I really hate waiting for software to download. It’s a first world problem and I’m an impatient guy. Thankfully, you don’t have to wait through the hour long download of a SQL Server 2012 CTP3 ISO, Windows installation, and SQL Server installation and configuration. You can now just fire up a browser, connect to AWS, and fire up a SQL Server 2012 CTP3 instance.
Microsoft and Amazon have, in their own words, “collaborated to allow customers to easily deploy and run SQL Server Code Named “Denali” on Amazon Web Services in 5 minutes with no additional Microsoft software licensing costs” (barring the cost of Windows). It’s available right now, with no SQL Server licensing costs, and little to no set up overhead. Earlier this week I convinced Brent to set up a SQL Server 2012 instance for testing and he was cursing my cunning plan within 5 minutes.
Sometimes, new AMIs may not make it into every Amazon region, which means you might not get it close to your customers, close to your current location, or on the hardware that you want. In this case the SQL Server 2012 CTP3 AMI is present in all of the current Amazon regions. This means that you can spin up SQL Server 2012 on anything as small as a Micro instance (1.7GB of memory, 1 core, shared gigabit ethernet) or as large as a cc1.4xl (2 x Intel Xeon X5570, 22GB of RAM, and 10 gigabit ethernet). Developers, DBAs, and ISVs take note: this means you can start testing your applications now before SQL Server 2012 is released. There’s no reason to delay your upgrade planning.