. Microsoft relies primarily on user testing and bug reports via the Windows Insider program (which may not always be of sufficient quality to identify a bug), as well as correspondence with OEMs and other stakeholders. In the wake of the known folder redirection data loss bug in the version 1809, it was pointed out that bug reports describing the issue had been present on the Feedback Hub app for several months prior to the public release. Following the incident, Microsoft updated Feedback Hub so that users may specify the severity of a particular bug report. When announcing the resumption of 1809's rollout, Microsoft stated that it planned to be more transparent in its handling of update quality in the future, through a series of blog posts that will detail its testing process and the planned development of a "dashboard" that will indicate the rollout progress of future updates.[310][311][312][313][314]

Distribution practices[

Источник: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windows_10

Native Client applications use the OpenGL ES 2.0 API for 3D rendering. This document describes how to call the OpenGL ES 2.0 interface in a Native Client module and how to build an efficient rendering loop. It also explains how to validate GPU drivers and test for specific GPU capabilities, and provides tips to help ensure your rendering code runs efficiently.

Note: 3D drawing and OpenGL are complex topics. This document deals only with issues directly related to programming in the Native Client environment. To learn more about OpenGL ES 2.0 itself, see the OpenGL ES 2.0 Programming Guide.

Validating the client graphics platform

Native Client is a software technology that lets you code an application once and run it on multiple platforms without worrying about the implementation details on every possible target platform. It’s difficult to provide the same support at the hardware level. Graphics hardware comes from many different manufacturers and is controlled by drivers of varying quality. A particular GPU driver may not support every OpenGL ES 2.0 feature, and some drivers are known to have vulnerabilities that can be exploited.

Even if the GPU driver is safe to use, your program should perform a validation check before you launch your application to ensure that the driver supports all the features you need.

Vetting the driver in JavaScript

At startup, the application should perform a few additional tests that can be implemented in JavaScript on its hosting web page. The script that performs these tests should be included before the module’s tag, and ideally the tag should appear on the hosting page only if these tests succeed.

The first thing to check is whether you can create a graphics context. If you can, use the context to confirm the existence of any required OpenGL ES 2.0 extensions. You may want to refer to the extension registry and include vendor prefixes when checking for extensions.

Vetting the driver in Native Client

Create a context

Once you’ve passed the JavaScript validation tests, it’s safe to add a Native Client embed tag to the hosting web page and load the module. As part of the module initialization code, you must create a graphics context for the app by either creating a C++ object or calling API function. Don’t assume this will always succeed; you still might have problems creating the context. If you are in development mode and can’t create the context, try creating a simpler version to see if you’re asking for an unsupported feature or exceeding a driver resource limit. Your production code should always check that the context was created and fail gracefully if that’s not the case.

Check for extensions and capabilities

Not every GPU supports every extension or has the same amount of texture units, vertex attributes, etc. On startup, call and check for the extensions and the features you need. For example:

  • If you are using non power-of-2 texture with mipmaps, make sure exists.
  • If you are using floating point textures, make sure exists.
  • If you are using DXT1, DXT3, or DXT5 textures, make sure the corresponding extensions, and exist.
  • If you are using the functions,or the PPAPI interfacemake sure the corresponding extension exists.
  • If you are using the functionor the PPAPI interfacemake sure the corresponding extension exists.
  • If you are using the functions,,or the PPAPI interfacemake sure the corresponding extension exists.
  • If you are using the functions, or the PPAPI interfacemake sure the corresponding extension exists.

Check for system capabilites with and adjust shader programs as well as texture and vertex data accordingly:

  • If you are using textures in vertex shaders, make sure and return values greater than 0.
  • If you are using more than 8 textures in a single shader, make sure returns a value greater than or equal to the number of simultaneous textures you need.

Vetting the driver in the Chrome Web Store

If you choose to place your application in the Chrome Web Store, its Web Store manifest file can include the feature in the requirements parameter. It looks like this:

"requirements": { "3D": { "features": ["webgl"] } }

While WebGL is technically a JavaScript API, specifying the feature also works for OpenGL ES 2.0 because both interfaces use the same driver.

This manifest item is not required, but if you include it, the Chrome Web Store will prevent a user from installing the application if the browser is running on a machine that does not support OpenGL ES 2.0 or that is using a known blacklisted GPU driver that could invite an attack.

If the Web Store determines that the user’s driver is deficient, the app won’t appear on the store’s tile display. However, it will appear in store search results or if the user links to it directly, in which case the user could still download it. But the manifest requirements will be checked when the user reaches the install page, and if there is a problem, the browser will display the message “This application is not supported on this computer. Installation has been disabled.”

The manifest-based check applies only to downloads directly from the Chrome Web Store. It is not performed when an application is loaded via inline installation.

What to do when there are problems

Using the vetting procedure described above, you should be able to detect the most common problems before your application runs. If there are problems, your code should describe the issue as clearly as possible. That’s easy if there is a missing feature. Failure to create a graphics context is tougher to diagnose. At the very least, you can suggest that the user try to update the driver. You might want to linke to the Chrome page that describes how to do updates.

If a user can’t update the driver, or their problem persists, be sure to gather information about their graphics environment. Ask for the contents of the Chrome page.

Document unreliable drivers

It can be helpful to include information about known dubious drivers in your user documentation. This might help identify if a rogue driver is the cause of a problem. There are many sources of GPU driver blacklists. Two such lists can be found at the Chromium project and Khronos. You can use these lists to include information in your documentation that warns users about dangerous drivers.

Test your defenses

You can test your driver validation code by running Chrome with the following flags (all at once) and watching how your application responds:

    Calling OpenGL ES 2.0 commands

    There are three ways to write OpenGL ES 2.0 calls in Native Client.

    Use “pure” OpenGL ES 2.0 function calls

    You can make OpenGL ES 2.0 calls through a Pepper extension library. The SDK example works this way. In the filethe key initialization steps are as follows:

    • Add these includes at the top of the file:

      #include <GLES2/gl2.h> #include "ppapi/lib/gl/gles2/gl2ext_ppapi.h"
    • Define the function. The exact specification of will be application specific.

      bool InitGL(int32_t new_width, int32_t new_height) { if (!glInitializePPAPI(pp::Module::Get()->get_browser_interface())) { fprintf(stderr, "Unable to initialize GL PPAPI!\n"); return false; } const int32_t attrib_list[] = { PP_GRAPHICS3DATTRIB_ALPHA_SIZE, 8, PP_GRAPHICS3DATTRIB_DEPTH_SIZE, 24, PP_GRAPHICS3DATTRIB_WIDTH, new_width, PP_GRAPHICS3DATTRIB_HEIGHT, new_height, PP_GRAPHICS3DATTRIB_NONE }; context_ = pp::Graphics3D(this, attrib_list); if (!BindGraphics(context_)) { fprintf(stderr, "Unable to bind 3d context!\n"); context_ = pp::Graphics3D(); glSetCurrentContextPPAPI(0); return false; } glSetCurrentContextPPAPI(context_.pp_resource()); return true; }
    • Include logic in to call whenever necessary: upon application launch (when the graphics context is NULL) and whenever the module’s View changes size.

    Use Regal

    If you are porting an OpenGL ES 2.0 application, or are comfortable writing in OpenGL ES 2.0, you should stick with the Pepper APIs or pure OpenGL ES 2.0 calls described above. If you are porting an application that uses features not in OpenGL ES 2.0, consider using Regal. Regal is an open source library that supports many versions of OpenGL. Regal recently added support for Native Client. Regal forwards most OpenGL calls directly to the underlying graphics library, but it can also emulate other calls that are not included (when hardware support exists). See libregal for more info.

    Use the Pepper API

    Your code can call the Pepper PPB_OpenGLES2 API directly, as with any Pepper interface. When you write in this way, each invocation of an OpenGL ES 2.0 function must begin with a reference to the Pepper interface, and the first argument is the graphics context. To invoke the functionyour code might look like:

    ppb_g3d_interface->CompileShader(graphicsContext, shader);

    This approach specifically targets the Pepper APIs. Each call corresponds to a OpenGL ES 2.0 function, but the syntax is unique to Native Client, so the source file is not portable.

    Implementing a rendering loop

    Graphics applications require a continuous frame render-and-redraw cycle that runs at a high frequency. To achieve the best frame rate, is important to understand how the OpenGL ES 2.0 code in a Native Client module interacts with Chrome.

    The Chrome and Native Client processes

    Chrome is a multi-process browser. Each Chrome tab is a separate process that is running an application with its own main thread (we’ll call it the Chrome main thread). When an application launches a Native Client module, the module runs in a new, separate sandboxed process. The module’s process has its own main thread (the Native Client thread). The Chrome and Native Client processes communicate with each other using Pepper API calls on their main threads.

    When the Chrome main thread calls the Native Client thread (keyboard and mouse callbacks, for example), the Chrome main thread will block. This means that lengthy operations on the Native Client thread can steal cycles from Chrome, and performing blocking operations on the Native Client thread can bring your app to a standstill.

    Native Client uses callback functions to synchronize the main threads of the two processes. Only certain Pepper functions use callbacks; SwapBuffers is one.

    and its callback function

    is non-blocking; it is called from the Native Client thread and returns immediately. When is called, it runs asynchronously on the Chrome main thread. It switches the graphics data buffers, handles any needed compositing operations, and redraws the screen. When the screen update is complete, the callback function that was included as one of ‘s arguments will be called from the Chrome thread and executed on the Native Client thread.

    To create a rendering loop, your Native Client module should include a function that does the rendering work and then executespassing itself as the callback. If your rendering code is efficient and runs quickly, this scheme will achieve the highest frame rate possible. The documentation for explains why this is optimal: because the callback is executed only when the plugin’s current state is actually on the screen, this function provides a way to rate-limit animations. By waiting until the image is on the screen before painting the next frame, you can ensure you’re not generating updates faster than the screen can be updated.

    The following diagram illustrates the interaction between the Chrome and Native Client processes. The application-specific rendering code runs in the function called on the Native Client thread. Blue down-arrows are blocking calls from the main thread to Native Client, green up-arrows are non-blocking calls from Native Client to the main thread. All OpenGL ES 2.0 calls are made from in the Native Client thread.

    /native-client/images/3d-graphics-render-loop.png

    SDK example

    The SDK example uses the function (in ) to create a rendering loop as described above. calls to do the rendering work, and then invokespassing itself as the callback.

    void MainLoop(void* foo, int bar) { if (g_LoadCnt == 3) { InitProgram(); g_LoadCnt++; } if (g_LoadCnt > 3) { Render(); PP_CompletionCallback cc = PP_MakeCompletionCallback(MainLoop, 0); ppb_g3d_interface->SwapBuffers(g_context, cc); } else { PP_CompletionCallback cc = PP_MakeCompletionCallback(MainLoop, 0); ppb_core_interface->CallOnMainThread(0, cc, 0); } }

    Managing the OpenGL ES 2.0 pipeline

    OpenGL ES 2.0 commands do not run in the Chrome or Native Client processes. They are passed into a FIFO queue in shared memory which is best understood as a GPU command buffer. The command buffer is shared by a dedicated GPU process. By using a separate GPU process, Chrome implements another layer of runtime security, vetting all OpenGL ES 2.0 commands and their arguments before they are sent on to the GPU. Buffering commands through the FIFO also speeds up your code, since each OpenGL ES 2.0 call in your Native Client thread returns immediately, while the processing may be delayed as the GPU works down the commands queued up in the FIFO.

    Before the screen is updated, all the intervening OpenGL ES 2.0 commands must be processed by the GPU. Programmers often try to ensure this by using the and commands in their rendering code. In the case of Native Client this is usually unnecessary. The command does an implicit flush, and the Chrome team is continually tweaking the GPU code to consume the OpenGL ES 2.0 FIFO as fast as possible.

    Sometimes a 3D application can write to the FIFO in a way that’s difficult to handle. The command pipeline may fill up and your code will have to wait for the GPU to flush the FIFO. If this is the case, you may be able to add calls to speed up the flow of the OpenGL ES 2.0 command FIFO. Before you start to add your own flushes, first try to determine if pipeline saturation is really the problem by monitoring the rendering time per frame and looking for irregular spikes that do not consistently fall on the same OpenGL ES 2.0 call. If you’re convinced the pipeline needs to be accelerated, insert calls in your code before starting blocks of processing that do not generate OpenGL ES 2.0 commands. For example, issue a flush before you begin any multithreaded particle work, so that the command buffer will be clear when you start doing OpenGL ES 2.0 calls again. Determining where and how often to call can be tricky, you will need to experiment to find the sweet spot.

    Rendering and inactive tabs

    Users will often switch between tabs in a multi-tab browser. A well-behaved application that’s performing 3D rendering should pause any real-time processing and yield cycles to other processes when its tab becomes inactive.

    In Chrome, an inactive tab will continue to execute timed functions (such as and ) but the timer interval will be automatically overridden and limited to not less than one second while the tab is inactive. In addition, any callback associated with a call will not be sent Graphic - Activators Patch the tab is active again. You may receive asynchronous callbacks from functions other than while a tab is inactive. Depending on the design of your application, you might choose to handle them as they arrive, or to queue them in a buffer and process them when the tab becomes active.

    The time that passes while a tab is inactive can be considerable. If your main thread pulse is based on the callback, your app won’t update while a tab is inactive. A Native Client module should be able to detect and respond to the state of the tab in which it’s running. For example, when a tab becomes inactive, you can set an atomic flag in the Native Client thread that will skip the 3D rendering and calls and continue to call the main thread every 30 msec or so. This provides time to update features that should still run in the background, like audio. It may also be helpful to call or on any worker threads to release resources and cede cycles to the OS.

    Handling tab activation from the main thread

    You can detect and respond to the activation or deactivation of a tab with JavaScript on your hosting page. Add an EventListener for that sends a message to the Native Client module, as in this example:

    Handling tab activation from the Native Client thread

    You can also detect and respond to the activation or deactivation of a tab directly from your Native Client module by including code in the functionwhich is called whenever a change in the module’s view occurs. The code can call to determine if the page is visible or not. The most common cause of invisible pages is that the page is in a background tab.

    Tips and best practices

    Here are some suggestions for writing safe code and getting the maximum performance with the Pepper 3D API.

    Do’s

    • Make sure to enable attrib 0. OpenGL requires that you enable attrib 0, but OpenGL ES 2.0 does not. For example, you can define a vertex shader with 2 attributes, numbered like this:

      glBindAttribLocation(program, "positions", 1); glBindAttribLocation(program, "normals", 2);

      In this case the shader is not using attrib 0 and Chrome may have to perform some additional work if it is emulating OpenGL ES 2.0 on top of OpenGL. It’s always more efficient to enable attrib 0, even if you do not use it.

    • Check how shaders compile. Shaders can compile differently on different systems, which can result in functions returning different results. Be sure that the vertex attribute indices match the corresponding name each time you recompile a shader.
    • Update indices sparingly. For security reasons, all indices must be validated. If you change indices, Native Client will validate them again. Structure your code so indices are not updated often.
    • Use a smaller plugin and let CSS scale it. If you’re running into fillrate issues, it may be beneficial to perform scaling via CSS. The size your plugin renders is determined by the width and height attributes of the element for the module. The actual size displayed on the web page is controlled by the CSS styles applied to the element.
    • Avoid matrix-to-matrix conversions. With some versions of Mac OS, there is a driver problem when compiling shaders. If you get compiler EZ Game Booster Pro For Windows for matrix transforms, avoid matrix-to-matrix conversions. For instance, upres a vec3 to a vec4 before transforming it by a mat4, rather than converting the mat4 to a mat3.

