Playing with SQL Server 2012 the easy way, via a Microsoft and Amazon partnership for SQL Server 2012 on AWS/EC2 (Think "5 Minutes to Denali")
"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."
"Start Your "Test Drive" of Denali on AWS in Minutes
Microsoft SQL Server Code Name “Denali” is the next major release of Microsoft SQL Server and related components. Currently in beta, Microsoft® SQL Server Code Name "Denali" will provide customers with higher levels of performance, availability and scalability, compared to previous versions.
Amazon Web Services provides companies with a cloud infrastructure that enables them to run applications, including databases, in the cloud, allowing them to replace up-front capital infrastructure expenses with low variable costs that scale with their business. With the AWS Cloud, companies no longer need to plan for and procure servers and other IT infrastructure weeks or months in advance.
Microsoft has collaborated with AWS 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
*. With AWS, companies can utilize the Cloud to easily test the new functionality and features of “Denali”, without having to purchase and manage hardware. 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.
*Standard Amazon Web Services rates apply
This looks like one of the quickest and easiest ways to play with SQL Server 2012 (fka Denali) right now. No installing, no download, no hardware, just an Amazon account AWS account and an EC2 (i.e. not free, but can be very cheap).
I hate to say this, but you know I've never fired up an EC2 instance? Yeah, I know, I'm so 00's... :| Well I think this has pushed me over the edge and I'll be firing up an instance in the near future! MUHAHAHAHA... lol :)
Related Past Post XRef:
SQL Server 2012 Edition and Licensing Revamp Round-up
SQL Server 2012 Data Quality Services Slide Demo
SQL Server 2012 (fka Denali) Developer Training Kit Web Installer Preview (Updated)
"Introducing Microsoft SQL Server Code Name 'Denali'" Free (draft two chapter preview) eBook
Want Denali CTP3 (aka next version of SQL Server)? Here's a Hyper-V VHD just for you (in 36 parts, but I've also provided direct download URL's for use in your DM of choice...)
SQL Server Denali Sequence Object Overview
SQL Server Denali Feature Watch - FORMAT(), as in, "OMG we finally get .Net like Number/Date/Time formatting in our TSQL" Or "Saying goodbye to my old friend, Convert(103)..."
Time to start thinking about, and providing feedback on, what you’ll need to upgrade to Denali (aka next version of SQL Server)
Denali CTP3 introduces LocalDB - Think SQL Server Express crossed with SQL CE (or SQL CE grown up or SQL Express made as almost as easy CE)
SQL Server Denali FileTables Feature - The fruits of WinFS? (Think "A FileStream enabled table that you can access as a network file share and other standard File IO API's" or "SQL Server File System in a Table")
A couple SQL Server ColumnStore references...