Not so long ago I was on the lowest rung of the Microsoft Partner ladder. Initially I received box loads of DVDs each quarter with the latest development and server software. Often it was several weeks after I needed the install disks, but I never used more than 10% of them. Then Microsoft moved to OTA distribution and I only needed to download those disk images that I actually needed, and I received them as soon as they were available. A big improvement except it tore a big hole in the Internet data cap.
This big distribution improvement did nothing for the next problem which was to find a physical or virtual machine on which to install and test the new software. But now even that chore has vanished. Joe Brockmeier reports on an ideal solution for beta testing new Microsoft servers in a post entitled ‘Amazon Spins Up Microsoft SQL Server 2012 on AWS for Testing’.
Amazon recently announced the availability of Windows Server 2008 R2 in its range of EC2 machine instances, AMIs. Now they have made available an AMI with SQL Server 2012 (Denali) community preview running on Windows Server. All beta testers need do is head to their AWS account and fire up the SQL Server 2012 AMI. In a few minutes they are testing the new version with no massive downloads, no local machine to find, and Internet data caps largely unaffected. Brilliant! Surely all new server software should now be made available this way.
Pity I am a Microsoft Partner no longer! I done ‘gone Google’ a year or so ago.