    Don’ts

    • Don’t use client side buffers. OpenGL ES 2.0 can use client side data with andbut this is really slow. Try to avoid client side buffers. Use Vertex Buffer Objects (VBOs) instead.
    • Don’t mix vertex data and index data. By default, Pepper 3D binds buffers to a single point. You could create a buffer and bind it to both andbut that would be expensive overhead and it is not recommended.
    • Don’t call glGet* or glCheck* during rendering. This is normal advice for OpenGL programs, but is particularly important for 3D on Chrome. Calls to any OpenGL ES 2.0 function whose name begins with these strings blocks the Native Client thread. This includes ; avoid calling it in release builds.
    • Don’t use fixed point (GL_FIXED) vertex attributes. Fixed point attributes are not supported in OpenGL ES 2.0, so emulating them in OpenGL ES 2.0 is slow. By default, support is turned off in the Pepper 3D API.
    • Don’t read data from the GPU. Don’t callas it is slow.
    • Don’t update a small portion of a large buffer. In the current OpenGL ES 2.0 implementation when you update a portion of a buffer (with for example) the entire buffer must be reprocessed. To avoid this problem, keep static and dynamic data in different buffers.
    • Don’t call glDisable(GL_TEXTURE_2D). This is an OpenGL ES 2.0 error. Each time it is called, an error messages will appear in Chrome’s tab.
    Источник: https://developer.chrome.com/docs/native-client/devguide/coding/3D-graphics/

    A survey on Image Data Augmentation for Deep Learning

    The earliest demonstrations showing the effectiveness of Data Augmentations come from simple transformations such as horizontal flipping, color space augmentations, and random cropping. These transformations encode many of the invariances discussed earlier that present challenges to image recognition tasks. The augmentations listed in this survey are geometric transformations, color space transformations, kernel filters, mixing images, random erasing, feature space augmentation, adversarial training, GAN-based augmentation, neural style transfer, and meta-learning schemes. This section will explain how each augmentation algorithm works, report experimental results, and discuss disadvantages of the augmentation technique.

    Data Augmentations based on basic image manipulations

    Geometric transformations

    This section describes different augmentations based on geometric transformations and many other image processing functions. The class of augmentations discussed below could be characterized by their ease of implementation. Understanding these transformations will provide a useful base for further investigation into Data Augmentation techniques.

    We will also describe the different geometric augmentations in the context of their ‘safety’ of application. The safety of a Data Augmentation method refers to its likelihood of preserving the label post-transformation. For example, rotations and flips are generally safe on ImageNet challenges such as cat versus dog, but not safe for digit recognition tasks such as 6 versus 9. A non-label preserving transformation could potentially strengthen the model’s ability to output a response indicating that it is not confident about its prediction. However, achieving this would require refined labels [56] post-augmentation. If the label of the image after a non-label preserving transformation is something like [0.5 0.5], the model could learn more robust confidence predictions. However, constructing refined labels for every non-safe Data Augmentation is a computationally expensive process.

    Due to the challenge of constructing refined labels for post-augmented data, it is important to consider the ‘safety’ of an augmentation. This is somewhat domain dependent, providing a challenge for developing generalizable augmentation policies, (see AutoAugment [38] for further exploration into finding generalizable augmentations). There is no image processing function that cannot result in a label changing transformation at some distortion magnitude. This demonstrates the data-specific design of augmentations and the challenge of developing generalizable augmentation policies. This is an important consideration with respect to the geometric augmentations listed below.

    Flipping

    Horizontal axis flipping is much more common than flipping the vertical axis. This augmentation is one of the easiest to implement and has proven useful on datasets such as CIFAR-10 and ImageNet. On datasets involving text recognition such as MNIST or SVHN, this is not a label-preserving transformation.

    Color space

    Digital image data is usually encoded as a tensor of the dimension (height × width × color channels). Performing augmentations in the color channels space is another strategy that is very practical to implement. Very simple color augmentations include isolating a single color channel such as R, G, or B. An image can be quickly converted into its representation in one color channel by isolating that matrix and adding 2 zero matrices from the other color channels. Additionally, the RGB values can be easily manipulated with simple matrix operations to increase or decrease the brightness of the image. More advanced color augmentations come from deriving a color histogram describing the image. Changing the intensity values in these histograms results in lighting alterations such as what is used in photo editing applications.

    Cropping

    Cropping images can be used as a practical processing step for image data with mixed height and width dimensions by cropping a central patch of each image. Additionally, random cropping can also be used to provide an effect very similar to translations. The contrast between random cropping and translations is that cropping will reduce the size of the input such as (256,256) → (224, 224), whereas translations preserve the spatial dimensions of the image. Depending on the reduction threshold chosen for cropping, this might not be a label-preserving transformation.

    Rotation

    Rotation augmentations are done by rotating the image right or left on an axis between 1° and 359°. The safety of rotation augmentations is heavily determined by the rotation degree parameter. Slight rotations such as between 1 and 20 or − 1 to − 20 could be useful on digit recognition tasks such as MNIST, but as the rotation degree increases, the label of the data is no longer preserved post-transformation.

    Translation

    Shifting images left, right, up, or down can be a very useful transformation to avoid positional bias in the data. For example, if all the images in a dataset are centered, which is common in face recognition datasets, this would require the model to be tested on perfectly centered images as well. As the original image is translated in a direction, the remaining space can be filled with either a constant value such as 0 s or 255 s, or it can be filled with random or Gaussian noise. This padding preserves the spatial dimensions of the image post-augmentation.

    Noise injection

    Noise injection consists of injecting a matrix of random values usually drawn from a Gaussian distribution. Noise injection is tested by Moreno-Barea et al. [57] on nine datasets from the UCI repository [58]. Adding noise to images can help CNNs learn more robust features.

    Geometric transformations are very good solutions for positional biases present in the training data. There are many potential sources of bias that could separate the distribution of Graphic - Activators Patch training data from the testing data. If positional biases are present, such as in a facial recognition dataset where every face is perfectly centered in the frame, geometric transformations are a great solution. In addition to their powerful ability to overcome positional biases, geometric transformations are also useful because they are easily implemented. There are many imaging processing libraries that make operations such as horizontal flipping and rotation painless to get started with. Some of the disadvantages of geometric transformations include additional memory, transformation compute costs, and additional training time. Some geometric transformations such as translation or random cropping must be manually observed to make sure they have not altered the label of the image. Finally, in many of the application domains covered such as medical image analysis, the biases distancing the training data from the testing data are more complex than positional and translational variances. Therefore, the scope of where and when geometric transformations can be applied is relatively limited.

    Color space transformations

    Image data is encoded into 3 stacked matrices, each of size height × width. These matrices represent pixel values for an individual RGB color value. Lighting biases are amongst the most frequently occurring challenges to image recognition problems. Therefore, the effectiveness of color space transformations, also known as photometric transformations, is fairly intuitive to conceptualize. A quick fix to overly bright or dark images is to loop through the images and decrease or increase the pixel values by a constant value. Another quick color space manipulation is to splice out individual RGB color matrices. Another transformation consists of restricting pixel values to a certain min or max value. The intrinsic representation of color in digital images lends itself to many strategies of augmentation.

    Color space transformations can also be derived from image-editing apps. An image’s pixel values in each RGB color channel is aggregated to form a color histogram. This histogram can be manipulated to apply filters that change the color space characteristics of an image.

    There is a lot of freedom for creativity with color space augmentations. Altering the color distribution of images can be a great solution to lighting challenges faced by testing data (Figs. 3, 4).

    Examples of Color Augmentations provided by Mikolajczyk and Grochowski [72] in the domain of melanoma classification

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    Examples of color augmentations tested by Wu et al. [127]

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    Image datasets can be simplified in representation by converting the RGB matrices into a single grayscale image. This results in smaller images, height × width × 1, resulting in faster computation. However, this has been shown to reduce performance accuracy. Chatifled et al. [59] found a ~ 3% classification accuracy drop between grayscale and RGB images with their experiments on ImageNet [12] and the PASCAL [60] VOC dataset. In addition to RGB versus grayscale images, there are many other ways of representing digital color such as HSV (Hue, Saturation, and Value). Jurio et al. [61] explore the performance of Image Segmentation on many different color space representations from RGB to YUV, CMY, and HSV.

    Similar to geometric transformations, a disadvantage of color space transformations is increased memory, transformation costs, and training time. Additionally, color transformations may discard important color information and thus are not always a label-preserving transformation. For example, when decreasing the pixel values of an image to simulate a darker environment, it may become impossible to see the objects in the image. Another indirect example of non-label preserving color transformations is in Image Sentiment Analysis [62]. In this application, CNNs try to visually predict the sentiment score of an image such as: highly negative, negative, neutral, positive, or highly positive. One indicator of a negative/highly negative image is the presence of blood. The dark red color of blood is a key component to distinguish blood from water or paint. If color space transforms repeatedly change the color space such that the model cannot recognize red blood from green paint, the model will perform poorly on Image Sentiment Analysis. In effect, color space transformations will eliminate color biases present in the dataset in favor of spatial characteristics. However, for some tasks, color is a very important distinctive feature.

    Geometric versus photometric transformations

    Taylor and Nitschke [63] provide a comparative study on the effectiveness of geometric and photometric (color space) transformations. The geometric transformations studied were flipping, − 30° to 30° rotations, and cropping. The color space transformations studied were color jittering, (random color manipulation), edge enhancement, and PCA. They tested these augmentations with 4-fold cross-validation on the Caltech101 dataset filtered to 8421 images of size 256 × 256 (Table 1).

    Full size table

    Kernel filters

    Kernel filters are a very popular technique in image processing to sharpen and blur images. These filters work by sliding an n × n matrix across an image with either a Gaussian blur filter, which will result in a blurrier image, or a high contrast vertical or horizontal edge filter which will result in a sharper image along edges. Intuitively, blurring images for Data Augmentation could lead to higher resistance to motion blur during testing. Additionally, sharpening images for Data Augmentation could result in encapsulating more details about objects of interest.

    Sharpening and blurring are some of the classical ways of applying kernel filters to images. Kang et al. [64] experiment with a unique kernel filter that randomly swaps the pixel values in an n × n sliding window. They call this augmentation technique PatchShuffle Regularization. Experimenting across different filter sizes and probabilities of shuffling the pixels at each step, they demonstrate the effectiveness of this by achieving a 5.66% error rate on CIFAR-10 compared to an error rate of 6.33% achieved without the use of PatchShuffle Regularization. The hyperparameter settings that achieved this consisted of 2 × 2 filters and a 0.05 probability of swapping. These experiments were done using the ResNet [3] CNN architecture (Figs. 5, 6).

    Examples of applying the PatchShuffle regularization technique [64]

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    Pixels in a n × n window are randomly shifted with a probability parameter p

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    Kernel filters are a relatively unexplored area for Data Augmentation. A disadvantage of this technique is that it is very similar to the internal mechanisms of CNNs. CNNs have parametric kernels that learn the optimal way to represent images layer-by-layer. For example, something like PatchShuffle Regularization could be implemented with a convolution layer. This could be achieved by modifying the standard convolution layer parameters such that the padding parameters preserve spatial resolution and the subsequent activation layer keeps pixel values between 0 and 255, in contrast to something like a sigmoid activation which maps pixels to values between 0 and 1. Therefore kernel filters can be better implemented as a layer of the network rather than as an addition to the dataset through Data Augmentation.

    Mixing images

    Mixing images together by averaging their pixel values is a very counterintuitive approach to Data Augmentation. The images produced by doing this will not look like a useful transformation to a human observer. However, Ionue [65] demonstrated how the pairing of samples could be developed into an effective augmentation strategy. In this experiment, two images are randomly cropped from 256 × 256 to 224 × 224 and randomly flipped horizontally. These images are then mixed by averaging the pixel values for each of the RGB channels. This results in a mixed image which is used to train a classification model. The label assigned to the new image is the same as the first randomly selected image (Fig. 7).

    SamplePairing augmentation strategy [65]

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    On the CIFAR-10 dataset, Ionue reported a reduction in error rate from 8.22 to 6.93% when using the SamplePairing Data Augmentation technique. The researcher found even better results when testing a reduced size dataset, reducing CIFAR-10 to 1000 total samples with 100 in each class. With the reduced size dataset, SamplePairing resulted in an error rate reduction from 43.1 to 31.0%. The reduced CIFAR-10 results demonstrate the usefulness of the SamplePairing technique in limited data applications (Fig. 8).

    Results on the reduced CIFAR-10 dataset. Experimental results demonstrated with respect to sampling pools for image mixing [65]

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    Another detail found in the study is that better results were obtained when mixing images from the entire training set rather than from instances exclusively belonging to the same class. Starting from a training set of size N, SamplePairing produces a dataset of size N2 + N. In addition, Sample Pairing can be stacked on top of other augmentation techniques. For example, if using the augmentations demonstrated in the AlexNet paper by Krizhevsky et al. [1], the 2048 × dataset increase can be further expanded to (2048 × N)2.

    The concept of mixing images in an unintuitive way was further investigated by Summers and Dinneen [66]. They looked at using non-linear methods to combine images into new training instances. All of the methods they used resulted in better performance compared to the baseline models (Fig. 9).

    Non-linearly mixing images [66]

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    Amongst these non-linear augmentations tested, the best technique resulted in a reduction from 5.4 to 3.8% error on CIFAR-10 and 23.6% to 19.7% on CIFAR-100. In like manner, Liang et al. [67] used GANs to produce mixed images. They found that the inclusion of mixed images in the training data reduced training time and increased the diversity of GAN-samples. Takahashi and Matsubara [68] experiment with another approach to mixing images that randomly crops images and concatenates the croppings together to form new images as depicted below. The results of their technique, as well as SamplePairing and mixup augmentation, demonstrate the sometimes unreasonable effectiveness of big data with Deep Learning models (Fig. 10).

    Mixing images through random image cropping and patching [68]

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    An obvious disadvantage of this technique is that it makes little sense from a human perspective. The performance boost found from mixing images is very difficult to understand or explain. One possible explanation for this is that the increased dataset size results in more robust representations of low-level characteristics such as lines and edges. Testing the performance of this in comparisons to transfer learning and pretraining methods is an interesting area for future work. Transfer learning and pretraining are other techniques that learn low-level characteristics in CNNs. Additionally, it will be interesting to see how the performance changes if we partition the training data such that the first 100 epochs are trained with original and mixed images and the last 50 with original images only. These kinds of strategies are discussed further in Design Considerations of Data Augmentation with respect to curriculum learning [69]. Additionally, the paper will cover a meta-learning technique developed by Lemley et al. [37] that uses a neural network to learn an optimal mixing of images.

    Random erasing

    Random erasing [70] is another interesting Data Augmentation technique developed by Zhong et al. Inspired by the mechanisms of dropout regularization, random erasing can be seen as analogous to dropout except in the input data space rather than embedded into the network architecture. This technique was specifically designed to combat image recognition challenges due to occlusion. Occlusion refers to when some parts of the object are unclear. Random erasing will stop this by forcing the model to learn more descriptive features about an image, preventing it from overfitting to a certain visual feature in the image. Aside from the visual challenge of occlusion, in particular, random erasing is a promising technique to guarantee a network pays attention to the entire image, rather than just a subset of it.

