I’m looking for the best way to migrate the IT of a small non-profit which I support to a Windows cloud environment. I’d appreciate your advice on choosing an affordable and friendly cloud provider and migration strategy.
- The system only needs to be up 10-20 hours a week. In order to save costs I’d like the end users to easily power-up and down the Windows instance as needed.
- 3 distinct users + 1 technical personnel. Currently only 1 user works at a time (myself).
- Principal applications:
- A commercial accounting software that uses SQL Server with a custom collation (possibly Express) as a backend.
- A custom Access 2003 application.
- MS Office.
- Occasionally some ancillary (hopefully...) Win32 apps.
- Printing to printers attached to the end users' workstation should work readily.
- Some sort of backup or snapshot allowing the data to be reverted in case of problems.
The current environment consists of a Windows 2003 R2 x64 small-business server acting as domain controller + SQL Server 2008 (Express edition) + SMB filer, and a Windows XP workstation. Users often work remotely using terminal services.
I would envision migrating all the setup to a single Windows 201x cloud instance. All the users are trusted; I have no concern about intentional security breeches, so they can all login to the server as far as I'm concerned.