Developers Can Test 'Denali' in Amazon Cloud
Microsoft and Amazon are collaborating to offer developer testing of the next version of SQL Server in the Amazon cloud, promising an easier and cheaper evaluation than you could get with a local implementation.
The marriage of Microsoft SQL Server "Denali" (now, SQL Server 2012) and the Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud means developers only have to pay standard Amazon Web Services (AWS) rates to test the beta database software, currently in Community Technology Preview 3. AWS pricing for "standard on-demand instances" ranges from 12 cents to 96 cents per hour.
An AWS site promises easy deployment in five minutes. "With AWS, companies can utilize the Cloud to easily test the new functionality and features of 'Denali,' without having to purchase and manage hardware," the site says. "This provides customers with faster time to evaluation, without any of the complexity related to setting up and configuring a test lab for beta software."
Sounds good to me. I earlier wrote about how a beta evaluation of SQL Server nearly wrecked my system and caused hours of frustration (for me and many others) when I tried to remove it and install the free, Express version.
The Denali program is part of a broader initiative in which Microsoft has developed Amazon Machine Images (AMI) for testing of Web-based products such as WebMatrix and database-related software--basically SQL Server 2008 R2--all running on Windows Server 2008 R2. The Denali AMI was created just a couple weeks ago.
Have you tried testing any Microsoft products on the Amazon cloud? We'd love to hear about your experience. Comment here or drop me a line.
David Ramel is the editor of Visual Studio Magazine.