    Random erasing works by randomly selecting an n × m patch of an image and masking it with either 0 s, 255 s, mean pixel values, or random values. On the CIFAR-10 dataset this resulted in an error rate reduction from 5.17 to 4.31%. The best patch fill method was found to be random values. The fill method and size of the masks are the only parameters that need to be hand-designed during implementation (Figs. 11, 12).

    Example of random erasing on image recognition tasks [70]

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    Example of random erasing on object detection tasks [70]

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    Random erasing is a Data Augmentation method that seeks to directly prevent overfitting by altering the input space. By removing certain input patches, the model is forced to find other descriptive characteristics. This augmentation method can also be stacked on top of other augmentation techniques such as horizontal flipping or color filters. Random erasing produced one of the highest accuracies on the CIFAR-10 dataset. DeVries and Taylor [71] conducted a similar study called Cutout Regularization. Like the random erasing study, they experimented with randomly masking regions of the image (Table 2).

    Full size table

    Mikolajcyzk and Grochowski [72] presented an interesting idea to combine random erasing with GANs designed for image inpainting. Image inpainting describes the task of filling in a missing piece of an image. Using a diverse collection of GAN inpainters, the random erasing augmentation could seed very interesting extrapolations. It will be interesting to see if better results can be achieved by erasing different shaped patches such as circles rather than n × m rectangles. An extension of this will be to parameterize the geometries of random erased patches and learn an optimal erasing configuration.

    A disadvantage to random erasing is that it will not always be a label-preserving transformation. In handwritten digit recognition, if the top part of an ‘8’ is randomly cropped out, it is not any different from a ‘6’. In many fine-grained tasks such as the Stanford Cars dataset [73], randomly erasing sections of the image (logo, etc.) may make the car brand unrecognizable. Therefore, some manual intervention may be necessary depending on the dataset and task.

    A note on combining augmentations

    Of the augmentations discussed, geometric transformations, color space transformations, kernel filters, mixing images, and random erasing, nearly all of these transformations come with an associated distortion magnitude parameter as well. This parameter encodes the distortional difference between a 45° rotation and a 30° rotation. With a large list of potential augmentations and a mostly continuous space of magnitudes, it is easy to conceptualize the enormous size of the augmentation search space. Combining augmentations such as cropping, flipping, color shifts, and random erasing can result in massively inflated dataset sizes. However, this is not guaranteed to be advantageous. In domains with very limited data, this could result in further overfitting. Therefore, it is important to consider search algorithms for deriving an optimal subset of augmented data to train Deep Learning models with. More on this topic will be discussed in Design Considerations of Data Augmentation.

    Data Augmentations based on Deep Learning

    Feature space augmentation

    All of the augmentation methods discussed above are applied to images in the input space. Neural networks are incredibly powerful at mapping high-dimensional inputs into lower-dimensional representations. These networks can map images to binary classes or to n × 1 vectors in flattened layers. The sequential processing of neural networks can be manipulated such that the intermediate representations can be separated from the network as a whole. The lower-dimensional representations of image data in fully-connected layers can be extracted and isolated. Konno and Iwazume [74] find a performance boost on CIFAR-100 from 66 to 73% accuracy by manipulating the modularity of neural networks to isolate and refine individual layers after training. Lower-dimensional representations found in high-level layers of a CNN are known as the feature space. DeVries and Taylor [75] presented an interesting paper discussing augmentation in this feature space. This opens up opportunities for many vector operations for Data Augmentation.

    SMOTE is a popular augmentation used to alleviate problems with class imbalance. Wondershare fotophire full - Free Activators technique is applied to the feature space by joining the k nearest neighbors to form new instances. DeVries and Taylor discuss adding noise, interpolating, and extrapolating as common forms of feature space augmentation (Figs. 13, 14).

    Architecture diagram of the feature space augmentation framework presented by DeVries and Taylor [75]

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    Examples of interpolated instances in the feature space on the handwritten ‘@’ character [75]

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    The use of auto-encoders is especially useful for performing feature space augmentations on data. Autoencoders work by having one half of the network, the encoder, map images into low-dimensional vector representations such that the other half of the network, the decoder, can reconstruct these vectors back into the original image. This encoded representation is used for feature space augmentation.

    DeVries and Taylor [75] tested their feature space augmentation technique by extrapolating between the 3 nearest neighbors per sample to generate new data and compared their results against extrapolating in the input space and using affine transformations in the input space (Table 3).

    Full size table

    Feature space augmentations can be implemented with auto-encoders if it is necessary to reconstruct the new instances back into input space. It is also possible to do feature space augmentation solely by isolating vector representations from a CNN. This is done by cutting off the output layer of the network, such that the output is a low-dimensional vector rather than a class label. Vector representations are then found by training a CNN and then passing the training set through the truncated CNN. These vector representations can be used to train any machine learning model from Naive Bayes, Support Vector Machine, or back to a fully-connected multilayer network. The effectiveness of this technique is a subject for future work.

    A disadvantage of feature space augmentation is that it is very difficult to interpret the vector data. It is possible to recover the new vectors into images using an auto-encoder network; however, this requires copying the entire encoding part of the CNN being trained. For deep CNNs, this results in massive auto-encoders which are very difficult and time-consuming to train. Finally, Wong et al. [76] find that when it is possible to transform images in the data-space, data-space augmentation will outperform feature space augmentation.

    Adversarial training

    One of the solutions to search the space of possible augmentations is adversarial training. Adversarial training is a framework for using two or more networks with contrasting objectives encoded in their loss functions. This section will discuss using adversarial training as a search algorithm as well as the phenomenon of adversarial attacking. Adversarial attacking consists of a rival network that learns augmentations to images that result in misclassifications in its rival classification network. These adversarial attacks, constrained to noise injections, have been surprisingly successful from the perspective of the adversarial network. This is surprising because it completely defies intuition about how these models represent images. The adversarial attacks demonstrate that representations of images are much less robust than what might have been expected. This is well demonstrated by Moosavi-Dezfooli et al. [77] using DeepFool, a network that finds the minimum possible noise injection needed to cause a misclassification with high confidence. Su et al. [78] show that 70.97% of images can be misclassified by changing just one pixel. Zajac et al. [79] cause misclassifications with adversarial attacks limited to the border of images. The success of adversarial attacks is especially exaggerated as the resolution of images increases.

    Adversarial attacking can be targeted or untargeted, referring to the deliberation in which the adversarial network is trying to cause misclassifications. Adversarial attacks can help to illustrate weak decision boundaries better than standard classification metrics can.

    In addition to serving as an evaluation metric, defense to adversarial attacks, adversarial training can be an effective method for searching for augmentations.

    By constraining the set of augmentations and distortions available to an adversarial network, it can learn to produce augmentations that result in misclassifications, thus forming an effective search algorithm. These augmentations are valuable for strengthening weak spots in the classification model. Therefore, adversarial training can be an effective search technique for Data Augmentation. This is in heavy contrast to the traditional augmentation techniques described previously. Adversarial augmentations may not represent examples likely to occur in the test set, but they can improve weak spots in the learned decision boundary.

    Engstrom et al. [80] showed that simple transformations such as rotations and translations can easily cause misclassifications by deep CNN models. The worst out of the random transformations reduced the accuracy of MNIST by 26%, CIFAR10 by 72% and ImageNet (Top 1) by 28%. Goodfellow et al. [81] generate adversarial examples to improve performance on the MNIST classification task. Using a technique for generating adversarial examples known as the “fast gradient sign method”, a maxout network [82] misclassified 89.4% of adversarial examples with an average confidence of 97.6%. This test is done on the MNIST dataset. With adversarial training, the error rate of adversarial examples fell from 89.4% to 17.9% (Fig. 15).

    Adversarial misclassification example [81]

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    Li et al. [83] experiment with a novel adversarial training approach and compare the performance on original testing data and adversarial examples. The results displayed below show how anticipation of adversarial attacks in the training process can dramatically reduce the success of attacks.

    As shown in Table 4, the adversarial training in their experiment did not improve the test accuracy. However, it does significantly improve the test accuracy of adversarial examples. Adversarial defense is a very interesting subject for evaluating security and robustness of Deep Learning models. Improving on the Fast Gradient Sign Method, DeepFool, developed by Moosavi-Dezfooli et al. [77], uses a neural network to find the smallest possible noise perturbation that causes misclassifications.

    Full size table

    Another interesting framework that could be used in an adversarial training context is to have an adversary change the labels of training data. Xie et al. [84] presented DisturbLabel, a regularization technique that randomly replaces labels at each iteration. This is a rare example of adding noise to the loss layer, whereas most of the other augmentation methods discussed add noise into the input or hidden representation layers. On the MNIST dataset with LeNet [28] CNN architecture, DisturbLabel produced a 0.32% error rate compared to a baseline error rate of 0.39%. DisturbLabel combined with Dropout Regularization produced a 0.28% error rate compared to the 0.39% baseline. To translate this to the context of adversarial training, one network takes in the classifier’s training data as input and learns which labels to flip to maximize the error rate of the classification network.

    The effectiveness of adversarial training in the form of noise or augmentation search is still a relatively new concept that has not been widely tested and understood. Adversarial search to add noise has been shown to improve performance on adversarial examples, but it is unclear if this is useful for the objective of reducing overfitting. Future work seeks to expand on the relationship between resistance to adversarial attacks and actual performance on test datasets.

    GAN-based Data Augmentation

    Another exciting strategy for Data Augmentation is generative modeling. Generative modeling refers to the practice of creating artificial instances from a dataset such that they retain similar characteristics to the original set. The principles of adversarial training discussed above have led to the very interesting and massively popular generative modeling framework known as GANs. Bowles et al. [85] describe GANs as a way to “unlock” additional information from a dataset. GANs are not the only generative modeling technique that exists; however they are dramatically leading the way in computation speed and quality of results.

    Another useful strategy for generative modeling worth mentioning is variational auto-encoders. The GAN framework can be extended to improve the quality of samples produced with variational auto-encoders [86]. Variational auto-encoders learn a low-dimensional representation of data points. In the image domain, this translates an image tensor of size height × width × color channels down into a vector of size n × 1, identical to what was discussed with respect to feature space augmentation. Low-dimensional constraints in vector representations will result in a poorer representation, although these constraints are better for visualization using methods such as t-SNE [87]. Imagine a vector representation of size 5 × 1 created by an autoencoder. These autoencoders can take in a distribution of labeled data and map them into this space. These classes could include ‘head turned left’, ‘centered head’, and ‘head turned right’. The auto-encoder learns a low-dimensional representation of these data points such that vector operations such as adding and subtracting can be used to simulate a front view-3D rotation Graphic - Activators Patch a new instance. Variational auto-encoder outputs can be further improved by inputting them into GANs [31

    Источник: https://journalofbigdata.springeropen.com/articles/10.1186/s40537-019-0197-0

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    There is no direct impact to existing AMIs registered in customer accounts.

    AWS will not publish or distribute Managed AWS Windows AMIs that contain EOS software to AWS Management Console, Quick Start, or AWS Marketplace.

    Customers with dependencies on Managed AWS Windows AMIs impacted by EOS should consider their options, including creating Custom AMI(s) within their AWS account(s) to enable new instance launches. Learn more about custom AMI creation here.

    Q. Can I create additional Custom AMIs from existing Custom AMIs in my account that contain EOS software?

    Yes.

    Q. What are my options for running Microsoft software that is approaching EOS?

    AWS customers running EOS software on EC2 instances have several options:

    Remain on EOS software: Customers may decide to remain on EOS software. There will be no impact to existing instances, or to custom AMIs.

    Automated upgrade: For customers with SQL Server 2008 R2 and Windows Server 2008 R2, AWS Systems Manager automates the performance of non-destructive in-place upgrades. SQL Server 2008 R2 customers can upgrade to SQL Server 2012 R2 and again to SQL Server 2016 (BYOL only). Windows Server 2008 R2 customers can upgrade to Windows Server 2012 R2. For customers with a License Included (LI) version of Windows Server or SQL Server, there is no additional licensing cost to upgrade. For more information, please click here.

    Manual in-place upgrade for Microsoft Windows Server:

    License Included: Customers using Amazon License Included for Windows Server can perform in-place upgrades for their Windows instances. For more information, click here.

    BYOL: Customers using the BYOL model can perform a manual in-place upgrade for Windows Server following the steps referenced in the License Included option above, using their own Media.

    Manual in-place upgrade for Microsoft SQL Server:

    License Included: AWS customers using License Included SQL Server can perform in-place upgrades on running instances. Please contact AWS support for additional assistance and detail on upgrade paths.

    BYOL: Customers using the BYOL model can perform a manual in-place upgrade for SQL Server using their Media. For more information, click here.

    Explore other platform options. AWS is committed to offering its customers the most flexibility in the cloud. AWS customers interested in the benefits of migrating certain SQL Server or Windows workloads to a different platform can contact their AWS account teams for more information.

    For more information on all of Amazon’s products and Services, click here.

    Q. Can I purchase Extended Security Updates to cover instances that run on AWS, utilizing Microsoft EOS software?

    Yes, Extended Security Updates are available directly from Microsoft or a Microsoft licensing partner. Read more about Microsoft's Extended Security Updates here.

    Customers should consider all their options for EOS, see “What are my options for running Microsoft software that is approaching EOS?” for more information.

    Windows Server 2003

    Extended Security Updates available for Amazon License Included? No.

    Extended Security Updates available for Bring Your Own License (BYOL)? No.

    Windows Server 2008/2008 R2

    Extended Security Updates available for Amazon License Included? Yes.

    Extended Security Updates available for Bring Your Own License (BYOL)? Yes; active Software Assurance (SA) required.

    SQL Server 2005

    Extended Security Updates available for Amazon License Included? No.

    Extended Security Updates available for Bring Your Own License (BYOL)? No.

    SQL Server 2008/2008 R2

    Extended Security Updates available for Amazon License Included? No.

    Extended Security Updates available for Bring Your Own License (BYOL)? Yes; active Software Assurance (SA) required.

    Q. Which Microsoft products sold by Amazon are approaching EOS, and when will Microsoft cease support?

    Note: Information reflects publicly available Microsoft EOS dates as of April 4th, 2019.

    Microsoft Windows Server:

    • Windows Server 2003 - July 14th, 2015 
    • Windows Server 2008 - January 14th, 2020
    • Windows Server 2008 R2 – January 14th, 2020


    Microsoft SQL Server:

    • SQL Server 2005 – April 12th, 2016 
    • SQL Server 2008 – July 9th, 2019
    • SQL Server 2008 R2 – July 9th, 2019

    More information on Microsoft's Application Lifecycle can be found here.

    Q. What Amazon products and services are affected by EOS and when will changes be made?

    Starting July 1st, 2019 Microsoft requires AWS to no longer publish and distribute License Included Managed AWS Windows AMIs (available in AWS Management Console and Quick Start), media, and services that use or contain Microsoft EOS products. Products that have reached end of support in prior years are also subject to these restrictions. The following products and services are affected:

    Managed AWS Windows AMIs:

    AWS will no longer publish and distribute Managed AWS Windows AMIs that contain EOS software to AWS Management Console, Quick Start or AWS Marketplace.

    Microsoft Windows Server:

    • Windows Server 2003 - July 1st, 2019
    • Windows Server 2008 - January 14th, 2020
    • Windows Server 2008 R2 - January 14th, 2020

    Microsoft SQL Server:

    • SQL Server 2005 – July 1st, 2019
    • SQL Server 2008 - July 9th, 2019
    • SQL Server 2008 R2 - July 9th, 2019

    Amazon Relational Database Service (RDS):

    RDS will automatically upgrade customer databases that remain on SQL Server 2008 to SQL Server 2012 starting on June 1, 2019. We recommend customers test this upgrade prior to this date to ensure compatibility.

