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By Steve Jones,

This editorial was originally published on May 24, 2013. It is being re-run as Steve is on holiday.

At a talk recently, the presenter talked about the time lag for an on-premises server to be installed and configured to be on the order of months. Not that many, but it could easily be six months.

That seems crazy, but in many companies I've worked in, that wasn't an unusual time frame. From the time someone decided that a purchase was allowed, it could be days for the accounting department to approve the funds. A day or two to place an order, assuming that IT had already provided the specifications. Vendors respond quickly, but it could still take a week or two, possibly even more, for a server to arrive at our company.

One of the advantages of cloud computing services is that new virtual machines can be bought and enabled in minutes. That might be true, but I wanted to ask many of you if you know how longs it actually takes for you to begin working on a new SQL Server.

How long does it take to provision a new server? 

Imagine that you were to ask for a database server today, and you management agreed to grant the approval, think about how long would it be before you could sign into a SQL Server. I'm sure some of you have virtual infrastructures available, and that should reduce the time it takes, but let us know if that's your setup and how long it takes.

The ultimate service would be a cloud like application inside your organization that allowed you to select a SQL Server template, and send you a server name and login with minutes after an automated build took place. I don't know many companies that have that yet, but I think many of us would appreciate that capability. Especially if we could choose the hardware we required.

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