    RDS customers can upgrade their Database version at any time. Learn more about upgrading your SQL Server 2008 R2 database in RDS here.

    Amazon WorkSpaces:

    WorkSpaces will stop offering License Included public bundles of Windows 7 Experience powered by Windows Server 2008 R2 after January 14th 2020.

    WorkSpaces launched from License Included public bundles with Windows 7 Desktop Experience will no longer be able to be launched or rebuilt after January 14th 2020.

    There is no impact for WorkSpaces created from BYOL bundles. Customers can continue to launch/rebuild those instances.

    Customers who have created custom License Included bundles powered by Windows Server 2008 R2 will be able to use their custom bundles to launch or rebuild WorkSpaces after EOS.

    Microsoft will not provide patches for EOS products unless customers purchase Extended Security Updates.

    Q. Does the change to Microsoft’s EOS software distribution policy only apply to AWS?

    Microsoft has advised that this change will apply to all hyperscale cloud providers.

    Q. What are my options for running Microsoft software that is approaching EOS?

    AWS customers running EOS software on EC2 instances have several options:

    Remain on EOS software: Customers may decide to remain on EOS software. There will be no impact to existing instances, or to custom AMIs. Customers who are interested in purchasing Extended Security Updates from Microsoft should review the answer to the question, “Can I purchase Extended Security Updates from Microsoft to cover EOS instances that run on AWS?”.

    Automated upgrade: For customers with SQL Server 2008 R2 and Windows Server 2008 R2, AWS Systems Manager automates the performance of non-destructive in-place upgrades. SQL Server 2008 R2 customers can upgrade to SQL Server 2012 R2 and again to SQL Server 2016 (BYOL only). Windows Server 2008 R2 customers can upgrade to Windows Server 2012 R2. For customers with a License Included (LI) version of Windows Server or SQL Server, there is no additional licensing cost to upgrade. For more information, please click here.

    Manual in-place upgrade for Microsoft Windows Server:

    License Included: Customers using Amazon License Included for Windows Server can perform in-place upgrades for their Windows instances. For more information, click here.

    BYOL: Customers using the BYOL model can perform a manual in-place upgrade for Windows Server following the steps referenced in the License Included option above, using their own Media.

    Manual in-place upgrade for Microsoft SQL Server:

    License Included: AWS customers using License Included SQL Server can perform in-place upgrades on running instances. Please contact AWS support for additional assistance and detail on upgrade paths.

    BYOL: Customers using the BYOL model can perform a manual in-place upgrade for SQL Server using their Media. For more information, click here.

    Explore other platform options. AWS is committed to offering its customers the most flexibility in the cloud. AWS customers interested in the benefits of migrating certain SQL Server or Windows workloads to a different platform can contact their AWS account teams for more information.

    For more information on all of Amazon’s products and Services, click here.

    Q. What are other AWS Customers doing?

    AWS customers such as Sysco, Hess, Ancestry, and Expedia have successfully migrated and modernized their Windows workloads on AWS. Read more about what AWS customers are doing here.

    Q. What are the cost implications of moving to a supported Microsoft Operating System or SQL Server version?

    License Included: There is no additional licensing costs to move to a newer version of the software when using Amazon's License Included options, for example:

    • Microsoft Windows Server 2019 is the same price as Microsoft Windows Server 2003/2008/2008 R2.
    • Microsoft SQL Server 2017 (by edition) is the same price as Microsoft SQL Server 2005/2008/2008 R2 (by edition).

    BYOL: Customers with active Software Assurance (SA) can upgrade to a newer version at no cost. Customers without SA can purchase a new license from Microsoft.

    Q. If I experience a technical issue running a product that has reached Microsoft EOS, will AWS Support assist me?

    Yes, customers with AWS Support plans will be able to engage AWS Support for technical issues.

    NOTE: As per Microsoft's policy, after the end of the Extended Support, Microsoft will no longer provide patches or security updates unless Extended Security updates has been purchased.

    Find more information on AWS Support plans here.

    Q. If I have further questions around the use of Microsoft EOS on AWS, whom should I contact?

    Please email aws.EOS.Microsoft@amazon.com.

    Q. Specifically, which License Included Managed AWS Windows AMIs are affected and when does this take effect?

    July 1st, 2019

    • Windows_Server-2003-R2_SP2-English-32Bit-Base-*
    • Windows_Server-2003-R2_SP2-English-64Bit-Base-*
    • Windows_Server-2003-R2_SP2-English-64Bit-SQL_2005_SP4_Express-*
    • Windows_Server-2003-R2_SP2-English-64Bit-SQL_2005_SP4_Standard-*
    • Windows_Server-2003-R2_SP2-Language_Packs-32Bit-Base-*
    • Windows_Server-2003-R2_SP2-Language_Packs-64Bit-Base-*
    • Windows_Server-2003-R2_SP2-Language_Packs-64Bit-SQL_2005_SP4_Express-*
    • Windows_Server-2003-R2_SP2-Language_Packs-64Bit-SQL_2005_SP4_Standard-*

    July 9th, 2019

    • Windows_Server-2008-R2_SP1-English-64Bit-SQL_2008_R2_SP3_Express-*
    • Windows_Server-2008-R2_SP1-English-64Bit-SQL_2008_R2_SP3_Standard-*
    • Windows_Server-2008-R2_SP1-English-64Bit-SQL_2008_R2_SP3_Web-*
    • Windows_Server-2008-R2_SP1-Japanese-64Bit-SQL_2008_R2_SP3_Express-*
    • Windows_Server-2008-R2_SP1-Japanese-64Bit-SQL_2008_R2_SP3_Standard-*
    • Windows_Server-2008-R2_SP1-Japanese-64Bit-SQL_2008_R2_SP3_Web-*
    • Windows_Server-2008-R2_SP1-Language_Packs-64Bit-SQL_2008_R2_SP3_Express-*
    • Windows_Server-2008-R2_SP1-Language_Packs-64Bit-SQL_2008_R2_SP3_Standard-*
    • Windows_Server-2008-SP2-English-64Bit-SQL_2008_SP4_Express-*
    • Windows_Server-2008-SP2-English-64Bit-SQL_2008_SP4_Standard-*
    • Windows_Server-2012-RTM-English-64Bit-SQL_2008_R2_SP3_Express-*
    • Windows_Server-2012-RTM-English-64Bit-SQL_2008_R2_SP3_Standard-*
    • Windows_Server-2012-RTM-English-64Bit-SQL_2008_R2_SP3_Web-*
    • Windows_Server-2012-RTM-Japanese-64Bit-SQL_2008_R2_SP3_Express-*
    • Windows_Server-2012-RTM-Japanese-64Bit-SQL_2008_R2_SP3_Standard-*

    January 14th, 2020

    • Windows_Server-2008-R2_SP1-Chinese_Hong_Kong_SAR-64Bit-Base-*
    • Windows_Server-2008-R2_SP1-Chinese_PRC-64Bit-Base-*
    • Windows_Server-2008-R2_SP1-English-64Bit-Base-*
    • Windows_Server-2008-R2_SP1-English-64Bit-Core-*
    • Windows_Server-2008-R2_SP1-English-64Bit
    • Core_SQL_2012_SP4_Standard-*
    • Windows_Server-2008-R2_SP1-English-64Bit-SharePoint_2010_SP2_Foundation-*
    • Windows_Server-2008-R2_SP1-English-64Bit-SQL_2012_RTM_SP2_Enterprise-*
    • Windows_Server-2008-R2_SP1-English-64Bit-SQL_2012_SP4_Enterprise-*
    • Windows_Server-2008-R2_SP1-English-64Bit-SQL_2012_SP4_Express-*
    • Windows_Server-2008-R2_SP1-English-64Bit-SQL_2012_SP4_Standard-*
    • Windows_Server-2008-R2_SP1-English-64Bit-SQL_2012_SP4_Web-*
    • Windows_Server-2008-R2_SP1-Japanese-64Bit-Base-*
    • Windows_Server-2008-R2_SP1-Japanese-64Bit-SQL_2012_SP4_Express-*
    • Windows_Server-2008-R2_SP1-Japanese-64Bit-SQL_2012_SP4_Standard-*
    • Windows_Server-2008-R2_SP1-Korean-64Bit-Base-*
    • Windows_Server-2008-R2_SP1-Language_Packs-64Bit-Base-*
    • Windows_Server-2008-R2_SP1-Portuguese_Brazil-64Bit-Base-*
    • Windows_Server-2008-R2_SP1-Portuguese_Brazil-64Bit-Core-*
    • Windows_Server-2008-SP2-English-32Bit-Base-*
    • Windows_Server-2008-SP2-English-64Bit-Base-*
    • Windows_Server-2008-SP2-Portuguese_Brazil-32Bit-Base-*
    • Windows_Server-2008-SP2-Portuguese_Brazil-64Bit-Base-*

    The following steps show how to install a Microsoft Extended Security Update (ESU) activation key on your Amazon EC2 Windows Server 2008 instance.

    Prerequisites
    The following updates must be installed on your Server 2008 system. If you launched your instance from the Amazon-provided public AMI on or later than September 11, 2019, the following updates are already installed.

    • Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1: KB4490628, KB4474419, and KB4516655
    • Windows Server 2008 SP2: KB4493730, KB4474419, and KB4517134

    Steps to Install Activation Keys

    Step 1: Open a command prompt with administrator privileges.
    Step 2: Run the following command.

    slmgr /ipk <your ESU key>

    A window will appear to confirm that the key was successfully installed.

    image

    Step 3: Run the following command.

    slmgr /dlv

    A window will appear that shows the Activation ID.

    image (1)

    Step 4: Copy or document the Activation ID.
    Step 5: Run the following command.

    slmgr /ato <your Activation ID>

    A window will appear to confirm whether the key was successfully updated.

    image (2)

    Glossary

    AMI (Amazon Machine Image): Is a template for the root volume for the instance (for example, an operating system, an application server, and applications), manages launch permissions that control which AWS accounts can use the AMI to launch instances. Contains a block device mapping that specifies the volumes to attach to the instance when it's launched.

    AWS (Amazon Web Services): offers a broad set of global compute, storage, database, analytics, application, and deployment services that help organizations move faster, lower IT costs, and scale applications.

    AWS Management Console: access and manage Amazon Web Services through a simple and intuitive web-based user interface.

    BYOL (Bring Your Own License): is a process you can use to deploy software that you have previously licensed on physically dedicated AWS hardware. If you BYOL, you do not pay for instances with licensing included in the cost. Instead, you pay the same rate as EC2 instances with Amazon Linux pricing. When you BYOL, you are responsible for managing your own licenses.

    CloudEndure: offers reliable business continuity solutions that minimize data loss and downtime due to human errors, network failures, external threats, or any other disruptions. Our Disaster Recovery and Migration solutions are powered by innovative workload mobility technology, which continuously replicates applications from any physical, virtual, or cloud-based infrastructure into Amazon Web Services (AWS). As such, CloudEndure is uniquely qualified to support large-scale, heterogeneous environments with diverse applications and infrastructure.

    Custom AMI: is an AMI created in your account either built from an imported image or captured from an existing instance. For example, you can launch an instance from an existing AMI, customize the instance, and then save this updated configuration as a custom AMI. Instances launched from this new custom AMI include the customizations that you made when you created the AMI.

    EC2 (Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud): provides scalable computing capacity in the Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud.

    EOS (End of Support): is a term used to reference Microsoft ending support for a product, in accordance with their Product Lifecycle policy.

    Hyperscale: refers to the facilities and provisioning required in distributed computing environments to efficiently scale from a few servers to thousands of servers. Hyperscale computing is usually used in environments such as big data and cloud computing.

    In-Place Upgrade: upgrades the operating system files while your personal settings and files are intact.

    Instance (EC2 Instance): is a virtual server in the AWS cloud. Its configuration at launch is a copy of the AMI that you specified when you launched the instance.

    LI (License Included): refers to the use of Amazon's Microsoft Licensing Agreement for Windows Server and SQL Server.

    VMIE (AWS VM Import/Export): is an AWS Service used to import Operating System Images to AWS EC2 in an offline mode.

    RDS (Amazon Relational Database Service): is a web service that makes it easier to set up, operate, and scale a relational database in the cloud. It provides cost-efficient, resizable capacity for an industry-standard relational database and manages common database administration tasks.

    SA (Software Assurance): is a comprehensive program offered by Microsoft to help deploy, manage, and use Microsoft products efficiently.

    SMS (AWS Server Migration Service): is an AWS Service used to import Operating System Images to AWS EC2 in an online mode.

    WorkSpaces (Amazon Workspaces): is a managed, secure cloud desktop service. You can use Amazon WorkSpaces to provision either Windows or Linux desktops in just a few minutes and quickly scale to provide thousands of desktops to workers across the globe.

    What are my licensing options for Microsoft software on Amazon EC2?

    On Amazon EC2, you can choose to run instances that include the relevant license fees in their cost (“license included”) or to utilize licenses you have already purchased from Microsoft. For Microsoft software, EC2 allows you to pay for instances that include Windows Server and SQL Server licenses. For all other Microsoft software, customers can bring their own license, subject to Microsoft’s terms.

    What is BYOL?

    BYOL, or “bring your own license” is the process of bringing previously purchased, on premises licenses to AWS. AWS has both shared and dedicated deployment options to meet your BYOL needs. When you BYOL, the licensing cost of the product you bring is no longer included in the price of the instance. When you bring licenses, you are responsible for managing your licenses. Amazon EC2 has features such as AWS License Manager and targeted placement on Dedicated Hosts, which help you maintain license compliance throughout the lifecycle of your licenses.

     

    What is License Mobility?

    License Mobility is a Microsoft Software Assurance benefit that allows you to bring specific product licenses to shared cloud infrastructure, including default (shared) tenant Amazon EC2. Active Software Assurance is required to be eligible for License Mobility. For additional information on License Mobility, please see the License Mobility page on the AWS site.

    For more information on bringing licenses without Software Assurance or License Mobility benefits, please visit this section of the FAQ.

     

    How do I know if a specific Microsoft product is eligible for License Mobility?

    This information is included in the Microsoft Product Terms. Every product has an individual Software Assurance section that indicates License Mobility eligibility.  License Mobility eligible products include SQL Server, Remote Desktop Services, System Center, Exchange, and SharePoint.

     

    Do I need active Software Assurance and License Mobility benefits to use my Microsoft licenses in AWS?

    There are specific BYOL scenarios that do not require Software Assurance or License Mobility benefits. EC2 dedicated infrastructure is always required in these scenarios. To be eligible, the licenses must be purchased prior to 10/1/2019 or added as a true-up under an active Enterprise Enrollment that was effective prior to 10/1/2019. In these specific BYOL scenarios, the licenses can only be upgraded to versions that were available prior to 10/1/2019.

     

    If I bring my own license, can I relicense AWS's Microsoft media or do I need to bring in my own media (a.k.a. “bring your own bits”)?

    No, you must import and license your own media. To get started, you can use the ImportImage API (from AWS CLI or AWS Tool for Windows PowerShell) to import your own media (VHD, VMDK, OVA). If you are importing from VMware vCenter, you can also use AWS Server Migration Service. After the media has been imported, you will see your images in the “My AMIs” console, or you can describe these images using the DescribeImages API.

    After I import my Microsoft media, do I need to activate my media against my own key management server (KMS)?

    Yes, when you launch an instance of your own image, your OS will prompt you to activate the image against your KMS.

    How do I know what type of offering to use if I’m bringing my own license?

    Please read your licensing terms and conditions and select the AWS model that meets your needs. Generally speaking, there are various products and each have differing levels of BYOL support.

    How do I import my own licensed machine image into AWS?

    In order to BYOL of Microsoft software into AWS, you need to use the ImportImage tool made available by the EC2 VM Import/Export service. Do not use the ImportInstance tool as it does not support Microsoft BYOL scenarios.

    I've read in my licensing terms that certain licenses must be used on infrastructure that’s dedicated for my use. How does Amazon EC2 allow me to meet this requirement if I’m using my own licenses?

    Amazon EC2 offers two purchasing options that provide you with dedicated infrastructure: Dedicated Hosts and Dedicated Instances. It is important to note that most BYOL scenarios are supported through the use of Dedicated Hosts, while only certain scenarios are supported by Dedicated Instances.

    There are specific BYOL scenarios that do not require Software Assurance or License Mobility benefits. EC2 dedicated infrastructure is always required in these scenarios. To be eligible, the licenses must be purchased prior to 10/1/2019 or added as a true-up under an active Enterprise Enrollment that was effective prior to 10/1/2019. In these specific BYOL scenarios, the licenses can only be upgraded to versions that were available prior to 10/1/2019. 


    When you bring products that are licensed at the physical level only (e.g. Windows Server, certain SQL Server licenses, etc) Dedicated Hosts provide visibility into physical processor and core counts and are therefore the recommended deployment model.


    For more information on Dedicated Hosts, visit the Dedicated Hosts detail page.


    For more information on Dedicated Instances, visit the Dedicated Instances detail page.

    I've read in my licensing terms that a license cannot move to another region or physical machine for at least 90 days. How does Amazon EC2 help me meet this requirement if I’m using my own licenses?

    Instance Affinity (only available through the use of Amazon EC2 Dedicated Hosts) and Dedicated Host targeting helps you to monitor this requirement. When you enable Affinity between an instance and a Dedicated Host, that particular instance will only run on a specific Dedicated Host. Using Dedicated Host targeting, you can launch instances onto a specific Dedicated Host, giving you full control over how your licenses are used.

    For more information on these features, visit the Dedicated Hosts detail page.

    When can I bring my own license using EC2 instances with default tenancy?

    License Mobility through Software Assurance allows customers to bring eligible Microsoft software licenses into AWS for use on EC2 instances with default tenancy. The AWS License Mobility Page is a great place to start the process. If you are planning to take advantage of License Mobility in AWS, you will need to fill out the appropriate License Mobility forms. With License Mobility, you can use these images on EC2 Windows Server license-included instances running on EC2 instances with default tenancy. Windows Server licenses must be purchased from AWS in this scenario.

    What is VM Import/Export?

    VM Import/Export enables you to easily import virtual machine images from your existing environment to Amazon EC2 instances. This service allows you to leverage your existing investments in the virtual machines that you have built to meet your IT security, configuration management, and compliance requirements by bringing those virtual machines into Amazon EC2 as ready-to-use instances. If you are planning to use your own Microsoft licenses, use the ImportImage tool made available by the VM Import/Export service to import your own Microsoft media.

    The VM Import/Export service is available at no additional charge beyond standard usage charges for Amazon EC2 and Amazon S3.

    What is EC2's default tenancy?

    EC2 Dedicated instances and EC2 Dedicated Hosts provide instance capacity on physical servers that are fully dedicated for your use. Alternatively, EC2 offers instances with a tenancy of ‘default’ which run on physical servers that may host multiple isolated instances from different customers.

    What is dedicated infrastructure?

    Dedicated infrastructure provides servers that are physically isolated for use by a single customer. Amazon EC2 has two dedicated infrastructure options: Dedicated Hosts and Dedicated Instances. If you bring existing licenses to Dedicated Hosts or Dedicated Instances, then you are using hardware that is fully dedicated to your use.

    What are Amazon EC2 Dedicated Hosts?

    A Dedicated Host is a physical EC2 server fully dedicated to you. Amazon EC2 Dedicated Hosts allow you to use your eligible software licenses from vendors, including Microsoft, on Amazon EC2, so that you get the flexibility and cost effectiveness of using your own licenses, but with the resiliency, simplicity and elasticity of AWS. With Dedicated Hosts, you have an option to control instance placement and gain visibility into the number of sockets and cores installed on a host. You can use these features to bring your own software licenses bound to virtual instances, sockets, or cores, including Windows Server, Sound forge audio studio 12 crack download - Crack Key For U Server, and SUSE Enterprise Server.

    Dedicated Hosts are often used when customers bring license activate windows 10 pro - Activators Patch do not have Software Assurance or License Mobility benefits. For more information on bringing licenses without Software Assurance or License Mobility benefits, please visit this section of the FAQ.

    Please visit the Dedicated Host detail page for more information.

    How can I manage EC2 Dedicated Hosts?

    You can use AWS License Manager to simplify management of EC2 Dedicated Hosts. You can specify your Dedicated Host management preferences for host allocation and host capacity utilization in AWS License Manager. Once setup, AWS takes care of these administrative tasks on your behalf, so that you can seamlessly launch virtual machines (instances) on Dedicated Hosts just like you would launch an EC2 instance with AWS provided licenses. AWS License Manager helps track licenses used with Dedicated Host, and helps you stay compliant with your specified licensing rules such as 90 day affinity.

    What are Amazon EC2 Dedicated Instances?

    Dedicated instances are Amazon EC2 instances that run Graphic - Activators Patch hardware that is dedicated to a single customer. For more information on Dedicated Instances, please visit the Dedicated Instance page.

    What’s the difference between Dedicated Hosts and Dedicated Instances?

    Both offerings provide instances that are dedicated to your use. However, Dedicated Hosts provide additional control over your instances and visibility into Host level resources and tooling that allows you to manage software that consumes licenses on a per-core or per-socket basis, such as Windows Server and SQL Server. In addition, AWS Config will keep a record of how your instances use these Dedicated Host resources which will allow you to create your own license usage reports.

    Does AWS recommend an EC2 purchasing model if I want to bring my own licenses?

    In order to take full advantage of EC2 it is recommended that customers first consider bringing eligible licenses through License Mobility. Default tenancy EC2 allows customers to scale capacity up and down according to changing needs. This allows customers to pay only for what they use. SQL is the most common product brought to AWS through License Mobility.

    Amazon EC2 Dedicated Hosts are ideal for products that are not eligible for License Mobility or for which active Software Assurance is not in place. For more information on bringing licenses without Software Assurance or License Mobility benefits, please visit this section of the FAQ.

    Dedicated Hosts are most cost effective when the host is highly utilized and in a steady, non-variable state. A Dedicated Host will support the BYOL scenarios outlined in this FAQ and provide customers with more control and visibility over how their instances are placed, which is useful for minimizing risk and licensing costs in a BYOL scenario. Additionally, Dedicated Hosts support per-socket, per-core, VM, and CAL based licenses. Windows is the most common product brought to Dedicated Hosts.

    What are my options for bringing development licenses to AWS?

    AWS customers have options for bringing Microsoft developer products to AWS for use on test, development, and non-production workloads.

    Please see this sectionfor information on bringing Microsoft Developer Network (MSDN) licenses.

    SQL Server 2019 Developer edition is available as a free download from Microsoft. Once downloaded from Microsoft, AWS customers can bring and install SQL Server 2019 Developer edition on Amazon EC2 instances. Dedicated infrastructure is not required for SQL Server 2019 Developer edition.

    Is Windows Server eligible for BYOL on EC2?

    There are three requirements for Windows Server to be eligible for BYOL on EC2:

    1. The licenses must be deployed on EC2 Dedicated Hosts.
    2. The licenses must have been purchased before 10/1/2019 (or added as a true-up under an agreement that was effective prior to 10/1/2019).
    3. The version was publically available prior to 10/1/2019.

    Software Assurance is not a requirement for Windows Server BYOL.

    What are Amazon EC2 Dedicated Hosts?

    A Dedicated Host is a physical EC2 server fully dedicated to you. Amazon EC2 Dedicated Hosts allow you to use your eligible software licenses from vendors, including Microsoft, on Amazon EC2, so that you get the flexibility and cost effectiveness pro evolution soccer 2019 - Free Activators using your own licenses, but with the resiliency, simplicity and elasticity of AWS. With Dedicated Hosts, you have an option to control instance placement and gain visibility into the number of sockets and cores installed on a host. You can use these features to bring your own software licenses bound to virtual instances, sockets, or cores, including Windows Server, SQL Server, and SUSE Enterprise Server.

    Dedicated Hosts are often used when customers bring license that do not have Software Assurance or License Mobility benefits. For more information on bringing licenses without Software Assurance or License Mobility benefits, please visit this section of the FAQ.

    Please visit the Dedicated Host detail page for more information.

    How can I manage EC2 Dedicated Hosts?

    You can use AWS License Manager to simplify management of EC2 Dedicated Hosts. You can specify your Dedicated Host management preferences for host allocation and host capacity utilization in AWS License Manager. Once setup, AWS takes care of these administrative tasks on your behalf, so that you can seamlessly launch virtual machines (instances) on Dedicated Hosts just like you would launch an EC2 instance with AWS provided licenses. AWS License Manager helps track licenses used with Dedicated Host, and helps you stay compliant with your specified licensing rules such as 90 day affinity.

    How can I control instance placements in the EC2 Dedicated Hosts?

    You have the option to launch instances onto a specific Dedicated Host, or you can let Amazon EC2 place the instances automatically based on your licensing preferences in AWS License Manager. Controlling instance placement allows you to deploy applications to address licensing, corporate compliance, and regulatory requirements.

    Can I run multiple instance types on a Dedicated Host?

    You can run different instance sizes within the same instance family on a Dedicated Host using AWS Nitro instance family. This allows you to maximize utilization of your Dedicated Host fleet as well as your software licenses.

    How do I import and use my own Windows Server license?

    You can bring in your own licensed copy of Windows Server media using the ImageImport tool made available by the EC2 VM Import/Export service. Once these images are imported, you can find them under the “my AMIs” section in the AWS Management Console or by using the DescribeImages API. You can then launch instances from your BYOL machine images onto Dedicated Hosts.

    Visit this link for more information on how to bring your own machine images into AWS.

    Keep in mind that when you choose to bring in your existing Windows Server licenses, you cannot utilize Windows Server AMIs that you purchase from AWS through license-included instances. You must bring in your own licenses using your own software media.

    How do I track usage if I’m bringing my own licenses?

    Using AWS Config as the data source and Dedicated Hosts as the platform to run BYOL instances, you can track BYOL usage against physical resources such as sockets and cores. Before you begin launching BYOL instances onto your Dedicated Hosts, ensure AWS Config has been enabled to record Dedicated Host changes. AWS Config keeps track of the configuration changes that occur on a Dedicated Host, including the instances and corresponding IDs of AMIs that ran on a Dedicated Host. These changes are paired with Host level data, such as the Host ID and the number of sockets and physical cores installed on a Dedicated Host. AWS Config will also keep track of instance tags. We recommend that you tag your instances with a meaningful identifier if you would like a human-readable way to identify BYOL instances in the AWS Config output. Visit this page for more information on AWS Config.

    How do I determine the number of licenses of Windows Server to bring in?

    Visit the Dedicated Hosts detail page for information on the number of instances available per Dedicated Host. On this page you will also find the number of sockets and cores installed on each EC2 Dedicated Host. The instance, socket, and core counts vary by the instance type configuration of the Dedicated Host.

    Do I need to have Software Assurance on Windows Server on AWS?

    No, if you are using Dedicated Hosts to bring your own Windows Server licenses, you do not need to have Software Assurance (SA).  Windows Server licenses can be brought to Dedicated Hosts if the licenses were purchased prior to 10/1/2019 or added as a true-up under an active Enterprise Enrollment that was effective prior to 10/1/2019. In these specific BYOL scenarios, the licenses can only be upgraded to versions that were available prior to 10/1/2019.  When you purchase Windows Server as license included instances from AWS, there is no need for you to have Software Assurance to cover those Windows Server licenses.

    How do I run Windows Server on Dedicated Hosts after Microsoft’s licensing update announced in 2019?

    In 2019, Microsoft updated the licensing terms for dedicated hosts cloud service. Based on the new licensing terms, you can bring your eligible Windows Server licenses to Dedicated Hosts if the licenses were purchased prior to 10/1/2019 or added as a true-up under an active Enterprise Enrollment that was effective prior to 10/1/2019. In these specific BYOL scenarios, the licenses can only be upgraded to versions that were available prior to 10/1/2019.

    If you don’t have eligible Window Server licenses or if you want to run the latest versions of Windows Server offered after 10/1/2019, then you can use Windows Server AMIs provided by Amazon on Dedicated Hosts. This will allow you to continue using Dedicated Hosts for your Windows and SQL workloads. For more details refer to the pricing section for software usage on Dedicated Hosts.

    Does License Mobility work with Windows Server?

    No, as specified in the Microsoft Product Terms, Windows Server is not eligible for License Mobility. For more information on bringing licenses without Software Assurance or License Mobility benefits, please visit this section of the FAQ.

    How can I use my own Windows Server license on EC2 instances with a default tenancy?

    When you deploy Windows Server licenses on Dedicated Hosts you will instances with a tenancy of ‘host’. You should not use your own Windows Server license on EC2 instances with default tenancy unless you have approval from Microsoft to do so. If you have negotiated custom terms with Microsoft and have this permission, please contact AWS support or reach out to your account manager.

    What is included when I buy Windows Server instances from AWS?

    AWS manages the licensing for you; all you need to do is pay for the instances you use. There is also no need to buy additional Windows Server CALs, as access is included in the price. Each instance comes with two remote connections for admin purposes only. If you require more than two connections, or need those connections for purposes other than admin, you may have to bring in additional Remote Desktop Services CALs for use on AWS.

    Can I relicense license-included, EC2 Windows Server instances to use my own licenses, pointing at my own KMS server?

    No, you cannot relicense existing Windows Server EC2 instances or migrate existing Windows Server EC2 instances over to BYOL VMs. However, if you need to migrate from license-included to BYOL and have applications or OS configurations that need to be migrated, we suggest that you reach out to our partners, such as CloudEndure or AppZero, who may be able to Graphic - Activators Patch with these types of migrations.

    Can I buy SQL Server from AWS?

    Yes, you can utilize instances with SQL Server licenses included from AWS to run on either Amazon EC2 or Amazon Relational Database Service (RDS). SQL Server Web Edition, Standard Edition, and Enterprise Edition are available for your use on both Amazon EC2 and Amazon RDS.


    Can I bring in my own SQL Server licenses for use on AWS?

    Yes. You can bring your own SQL Server licenses to AWS.

    • SQL Server licenses with active Software Assurance

    You can bring your SQL Server licenses with active Software Assurance to default (shared) tenant Amazon EC2 through License Mobility benefits. The AWS License Mobility Page is a great place for information on the process. Microsoft requires that customers complete and send a License Mobility verification form which can be downloaded here.

    • SQL Server licenses without active Software Assurance

    SQL Server licenses without Software Assurance can be deployed on Dedicated Hosts if the licenses are purchased prior to 10/1/2019 or added as a true-up under an active Enterprise Enrollment that was effective prior to 10/1/2019. In these specific BYOL scenarios, the licenses can only be upgraded to versions that were available prior to 10/1/2019. For more information on Dedicated Hosts, please see this section of the FAQ as well as the Dedicated Hosts detail page.


    Can I use License Mobility with SQL Server?

    Yes. SQL Server licenses with active Software Assurance are eligible for License Mobility and can be deployed on default or dedicated tenant EC2. For additional details on bringing SQL Server licenses with active Software Assurance to default tenant EC2, please see the Microsoft License Mobility page on the AWS site.


    It is also possible to bring SQL Server licenses without active Software Assurance to EC2 Dedicated Hosts. To be eligible, the licenses must be purchased prior to 10/1/2019 or added as a true-up under an active Enterprise Enrollment that was effective prior to 10/1/2019. For more information on EC2 Dedicated Hosts, please see this section of the FAQ.


    Do I have to pay for SQL Server passive failover?

    There are various factors to consider when licensing passive failover for SQL Server. The information below pertains only to the SQL Server licenses and not the Windows Server licenses. In all cases, you must license Windows Server. For more information on SQL and failover server scenarios, visit this Microsoft SQL Server Licensing guide.

    • Using instances that include the license for SQL Server:
      Customers purchasing SQL Server license included instances on EC2 must license passive failover instances.
    • Bringing SQL Server licenses with active Software Assurance to default tenant EC2:
      Customers bringing SQL Server 2014 and later versions with Software Assurance to default tenant EC2 will license the virtual cores (vCPUs) on the active instance. In return, Software Assurance permits the customer one passive instance (equal or lesser size) where SQL Server licensing is not required.
    • Bringing SQL Server to Amazon EC2 Dedicated Hosts or Amazon EC2 Dedicated Instances
      • SQL Server 2014 and later versions
        Software Assurance is required for SQL Server passive failover benefits on dedicated infrastructure. Customers bringing SQL Server with Software Assurance will license the cores on the active instance/host and are permitted one passive instance/host (equal or lesser size) where SQL Server licensing is not required.
      • SQL Server 2008 – SQL Server 2012R2
        SQL Server 2008 -2012R2 are eligible for passive failover on EC2 dedicated infrastructure without active Software Assurance. In these scenarios, the customer will microsoft office 2019 download - Free Activators the active instance/host, and is permitted one passive instance/host of equal or lesser size where SQL Server licensing is not required. Please click here for information on bringing SQL Server without active Software Assurance.

     

    How do I know how many SQL Server licenses to bring in?

    If you are licensing SQL Server under Microsoft’s License Mobility through Software Assurance, the number of licenses required varies based on the instance type, version of SQL Server, and the Microsoft licensing model you choose. To assist you with your virtual core licensing calculations under the Microsoft Product Terms, we provide a table here that shows the number of virtual representations of hardware threads based on instance type.

    If you are using Dedicated Hosts, EC2 provides you with the number of physical cores installed on the Dedicated Host. Using this information, you can calculate the number of SQL Server licenses that you need to bring in. For additional information, we recommend referencing Microsoft documentation, such as the licensing guide for SQL Server 2019 (see here).

    What are the use cases for SQL Server Web Edition?

    The Service Provider Use Rights (SPUR) state that SQL Server Web may be used to support public and Internet accessible web pages, web sites, web applications and web services. SQL Server Web may not be used to support line of business applications (e.g., Customer Relationship Management, Enterprise Resource Management and other similar applications). For addition information on use cases for SQL Server Web, please consult Microsoft or your Microsoft reseller.


    How do I track usage if I’m bringing my own licenses?

    Using AWS Config as the data source you can track configuration changes against physical resources such as sockets and cores. Before you begin launching BYOL instances onto AWS, ensure AWS Config has been enabled to record any changes. AWS Config keeps track of the changes that occur, including the instances and corresponding AMI IDs that ran. These changes are paired with Host level data, such as the Host ID and the number of sockets and physical cores installed. AWS Config will also keep track of instance tags. We recommend that you tag your instances with a meaningful identifier if you would like a human-readable way to identify BYOL instances in your AWS Config logs. Visit this page for more information on AWS Config.

     

    Can SQL Server 2019 Developer Edition be used on AWS?

    Yes. SQL Server 2019 Developer Edition is available as a free download from Microsoft. SQL Server 2019 Developer Edition is eligible for use in non-production, development, and test workloads. Once downloaded from Microsoft, AWS customers can bring and install SQL Server 2019 Developer Edition on Amazon EC2 instances. Dedicated infrastructure is not required for SQL Server 2019 Developer Edition.

     

    Are SQL CALS required on AWS?

    Customers using SQL Server on Amazon EC2 or Amazon RDS license included instances do not require client access licenses (CALs) for SQL Server. An unlimited number of end users can access SQL Server on a license included instance.

    Customers bringing their own SQL Server licenses to Amazon EC2 through license mobility or bring your own licenses (BYOL), will continue to follow the licensing rules they have in place on-premises. If the customer purchased SQL Server under the Server/CAL model, they would still require CALs to meet Microsoft licensing requirements, but these CALs would remain on-premises and enable end user access SQL Server running on AWS.

    Can I bring Microsoft Developer Network (MSDN) licenses to AWS?

    Microsoft Development Network (MSDN) subscriptions purchased through Visual Studio cloud subscriptions, Enterprise Agreement Subscription, Open Value Subscription, Campus Agreement, or other “subscription” Volume Licensing programs prior to October 1, 2019 are eligible for deployment on EC2 Dedicated Hosts or EC2 Dedicated Instances. However, Microsoft made changes to the license terms under these specific subscription programs that do not permit BYOL for subscriptions purchased or renewed after October 1, 2019, and these new terms become effective at renewal.

    Per Microsoft’s Visual Studio Licensing Guide, Visual Studio subscriptions purchased through certain channels provide sketchbook pro 8.4.2 crack - Crack Key For U use rights even after the subscription has expired. The use of perpetual licenses acquired before 10/1/2019 for products released prior to 10/1/2019 is permitted on AWS dedicated infrastructure regardless of the renewal or expiration of the subscription under which the perpetual licenses were acquired.

    Can I buy MSDN from AWS?

    No, AWS does not sell MSDN licenses.


    Can I use MSDN on AWS instances with a default tenancy?

    No, Microsoft does not allow MSDN licenses to be utilized on AWS instances with a default tenancy.


    Does License Mobility work with MSDN?

    No, MSDN is not included in Microsoft’s License Mobility program.

    Can I buy Windows Client from AWS?

    No. AWS does not sell any Windows Client operating system licenses on any of our services.


    Can I bring my own Windows Desktop Client licenses for use on AWS?

    Yes. Perpetual Windows Enterprise desktop licenses with active Software Assurance (SA) purchased before 10/1/2019 (or as a true-up under an agreement effective before 10/1/2019) can be deployed on AWS dedicated infrastructure until SA renewal. Upon SA renewal, Microsoft license terms require a transition to VDA E3/E5 user licenses for the deployment of Windows desktop client on dedicated AWS infrastructure.


    Can I use License Mobility with Windows Client?

    No, as specified in the Microsoft Product Terms, License Mobility does not apply to Windows Client. License Mobility is not required to deploy Windows Client licenses on EC2 Dedicated Hosts or EC2 Dedicated Instances. If you choose to use Dedicated Hosts and BYOL, then you can bring in your own licenses for Windows Client without needing License Mobility although you may be required to purchase a VDA license from Microsoft at future EA renewal.

     

    Can I bring in my own Office licenses for use on AWS?

    Yes, you can BYOL perpetual Microsoft Office licenses for use on EC2 Dedicated Hosts or EC2 Dedicated Instances if the licenses were purchased prior to 10/1/2019 (or added as a true-up under an active Enterprise Enrollment that was effective prior to 10/1/2019). In these specific BYOL scenarios, the licenses can only be upgraded to versions that were available prior to 10/1/2019.  If you bring existing licenses to EC2 Dedicated Hosts or EC2 Dedicated Instances, then you are using hardware that is fully dedicated to your use.

     

    Can I use License Mobility with Microsoft Office?

    No, Microsoft does not grant License Mobility benefits to Microsoft Office.

    Can I buy other license included Microsoft products for use on EC2?

    No. AWS sells only Windows Server and SQL Server licenses today for use on Amazon EC2.


    Can I bring in my own licenses for use on AWS?

    Yes. We have many customers that have successfully brought in and deployed licenses on Amazon EC2. These deployments include, but are not limited to, Exchange, SharePoint, Skype for Business, Remote Desktop Services, Office, Dynamics products, BizTalk, and System Center.

    Customers can choose to use shared EC2 instances and utilize License Mobility or they can purchase EC2 Dedicated Hosts and utilize physically dedicated hardware.

    • Amazon EC2 instances with a default tenancy
      License Mobility through Software Assurance allows qualifying customers to bring in eligible Microsoft software onto AWS default tenancy servers. The AWS License Mobility Page is a great place to start the process. You will need to fill out the appropriate License Mobility forms and file them with Microsoft to ensure that the licenses are able to be imported into AWS.
    • Amazon EC2 Dedicated Host
      EC2 Dedicated Hosts allow customers to bring licenses that do not qualify for License Mobility or that do not have active Software Assurance. When you bring existing licenses to EC2 Dedicated Hosts, you are using hardware that is physically dedicated to your use. For more information on bringing licenses without Software Assurance or License Mobility benefits, please see this section of the FAQ. Please visit the Dedicated Hosts detail page for more information on Dedicated Hosts.

    Can I use License Mobility?

    Yes. License Mobility is a Microsoft Software Assurance benefit that allows you to bring specific product licenses to shared cloud infrastructure, including default (shared) tenant Amazon EC2. Active Software Assurance is required to be eligible for License Mobility. For additional information on License Mobility, please see the License Mobility page on the AWS site.

    For information on bringing licenses without Software Assurance or License Mobility benefits, please see this section of the FAQ.

    How can I obtain additional Remote Desktop Services licenses?

    Each Amazon EC2 instances come with two Remote Desktop Services (aka Terminal Services) licenses for administration purposes. This Quickstart is available to help you provision these licenses for your administrators. You can also use AWS Systems Manager Session Manager, which enables Jar2Exe Offline Installer into EC2 instances without RDP and without a need for RDP licenses. If additional Remote Desktop Services licenses are needed, Remote Desktop user CALs should be purchased from Microsoft or a Microsoft license reseller. Remote Desktop users CALs with active Software Assurance have License Mobility benefits and can be brought to AWS default (shared) tenant environments. For information on bringing licenses without Software Assurance or License Mobility benefits, please see this section of the FAQ.

    If you are providing this is a service to a third party (not internal use), then the Service Provider License Agreement (SPLA) could be used to license Remote Desktop Services. Under this model, you would deploy your service on AWS and rent remote desktop licenses for your end users on a monthly basis. Information on SPLA can be found at: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/CloudandHosting/Licensing_Get_started_with_SPLA.aspx

    Are System Center products such as System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM) and System Center Operations Manager (SCOM) eligible for BYOL on Amazon EC2 Windows Server?

    Yes, System Center Server Standard and System Center Server Datacenter include these Server Management products, and when these licenses have active Software Assurance, they can be deployed on default or dedicated tenant EC2 Windows Server environments through License Mobility.

    In contrast, when System Center products are purchased individually as Client Management Licenses, and are not purchased as part of System Center Standard or System Center Datacenter suites, the licenses are intended for managing end user clients rather than server environments.

    Can I use my own SPLA?

    AWS has many customers and partners that utilize their own SPLA for licensing. AWS customers can use their own SPLA in scenarios where they are offering software services to third parties. Customers that have a SPLA with Microsoft are governed by the Services Provider Use Rights (SPUR). The SPUR describes exactly how customers can outsource their infrastructure to AWS. Products licensed by user can be deployed on multi-tenant AWS and licensed on a monthly basis under the customer’s SPLA. Unless deployed on EC2 dedicated infrastructure, products that are licensed by core or processor (Windows Server, SQL Server) should be licensed with AWS license included instances.

    What are Self Hosting rights?

    ISVs can choose to utilize self-hosting rights with Microsoft as part of their Enterprise Agreement (EA). This allows them to take advantage of pricing that they have negotiated with Microsoft under their EA. Microsoft requires that customers not mix self-hosting rights and SPLA for each application. If you have a solution that is licensed under the self-hosting benefit and you wish to bring it to AWS, you can deploy this on EC2 default tenancy. In this scenario, you would still be required to purchase a Windows license-included instance. Dedicated Hosts are not required for SQL (or other included self-hosting products) due to AWS’s status as a license mobility partner. 

    Can Microsoft BizSpark licenses be used on AWS?

    No, at this time new BizSpark licenses cannot be used on AWS. We encourage startups to try AWS Activate, with benefits including usage credits, support, training and more.

    How frequently does AWS patch Windows AMIs?

    AWS provides updated, fully patched Windows AMIs within 5 business days of Microsoft’s patch Tuesday (second Tuesday of each month).

    What happens with previously published AMIs?

    AWS deprecates previously published Windows and SQL Server AMIs within 10 business days after a new set of AMIs is published.

    How do I know I'm launching the latest AWS published AMI?

    When publishing new Windows AMIs, AWS follows a consistent naming scheme. For example, Windows_Server-2012-R2_RTM-English-64Bit-Base-2014.05.20. Look for the date stamp in the AMI name. You find the date stamp (last 8 digits) at the end of the AMI name.

    What’s new in Windows Server 2019?

    Windows Server 2019 is Microsoft’s newest release of Windows Server. Windows Server 2019 comes loaded with a variety of powerful new features including support for Docker and Windows Containers. By running Windows Server 2019 on Amazon EC2, users can leverage the performance and elasticity of AWS to get up and running on this new release.

    Note: Starting with Windows Server version 1709, Nano Server will be available only as a container base OS image. Please see changes to Nano Server for more details.

    How is AWS supporting Windows Server 2019?

    AWS is releasing several new AMIs, including Windows Server 2019, Windows Server 2019 with Containers and Windows Server 2019 with SQL Server 2017.

    Are there any other significant changes regarding Windows Server 2019 AMIs?

    Windows Server 2019 AMIs feature an all-new version of the SSM agent that replaces the functionality previously supported by the EC2Config service, thereby eliminating the need for EC2Config. With these enhancements, SSM agent now supports a number of advanced settings and launch-time configurations. More details on the new SSM agent in Windows Server 2019 can be found in the User Guide.

    How can I run Windows containers?

    Launch an instance with the new Windows Server 2019 with Containers AMI. You can find a sample walkthrough in the AWS Blog.


    Does Amazon Elastic Container Service (ECS) support Windows containers?

    Yes, Amazon ECS supports Windows containers on container instances that are launched with the Amazon ECS-optimized Windows AMI.

    What will it cost to run Windows Server 2019?

    Windows Server 2019 instances are billed under standard Windows EC2 pricing.

    Which EC2 instance types work best with Windows Server 2019?

    Microsoft recommends a minimum of 2GB RAM – visit the EC2 Instance Types page to see which instances fit best for your application.

    Can I bring my own license (BYOL) for Windows Server 2019?

    You can bring your own license to Amazon EC2 Dedicated Hosts, subject to your licensing terms with Microsoft. Use VM Import to create a Windows Server 2019 AMI from your own copy of Windows Server 2019.

    Can I upgrade my Windows Server instance to Windows Server 2019?

    Yes, you can upgrade Windows instances to Windows Server 2019. Visit this page for more details.

    What AWS regions support Windows Server 2019?

    Windows Server 2019 is available in all public and GovCloud AWS regions.

    What’s new in Windows Server 2016?

    Windows Server 2016 is Microsoft’s newest release of Windows Server. Windows Server 2016 comes loaded with a variety of powerful new features including support for Docker and Windows Containers. The release also features a Nano Server deployment option that boots faster than the Standard Edition and uses a fraction of the disk space. By running Windows Server 2016 on Amazon EC2, users can leverage the performance and elasticity of AWS to get up and running on this new release.

    Note: Starting with Windows Server version 1709, Nano Server will be available only as a container base OS image. Please see Changes to Nano Server for more details.

    How is AWS supporting Windows Server 2016?

    AWS is releasing several new AMIs, including Windows Server 2016, Nano Server, Windows Server 2016 with Containers and Windows Server 2016 with SQL Server 2016.

    How is Nano Server different from Windows Server 2016?

    Nano Server is optimized to run cloud-hosted applications and containers. Compared to Windows Server 2016, it starts faster, requires fewer updates, consumes far less disk space, presents less surface area for security threats, and only runs 64-bit applications, tools, and agents. Nano Server has no graphical user interface – all administration is done remotely via PowerShell or WMI.

    How is the EC2 Console experience different for Nano Server?

    For Nano Server, Get Instance Screenshot and System Log views are supported, however given Nano Server is headless, Connect via RDP is not. Instead, users can administer a running Nano Server instance via PowerShell remoting, via PowerShell CIM sessions over WinRM, or via Windows Remote Management.

    Can I create my own images from Windows Server 2016 and Nano Server instances?

    Yes, you can create customized AMIs from Windows Server 2016 and Nano Server instances. As a best practice, AWS recommends generalizing an image by running sysprep when creating a new Windows AMI, and this continues to be true for Windows Server 2016. However, sysprep is not included in Nano Server, meaning image generalization is not available when creating a Windows AMI from Nano Server. Alternately, users can customize a Nano Server instance post-launch by using Run Command, which enables configuration via remote command execution.

    Are there any other significant changes regarding Windows Server 2016 AMIs?

    Windows Server 2016 and Nano Server AMIs feature an all-new version of the SSM agent that replaces the functionality previously supported by the EC2Config service, thereby eliminating the need for EC2Config. With these enhancements, SSM agent now supports a number of advanced settings and launch-time configurations. More details on the new SSM agent in Windows Server 2016 and Nano Server can be found in the User Guide.

    How can I run Windows containers?

    Launch an instance with the new Windows Server 2016 with Containers AMI. You can find a sample walkthrough in the AWS Blog.

    Does Amazon Elastic Container Service (ECS) support Windows containers?

    Yes. Amazon ECS supports Windows containers on container instances that are launched with the Amazon ECS-optimized Windows AMI.

    What will it cost to run Windows Server 2016?

    Windows Server 2016 instances are billed under standard Windows EC2 pricing.

    Which EC2 instance types work best with Windows Server 2016?

    Microsoft recommends a minimum of 2GB RAM – visit the EC2 Instance Types page to see which instances fit best for your application.

    Can I bring my own license (BYOL) for Windows Server 2016?

    You can bring your own license to Amazon EC2 Dedicated Hosts, subject to your licensing terms with Microsoft. Use VM Import to create a Windows Server 2016 AMI from your own copy of Windows Server 2016.

    Can I upgrade my Windows Server instance to Windows Server 2016?

    Yes, you can upgrade Windows instances to Windows Server 2016. Visit this page for more details.

    What AWS regions support Windows Server 2016?

    Windows Server 2016 is available in all AWS regions. 

    What editions of Windows Server 2012 R2 are available in AMIs?

    We will be releasing AMIs with Windows Server 2012 R2 Standard Edition. For details on the differences between the Windows Server Editions, please refer to the Microsoft documentation.

    Will it cost more to run Windows Server 2012 R2?

    No. Both On-Demand and Reserved instance pricing for Windows Server 2012 R2 is the same as the pricing for earlier versions of Windows Server available on Amazon EC2. You can view the current pricing for Amazon EC2 instances here: http://aws.amazon.com/ec2/pricing.

    Which AWS regions are supported?

    Windows Server 2012 R2 is available in all AWS regions.

    Which Amazon EC2 instance types are supported?

    At this time, all Amazon EC2 instance types are supported.

    What languages are available?

    We support 19 languages with the Windows Server 2012 R2 AMIs. Current list of supported languages: Brazilian Portuguese, Traditional Portuguese, Chinese Simplified, Chinese Traditional, Czech, Dutch, English, French, German, Hungarian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Polish, Russian, Spanish, Swedish, and Turkish.

    How do I deploy my applications running Windows Server 2012 R2 to AWS?

    You can use AWS Elastic Beanstalk to deploy and manage your applications on Windows Server 2012 R2 in the AWS cloud. Additionally, you can deploy directly to Amazon EC2 instances launched from the EC2 console or the AWS Marketplace. Also, you can use the AWS Toolkit for Visual Studio to get your application deployed and running in a few clicks.

    Which SQL Server version/edition and languages are available with Windows Server 2012 R2 AMIs?

    The following SQL Server languages, version and editions are available with Windows Server 2012 R2 AMI: English, Japanese and Brazilian Portuguese: SQL Server 2014 (Enterprise (English only), Express, Standard and Web editions).

    Windows Server 2012 R2 has two file systems: NTFS and ReFS. Which one should I use?

    ReFS was designed for file sharing workloads like sharing content or streaming videos. Windows applications like SQL Server support NTFS and will not install on a ReFS volume.

    Can I create a Storage Space using an EBS volume?

    Yes. EBS volumes can be used to setup a Storage Pool. The volumes can be formatted as NTFS or ReFS depending upon your application*.

    How do I switch to the new Windows Server Start screen?

    Move your mouse to the lower left corner, wait for the Start screen and then click to switch into the Start screen.

    On previously published Windows Server AMIs, I followed the steps in the documentation to enable enhanced networking. Do I still need to do this for Windows Server 2012 R2 AMIs?

    No, you don’t need to do this for the new Windows Server 2012 R2 AMIs if you followed the steps to enable enhanced networking in the documentation. The AMIs provide built-in support for enhanced networking via SR-IOV on R3, C3 and I2 instances.

    Windows Server 2003 has reached End of Support, AWS no longer publishes Server 2003 AMIs effective 1st July 2019. Customers with Custom AMIs and or existing instances may continue using them on AWS. AWS has no plans to remove the capability to run Server 2003 on AWS. For more detailed information on Server 2003 and other Microsoft Products that are no longer supported by Microsoft please see End of Support messaging.

    Q. What is Microsoft End of Support (EOS)?

    Long Term Servicing Channel (LTSC) Microsoft Lifecycle Policy offers 10 years of support (5 years for Mainstream Support and 5 years for Extended Support) for Business and Developer products (such as SQL Server and Windows Server). As per the policy, after the end of the Extended Support period there will be no patches or security updates.

    Semi-Annual Channel (SAC) Microsoft Lifecycle Policy offers 18 months of support from the date of public availability, which may be the same month, or month following the release date. As per the policy, no further security updates will be provided after the end of support.

    Q. How do I know if I’m using LTSC or SAC release?

    LTSC and SAC releases may share a common build number, but can be distinguished by the Windows Product Name. LTSC releases include the version in the product name, e.g. Windows Server 2019 Datacenter, while SAC product names do not, e.g. Windows Server Datacenter. The Windows Product Name can be returned by PowerShell using the Get-ComputerInfo cmdlet, example below.

    Get-ComputerInfo -Property WindowsProductName

    Images provided by AWS follow a standard naming convention in which the OS version immediately follows Windows_Server-* in an AMI’s name. LTSC versions are denoted by the 4 digit year of the release, e.g. Windows_Server-2019-*. SAC versions are comprised of the last 2 digits of the release year combined with the 2 digit month of the intended release, e.g. Windows_Server-1903-* (2019, March).

    Q. How does EOS affect my existing instances on Amazon Web Services (AWS)?

    There is no direct impact to existing instances. Customers can continue to start, run, and stop instances.
    Microsoft will not provide patches for EOS products, unless customers purchase Extended Security Updates.

    Q. Can I import images that contain EOS software into AWS using AWS tools?

    Yes, customers can continue to import images to AWS using VM Import/Export (VMIE), Server Migration Service (SMS), or CloudEndure.

    Q. How does EOS affect Managed AWS Windows AMIs?

    There is no direct impact to existing AMIs registered in customer accounts.
    AWS will not publish or distribute Managed AWS Windows AMIs that contain EOS software to AWS Management Console, Quick Start, or AWS Marketplace.
    Customers with dependencies on Managed AWS Windows AMIs impacted by EOS should consider their options, including creating Custom AMI(s) within their AWS account(s) to enable new instance launches. Learn more about custom AMI creation here.

    Q. Can I launch new instances that include EOS software from my Custom Amazon Machine Images (AMIs)?

    Yes.

    Q. Can I create additional Custom AMIs from existing Custom AMIs in my account that contain EOS software?

    Yes.

    Q. What are my options for running Microsoft software that is approaching EOS?

    AWS customers running EOS software on EC2 instances have several options:

    Remain on EOS software: Customers may decide to remain on EOS software. There will be no impact to existing instances, or to custom AMIs.

    Upgrade and migrate to AWS (for Windows Server): For customers running workloads on EOS Windows Server on premises or on AWS, we offer AWS End-of-Support Migration Program (EMP) for Windows Server to assist with migration of such workloads to newer, supported Windows Server versions on Amazon EC2. This program offers technology and expert guidance to migrate applications running on Windows Server 2003, 2008, and 2008 R2. The EMP technology decouples the applications from the underlying OS, enabling AWS Partners or AWS Professional Services to migrate critical applications to a newer, supported version of Windows Server on AWS. For more information on the program and to sign up, visit the program webpage. 

    Automated upgrade: For customers with SQL Server 2008 R2 and Windows Server 2008 R2, AWS Systems Manager automates the performance of non-destructive in-place upgrades. SQL Server 2008 R2 customers can upgrade to SQL Server 2012 R2 and again to SQL Server 2016 (BYOL only). Windows Server 2008 R2 customers can upgrade to Windows Server 2012 R2. For customers with a License Included (LI) version of Windows Server or SQL Server, there is no additional licensing cost to upgrade. For more information, please visit AWS database blog.

    Manual in-place upgrade for Microsoft Windows Server:

    License Included: Customers using Amazon License Included for Windows Server can perform in-place upgrades for their Windows instances. For more information, please visit AWS public documentation.

    BYOL: Customers using the BYOL model can perform a manual in-place upgrade for Windows Server following the steps referenced in the License Included option above, using their own Media.

    Manual in-place upgrade for Microsoft SQL Server:

    License Included: AWS customers using License Included SQL Server can perform in-place upgrades on running instances. Please contact AWS support for additional assistance and detail on upgrade paths.

    BYOL: Customers using the BYOL model can perform a manual in-place upgrade for SQL Server using their Media. For more information, please visit Microsoft documentation.

    Explore other platform options. AWS is committed to offering its customers the most flexibility in the cloud. AWS customers interested in the benefits of migrating certain SQL Server or Windows workloads to a different platform can contact their AWS account teams for more information.

    For more information on all of Amazon’s products and Services, please visit AWS product page.

    Q: What applications are best suited for EMP?

    Application that have dependencies on legacy versions of Windows and lack support on newer version of Windows are prime candidates for EMP. EMP eliminates the underlying OS dependencies by packaging the dependencies in the EMP package which can run as a self-contained setup on any newer version of Windows.

    Q: Should all legacy applications use EMP?

    Some applications will be compatible with newer version of Windows. For such applications, a simple upgrade of the underlying OS is generally the easiest path forward. EMP works best for applications that are incompatible with newer versions of Windows.

    Q. Can I purchase Extended Security Updates to cover instances that run on AWS, utilizing Microsoft EOS software?

    Yes, Extended Security Updates (ESU) are available directly from Microsoft or a Microsoft licensing partner. To be eligible to purchase ESU, Microsoft requires Software Assurance under an Enterprise Agreement (EA), Enterprise Subscription Agreement (EAS), a Server & Cloud Enrollment (SCE), an Enrollment for Education Solutions (EES), or Subscription.

    Extended Security Updates can be purchased on an annual basis for servers as needed up to a maximum of 3 years after a product's EOS date. The approximate cost of ESU for an EOS product is 75% of the annual license cost for the affected product. However, ESU only include security updates and bulletins rated "critical" for SQL Server, and those rated "critical" and "important" Windows Server, still leaving your software open to other potential vulnerabilities. We suggest that customers should consider all available options for EOS, see “What are my options for running Microsoft software that is approaching EOS?” for more information.

    Read more about Microsoft's Extended Security Updates here.

    Windows Server 2003
    Extended Security Updates available for Amazon License Included? No.
    Extended Security Updates available for Bring Your Own License (BYOL)? No.

    Windows Server 2008/2008 R2
    Extended Security Updates available for Amazon License Included? Yes.
    Extended Security Updates available for Bring Your Own License (BYOL)? Yes; active Software Assurance (SA) required.

    Windows Server SAC releases
    Extended Security Updates available for Amazon License Included? No.
    Extended Security Updates available for Bring Your Own License (BYOL)? No

    SQL Server 2005
    Extended Security Updates available for Amazon License Included? No.
    Extended Security Updates available for Bring Your Own License (BYOL)? No.

    SQL Server 2008/2008 R2
    Extended Security Updates available for Amazon License Included? No.
    Extended Security Updates available for Bring Your Own License (BYOL)? Yes; active Software Assurance (SA) required.

    Q. Which Microsoft products sold by Amazon are approaching EOS, and when will Microsoft cease support?

    Note: Information reflects publicly available Microsoft EOS dates as of April 4th, 2019.

    Microsoft Windows Server:

    • Windows Server 2003 - July 14th, 2015 
    • Windows Server 1709 - April 9th, 2019 
    • Windows Server 1803 - November 12th, 2019 
    • Windows Server 2008 - January 14th, 2020
    • Windows Server 2008 R2 – January 14th, 2020
    • Windows Server 1809 - May 12th, 2020
    • Windows Server 1903 - December 8th, 2020
    • Windows Server 1909 - May 11th, 2021

    Microsoft SQL Server:

    • SQL Server 2005 – April 12th, 2016
    • SQL Server 2008 – July 9th, 2019
    • SQL Server 2008 R2 – July 9th, 2019

    More information on Microsoft's Application Lifecycle can be found here.

    Q. What Amazon products and services are affected by EOS and when will changes be made?

    Starting July 1st, 2019 Microsoft requires AWS to no longer publish and distribute License Included Managed AWS Windows AMIs (available in AWS Management Console and Quick Start), media, and services that use or contain Microsoft EOS products. Products that have reached end of support in prior years are also subject to these restrictions. The following products and services are affected:

    Managed AWS Windows AMIs:
    AWS will no longer publish and distribute Managed AWS Windows AMIs that contain EOS software to AWS Management Console, Quick Start or AWS Marketplace.

    Microsoft Windows Server:

    • Windows Server 2003 - July 1st, 2019
    • Windows Server 1709 - July 1st, 2019
    • Windows Server 1803 - November 12th, 2019
    • Windows Server 2008 - January 14th, 2020
    • Windows Server 2008 R2 - January 14th, 2020
    • Windows Server 1809 - May 12th, 2020
    • Windows Server 1903 - December 8th, 2020
    • Windows Server 1909 - May 11th, 2021

    Microsoft SQL Server:

    • SQL Server 2005 – July 1st, 2019
    • SQL Server 2008 - July 9th, 2019
    • SQL Server 2008 R2 - July 9th, 2019

    Amazon Relational Database Service (RDS):

    RDS will automatically upgrade customer databases that remain on SQL Server 2008 to SQL Server 2012 starting on June 1, 2019. We recommend customers test this upgrade prior to this date to ensure compatibility.
    RDS customers can upgrade their Database version at any time. Learn more about upgrading your SQL Server 2008 R2 database in RDS here.

    Amazon WorkSpaces:

    WorkSpaces will stop offering License Included public bundles of Windows 7 Experience powered by Windows Server 2008 R2 after January 14th 2020.
    WorkSpaces launched from License Included public bundles with Windows 7 Desktop Experience will no longer be able to be launched or rebuilt after January 14th 2020.

    There is no impact for WorkSpaces created from BYOL bundles. Customers can continue to launch/rebuild those instances.
    Customers who have created custom License Included bundles powered by Windows Server 2008 R2 will be able to use their custom bundles to launch or rebuild WorkSpaces after EOS.

    Microsoft will not provide patches for EOS products unless customers purchase Extended Security Updates.

    Q. Does the change to Microsoft’s EOS software distribution policy only apply to AWS?

    Microsoft has advised that this change will apply to all hyperscale cloud providers.

    Q. What are other AWS Customers doing?

    AWS customers such as Sysco, Hess, Ancestry, and Expedia have successfully migrated and modernized their Windows workloads on AWS. Read more about what AWS customers are doing here.

    Q. What are the cost implications of moving to a supported Microsoft Operating System or SQL Server version?

    License Included: There is no additional licensing costs to move to a newer version of the software when using Amazon's License Included options, for example:

    • Microsoft Windows Server 2019 is the same price as Microsoft Windows Server 2003/2008/2008 R2.
    • Microsoft SQL Server 2017 (by edition) is the same price as Microsoft SQL Server 2005/2008/2008 R2 (by edition).

    BYOL: Customers with active Software Assurance (SA) can upgrade to a newer version at no cost. Customers without SA can purchase a new license from Microsoft.

    Q. If I experience a technical issue running a product that has reached Microsoft EOS, will AWS Support assist me?

    Yes, customers with AWS Support plans will be able to engage AWS Support for technical issues.

    NOTE: As per Microsoft's policy, after the end of the Extended Support, Microsoft will no longer provide patches or security updates unless Extended Security updates has been purchased.

    Find more information on AWS Support plans here.

    Q. If I have further questions around the use of Microsoft EOS on AWS, whom should I contact?

    Please email aws.EOS.Microsoft@amazon.com.

    Q: What options I have for in-places upgrade of my Win 2008 and Win 2012 instances?

    In-place upgrade options are covered in detail here.

    Q. Specifically, which License Included Managed AWS Windows AMIs are affected and when does this take effect?

    July 1st, 2019

    • Windows_Server-2003-R2_SP2-English-32Bit-Base-*
    • Windows_Server-2003-R2_SP2-English-64Bit-Base-*
    • Windows_Server-2003-R2_SP2-English-64Bit-SQL_2005_SP4_Express-*
    • Windows_Server-2003-R2_SP2-English-64Bit-SQL_2005_SP4_Standard-*
    • Windows_Server-2003-R2_SP2-Language_Packs-32Bit-Base-*
    • Windows_Server-2003-R2_SP2-Language_Packs-64Bit-Base-*
    • Windows_Server-2003-R2_SP2-Language_Packs-64Bit-SQL_2005_SP4_Express-*
    • Windows_Server-2003-R2_SP2-Language_Packs-64Bit-SQL_2005_SP4_Standard-*
    • Windows_Server-1709-English-Core-Base-*
    • Windows_Server-1709-English-Core-ContainersLatest-*

    July 9th, 2019

    • Windows_Server-2008-R2_SP1-English-64Bit-SQL_2008_R2_SP3_Express-*
    • Windows_Server-2008-R2_SP1-English-64Bit-SQL_2008_R2_SP3_Standard-*
    • Windows_Server-2008-R2_SP1-English-64Bit-SQL_2008_R2_SP3_Web-*
    • Windows_Server-2008-R2_SP1-Japanese-64Bit-SQL_2008_R2_SP3_Express-*
    • Windows_Server-2008-R2_SP1-Japanese-64Bit-SQL_2008_R2_SP3_Standard-*
    • Windows_Server-2008-R2_SP1-Japanese-64Bit-SQL_2008_R2_SP3_Web-*
    • Windows_Server-2008-R2_SP1-Language_Packs-64Bit-SQL_2008_R2_SP3_Express-*
    • Windows_Server-2008-R2_SP1-Language_Packs-64Bit-SQL_2008_R2_SP3_Standard-*
    • Windows_Server-2008-SP2-English-64Bit-SQL_2008_SP4_Express-*
    • Windows_Server-2008-SP2-English-64Bit-SQL_2008_SP4_Standard-*
    • Windows_Server-2012-RTM-English-64Bit-SQL_2008_R2_SP3_Express-*
    • Windows_Server-2012-RTM-English-64Bit-SQL_2008_R2_SP3_Standard-*
    • Windows_Server-2012-RTM-English-64Bit-SQL_2008_R2_SP3_Web-*
    • Windows_Server-2012-RTM-Japanese-64Bit-SQL_2008_R2_SP3_Express-*
    • Windows_Server-2012-RTM-Japanese-64Bit-SQL_2008_R2_SP3_Standard-*

    November 12th, 2019

    • Windows_Server-1803-English-Core-Base-*
    • Windows_Server-1803-English-Core-ContainersLatest-*

    January 14th, 2020

    • Windows_Server-2008-R2_SP1-Chinese_Hong_Kong_SAR-64Bit-Base-*
    • Windows_Server-2008-R2_SP1-Chinese_PRC-64Bit-Base-*
    • Windows_Server-2008-R2_SP1-English-64Bit-Base-*
    • Windows_Server-2008-R2_SP1-English-64Bit-Core-*
    • Windows_Server-2008-R2_SP1-English-64Bit
    • Windows_Server-2008-R2_SP1-English-64Bit-Core_SQL_2012_SP4_Standard-*
    • Windows_Server-2008-R2_SP1-English-64Bit-SharePoint_2010_SP2_Foundation-*
    • Windows_Server-2008-R2_SP1-English-64Bit-SQL_2012_RTM_SP2_Enterprise-*
    • Windows_Server-2008-R2_SP1-English-64Bit-SQL_2012_SP4_Enterprise-*
    • Windows_Server-2008-R2_SP1-English-64Bit-SQL_2012_SP4_Express-*
    • Windows_Server-2008-R2_SP1-English-64Bit-SQL_2012_SP4_Standard-*
    • Windows_Server-2008-R2_SP1-English-64Bit-SQL_2012_SP4_Web-*
    • Windows_Server-2008-R2_SP1-Japanese-64Bit-Base-*
    • Windows_Server-2008-R2_SP1-Japanese-64Bit-SQL_2012_SP4_Express-*
    • Windows_Server-2008-R2_SP1-Japanese-64Bit-SQL_2012_SP4_Standard-*
    • Windows_Server-2008-R2_SP1-Korean-64Bit-Base-*
    • Windows_Server-2008-R2_SP1-Language_Packs-64Bit-Base-*
    • Windows_Server-2008-R2_SP1-Portuguese_Brazil-64Bit-Base-*
    • Windows_Server-2008-R2_SP1-Portuguese_Brazil-64Bit-Core-*
    • Windows_Server-2008-SP2-English-32Bit-Base-*
    • Windows_Server-2008-SP2-English-64Bit-Base-*
    • Windows_Server-2008-SP2-Portuguese_Brazil-32Bit-Base-*
    • Windows_Server-2008-SP2-Portuguese_Brazil-64Bit-Base-*

    May 12th, 2020

    • Windows_Server-1809-English-Core-Base-*
    • Windows_Server-1809-English-Core-ContainersLatest-*

    December 8th, 2020

    • Windows_Server-1903-English-Core-Base-*
    • Windows_Server-1903-English-Core-ContainersLatest-*

    May 11th, 2021

    • Windows_Server-1909-English-Core-Base-*
    • Windows_Server-1909-English-Core-ContainersLatest-*
    • Windows_Server-1909-English-Core-ECS_Optimized*

    Glossary
    AMI (Amazon Machine Image): Is a template for the root volume for the instance (for example, an operating system, an application server, and applications), manages launch permissions that control which AWS accounts can use the AMI to launch instances. Contains a block device mapping that specifies the volumes to attach to the instance when it's launched.
    AWS (Amazon Web Services): offers a broad set of global compute, storage, database, analytics, application, and deployment services that help organizations move faster, lower IT costs, and scale applications.
    AWS Management Console: access and manage Amazon Web Services through a simple and intuitive web-based user interface.
    BYOL (Bring Your Own License): is a process you can use to deploy software that you have previously licensed on physically dedicated AWS hardware. If you BYOL, you do not pay for instances with licensing included in the cost. Instead, you pay the same rate as EC2 instances with Amazon Linux pricing. When you BYOL, you are responsible for managing your own licenses.
    CloudEndure: offers reliable business continuity solutions that minimize data loss and downtime due to human errors, network failures, external threats, or any other disruptions. Our Disaster Recovery and Migration solutions are powered by innovative workload mobility technology, which continuously replicates applications from any physical, virtual, or cloud-based infrastructure into Amazon Web Services (AWS). As such, CloudEndure is uniquely qualified to support large-scale, heterogeneous environments with diverse applications and infrastructure.
    Custom AMI: is an AMI created in your account either built from an imported image or captured from an existing instance. For example, you can launch an instance from an existing AMI, customize the instance, and then save this updated configuration as a custom AMI. Instances launched from this new custom AMI include the customizations that you made when you created the AMI.
    EC2 (Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud): provides scalable computing capacity in the Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud.
    EMP (End-of-Support Migration Program) for Windows Server: program that helps customers with migration of their legacy Windows Server applications to the latest, supported versions of Windows Server on AWS, without any code changes.
    EOS (End of Support): is a term used to reference Microsoft ending support for a product, in accordance with their Product Lifecycle policy.
    Hyperscale: refers to the facilities and provisioning required in distributed computing environments to efficiently scale from a few servers to thousands of servers. Hyperscale computing is usually used in environments such as big data and cloud computing.
    In-Place Upgrade: upgrades the operating system files while your personal settings and files are intact.
    Instance (EC2 Instance): is a virtual server in the AWS cloud. Its configuration at launch is a copy of the AMI that you specified when you launched the instance.
    LI (License Included): refers to the use of Amazon's Microsoft Licensing Agreement for Windows Server and SQL Server.
    LTSC (Long Term Servicing Channel): is a release channel of Windows Server released once per 2-3 years with stability and long term support in mind. LTSC releases provide a predictable OS experience and provide 5 years of traditional support starting from initial release, plus an additional 5 years of extended support for security updates.
    VMIE (AWS VM Import/Export): is an AWS Service used to import Operating System Images to AWS EC2 in an offline mode.
    RDS (Amazon Relational Database Service): is a web service that makes it easier to set up, operate, and scale a relational database in the cloud. It provides cost-efficient, resizable capacity for an industry-standard relational database and manages common database administration tasks.
    SA (Software Assurance): is a comprehensive program offered by Microsoft to help deploy, manage, and use Microsoft products efficiently.
    SAC (Semi-Annual Channel): is release channel of Windows Server released twice per year with a limited support life cycle, ending 18 months from initial release. SAC releases allow customers to pilot the latest OS features quickly, but are not intended for long term use.
    SMS (AWS Server Migration Service): is an AWS Service used to import Operating System Images to AWS EC2 in an online mode.
    WorkSpaces (Amazon Workspaces): is a managed, secure cloud desktop service. You can use Amazon WorkSpaces to provision either Windows or Linux desktops in just a few minutes and quickly scale to provide thousands of desktops to workers across the globe.

    Does AWS offer SharePoint instances?

    Not completely. We provide one Windows Server 2008 R2 image that offers Microsoft SharePoint Foundation 2010 SP2.

    How can I run SharePoint on AWS?

    You can run SharePoint on AWS by deploying eligible licenses with active Software Assurance through Microsoft’s License Mobility program. Learn more at http://aws.amazon.com/windows/resources/licensemobility/. SharePoint can also be deployed on Amazon EC2 Dedicated Hosts without Software Assurance.

    What is Microsoft License Mobility?

    Microsoft License Mobility through Software Assurance allows Microsoft customers to move current on-premises Microsoft Server application workloads to Amazon Web Services (AWS), without any additional Microsoft software license fees. This benefit is available to Microsoft Volume Licensing (VL) customers with eligible server applications covered by active Microsoft Software Assurance (SA) contracts. Learn more at http://aws.amazon.com/windows/resources/licensemobility/.

    What if I do not have Software Assurance on the Licenses?

    Please contact your Microsoft Large Account Reseller (LAR) for options on how to purchased and/or add Software Assurance to existing licenses.  For information on bringing licenses without Software Assurance or License Mobility benefits, please see this section of the FAQ.

    How do SharePoint licenses on AWS work?

    One SharePoint license can be assigned to one AWS instance (no max/min size).

    How do I use a SQL Instance with SharePoint on AWS?

    Customers can run their existing SQL licenses per the License Mobility program or they can run on an AWS SQL instance. For more information on SQL instances running on Amazon EC2, including pricing, please visit http://aws.amazon.com/windows/products/ec2.

    What is EC2Rescue for Windows?

    EC2Rescue for EC2 Windows is a convenient, straightforward, GUI-based troubleshooting tool that can be run on your Amazon EC2 Windows Server instances to troubleshoot operating system-level issues and collect advanced logs and configuration files for further analysis. EC2Rescue simplifies and expedites the troubleshooting of EC2 Windows instances. For more information, visit here.

    Does AWS support customers running versions of Windows prior to Server 2003 R2?

    Not officially. While it may be possible to create an image of an older operating system, driver support would pose a major challenge to functionality. AWS cannot offer support for these scenarios, however customers are welcome to run these workloads without the expecatation of support.

    Will customers have to recreate their environment using other technologies in order to receive support from AWS or Microsoft?

    No. Customers can receive support running Microsoft workloads on AWS from both AWS and Microsoft under the customer’s support agreements with AWS or Microsoft without having to recreate their environment using other technologies. In the very rare case a problem could not be duplicated, AWS would work with the customer to recreate the issue in a Microsoft validated environment.

    Is AWS SVVP Validated?

    AWS does not need to be SVVP validated for customers to be fully supported running Microsoft workloads on AWS. As Microsoft explains: “SVVP does not apply to vendors that are hosting Windows Server or other Microsoft products through the Microsoft Service Provider License Agreement Program (SPLA). Support for SPLA customers is provided under the SPLA agreement by the SPLA hoster.” (see http://www.windowsservercatalog.com/svvp.aspx).

    Without SVVP Validation, are Microsoft products fully supported in the AWS environment?

    Yes. SVVP validation is not applicable to SPLA providers. Support for SPLA customers is provided under the SPLA agreement by AWS. AWS is fully committed to supporting our customers running Microsoft workloads on AWS.

    Источник: https://aws.amazon.com/windows/faq/

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    4 Replies to “Graphic - Activators Patch”

    1. Se um ativador é utilizado e aparentemente não causou problemas no computador depois de muito tempo, inclusive sendo verificado a segurança do computador após a instalação do ativador e tudo for dado como normal, ainda assim o ativador pode causar algum dano ou acessar informações do computador no qual foi instalado?

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